Serengeti National Park

There is no easy way to get from Chobe National Park in Botswana to our next stop, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It took us two and a half days with overnights in Johannesburg, South Africa and Arusha, Tanzania.

The final drive from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park is about six hours long, and we could have prolonged it even more if I were allowed to stop at all the roadside attractions that interested me.

This is the monument built at the archaeological site where the first species hominid Zinjanthropus boiesei skull was discovered by Dr. Mary Leakey in 1959, in Olduvai Gorge, part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Our driver wasn’t interested in stopping.

We did stop for a few minutes to admire the view at an overlook of the beautifully lush Ngorongoro Crater. At the overlook is a monument to the people who have died while working to protect wildlife in the area. Their cause of death was listed; some of them died in accidents, but a few died from interactions with (presumedly angry) wildlife, and for some, the cause of death was listed as poachers.

These friendly-looking animals are hyrax. They mingled with the tourists at our picnic site, looking for lunch leftovers.

Hyenas tend to hide, making them difficult photography subjects.

A tree full of the majestic Malibu storks.

These cheetahs spent several minutes posing for us along the side of the road.

We were at the Serengeti National Park over the holidays and spent New Years Eve at our campsite near the center of the Park. To celebrate that night, we admired the night sky and all the stars we could see without any light pollution. Then we went to bed early so we could start 2020 with an early-morning game drive. But since it was the holidays, it was also high tourist season and we were all trying to see the same animals. This was a typical “traffic jam” near a lion sighting.

The lions seemed to be very comfortable with all of the human attention.

A warthog family.

During the day, the hippos stay in water to stay cool. They would come up for air for a short time and then submerge again, so you can only photograph a few of a large herd at a time.

The great migration deserves a video but even then it’s hard to capture the power of all the wildebeests and zebras moving across the Serengeti.

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