The Serengeti Plains. September 2011

07th November 2011
The Serengeti is so large - I believe Serengeti in Masai means "endless plains" and this is so true! It was the dry season and so there appeared to be no or very little grass on the plains and a lot of dust - the big herds of animals were further north in the Masai Mara following the rains. We did see huge herds of gazelle and antelope which kept the big cats well fed. I never did see a thin lion or cheeta! Lots of cheetas in fact and watched two unsuccessful chases - wonderful to see them move so effortlessly accross the ground! We saw a huge pride of lions (we counted 21) with no male in sight. My guide (Clement) told me that the males would be close by but the cubs in the pride were about half grown and he said they really annoy the lions at this age (just like teenagers?). One of the many highlights was watching two male leopards playing in a tree near a creek -they run down out of the tree, played hide and seek in the grass and back up the tree and then chased each other way up in the tops of the tree! After all that energetic exercise they then went to sleep astride branches in the tree. It was a magical moment to see them so playful! An afternoon spent at the hippo pool was also fascinating - there must have been hundreds all together in a huge pond overlorded by a massive male - wonderful photo opportunities! Another highlight was seeing two male cheetas lying under trees patting distance from the vehicle - they truly are one of my favourite animals! One unusual creature was a male aguma lizard which was bright blue and pink almost flourescent actually - we had stopped at the entry gate to the Serengeti and had climbed up a small rocky outcrop to view the famous magical plains and I thought quite bizarely that everyone were taking photos of the rocks instead of the view but it was infact one of these amazing lizards sitting on the rocks!