Day 4: Olakira Camp

Kaleidoscope of Tanzania, East Africa (October/November 2006) : a safari holiday through the Serengeti, Ngorongoro highlands, Tarangire and Ruaha

Day 04: Olakira Camp (Monday 30 October 2006)

 

We were up at 5.30 this morning and set off for our game drive at 6.00. We planned to drive through the Lobo Kopjes to the Lobo Wildlife lodge. On the way to Kleins Park Gate we saw lots of zebra, they were probably the ones we heard whilst getting ready this morning. Oh, we also heard the whoop whoop of hyena during the night…

Protty collected a zebra skull and showed us that it had front canines indicating it was a male. Females don’t have them, males use them when fighting and defending their territory. We also saw Thomson’s gazelle and three eland ran across the road in front of us. Once in the park we saw many zebra, wildebeest, impala (there was a very large bachelor herd not far from the entrance, we saw them yesterday too), Thomson’s gazelle and buffalo.

IMG: Heiko, in the land cruiser

Early in the morning we also saw a pride of lions – two young males and four females. The females wanted to mate and were doing their best to entice the males. We did see one couple mate and since they mate for four days or so, perhaps we will see them again and hopefully a little closer to the road! Not far from them we saw another young male lion, perhaps he will join the pride?

We saw a lot of elephants today, and many with young calves. We also saw helmeted guinea fowl, eland, reedbuck, topi, hartebeest and warthog with young. We also saw a warthog with three very tiny babies running through the scrub. Driving through the Lobo Kopjes (rocks) we saw two female lions lazing in the sun and enjoying the view down to the valley and we stopped to watch them for a while. A little bit further on we saw three more female lions lazing under a tree; they were very difficult to see though. We saw our first klipspringer in the kopjes. There was a pair, they mate for life. Their hooves are pointed so they are very good on rocks. We saw many agama lizards, the bright colours of the males really stands out on the rocks. We saw lots of buffalo, baboons, vervet monkeys and we also saw vultures.

IMG: Breakfast amongst the Lobo Hills in Northern Serengeti

When we reached the Lobo Wildlife lodge we saw lots of rock hyraxes. They are related to the elephant which is hard to imagine since they are so small and look more like giant guinea pigs! They have four toenails on their front feet and three on their back feet – just like elephants. They also have their mammary glands between their forelegs. Elephants have special veins in their ears which are used to cool their body temperature; hyraxes (rock, bush and tree hyraxes) have these same veins in their feet. For such a small mammal they have a very long gestation period of 8 months. Elephants also have a long gestation period (22 months). Both elephants and hyraxes have poor digestion so they eat a lot and excrete a lot. At the Lobo wildlife lodge there were so many of them. We stopped for a drink by the pool where the views were fantastic; in the distance we could see elephant, zebra, warthogs and ostrich.

IMG: The amazing pool view at Lobo Wildlife Lodge, Northern Serengeti

We also saw ostrich on the way back to Olakira, they were very close to the road. We also saw a lone lioness lazing underneath a tree with her belly upwards. We were quite late arriving back at camp and went straight for our lunch. The bread this time was bacon bread and had small bits of bacon in it. The bread here is like nothing we’ve ever had before, and it is sooo tasty! Have to make a move now… its time for tea and coffee before our afternoon game drive. I didn’t even have time for a short snooze this time – Heiko did though.

* * * *

This afternoon we went for a game drive outside of the Serengeti navigating through the thorny acacias. Alex joined us again. We saw wildebeest, reedbuck, impala, vervet monkeys, warthogs, marabou stork, Egyptian geese, baboons, Thomson’s gazelle, a family of warthogs (two adults and two tiny babies), a very large herd of impala (over hundred), hartebeest, mongoose, Hartlaub’s bustard (the larger kori bustard is the heaviest bird in Africa that flies – it weighs 19kg), black-bellied bustard and we also saw lots of giraffe with young ones, some were approx. four months old, others were approx. six weeks and still very small.

We also saw many carcasses on the drive and since we now know how to tell a male zebra from a female we identified a male zebra skull and the remains of a female zebra carcass. We also saw a buffalo skull and buffalo ribs (which are very large and tough in order to protect them).

IMG: Outside our tent (Olakira Camp, Northern Serengeti)

It was a very dusty game drive so we had showers straight away when we arrived back at camp. The other guests had arrived by that time, “De Bikkels” – a group of nine women from Holland – so we heard lot of Dutch tonight around the fire and when having dinner. It was like a little bit of home had found us! I had lots of Amarulla to drink tonight as well, I quite like the taste! We asked Protty what the jumping spider was… last night I saw a large spider on the floor of our tent so I tried to squash it with my shoe (which was in my hand not on my foot) and this spider jumped to another spot – it moved so quick I barely saw it jump, I tried to squash it another three or four times and each time it jumped away!! We had another one in our tent tonight so I took a photo of it to show Protty – looking at it more closely you can easily see that it’s a cricket, no wonder it is jumping!! Well as long as it doesn’t jump on the bed, that’s ok!

suri sana = very good
lala salama = sleep well

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