Friday, October 11, 2013

Serengeti - Karatu

It was a very early start for our dawn drive in Serengeti National Park.  We got to watch the sun rise which was pretty spectacular, especially as the sun finally popped over the horizon.

There weren't too many animals out in the early morning hours but we did see some giraffes, impalas, guinea fowl, geese, ostriches, zebras and wildebeests.  The zebras lead the migration, which is why there are so many in the park at the moment.  We came across a lion with a zebra kill under a tree, which we think was the same one we saw yesterday.  It was surrounded by vultures and jackals, and if we had the time it would have been interesting to watch throughout the day to see how things played out.  There was a pack of hyenas that had killed a zebra as we were coming back to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge.  All of them were feasting on it and one was even running around with a leg in its mouth that it was trying to keep away from the others.

After having breakfast and checking out of the lodge we drove back through Serengeti National Park on our way out of the area.  We returned to the spot where we saw the lionesses and cubs on a rock yesterday and found them again.  While we were watching I turned around and there was a massive lion climbing down the rocks behind our van.  He soon settled into a shady spot for a nap, so we then drove around a bit further and found a young lion lying in the grass.  He didn't really move but raised his head a couple of times.  We are very lucky our driver Peter is so good at spotting animals and knowing where to look for them.  We also came across a cheetah with a fresh kill, but it was too far away to see clearly.

As we crossed out of the Serengeti we drove back through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and around the perimeter of the crater.  It was another bumpy and dusty ride for a few hours until we were back on pavement again.  This evening we are staying at the Ganako Luxury Lodge in Karatu, which is hidden away up a steep hill at the end of a little dirt road.  The lodge is only a year old and the bungalows are massive.  The place is still partially under construction and not fully open yet, but will be amazing once it's done (although be warned it is hilly and there are some steep parts on the grounds).  We had drinks and dinner with our two drivers Peter and Sayid, and Peter even sang a song for everyone (which he's also done for us in the van).  Tomorrow we head off to Lake Manyara.

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