Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tanzania 6 - On the Road Again

19 December 2014

Traveling between Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.

Let the bank come to you. A mobile ATM next to a petrol station in Karatu.
Another in the series "Anything Fits on Two Wheels".

Tanzania 5 - Tarangire National Park - 2 Legs

17 - 19 December 2014

Birds! Everywhere! Big ones. Little ones. Lots of color!

Little birds with lots of color:

The superb starling is one of the most widespread and colorful birds. Here a pair is nesting in a dead tree.

Kingfishers were also quite common. This is the woodland kingfisher.
White-headed buffalo weavers make interesting nests that hang from acacia trees.
Red-and-yellow barbet
The lilac-breasted roller. It's rainbow of colors.

On to larger birds:

Water thick knee, with its distinctive eye.
Two hamerkops up front; a blacksmith plover in the back.
A helmeted guineafowl. Despite being a common sight, guineafowl were particularly difficult to photograph well.
Yellow-necked spurfowl

Birds of prey and vultures

We saw a number of tawny eagles.
Two African fish eagles in a sausage tree.
Vultures, probably African white-backed
A lappet-faced vulture silhouetted against the sky.

Tanzania 4 - Tarangire National Park - 4 Legs

17 - 19 December 2014

The four-legged creatures are mostly mammals.

One of the surprises of Tanzania was how often multiple species were in view at the same time. Even though it may look like I "Photoshopped" the baboon and impala together, the only adjustments to this photo was some cropping. (And besides, my Photoshop skills aren't that good!)

A juvenile baboon eating a baobab flower.

This black-faced vervet monkey was scaling a tree at the swimming pool, hoping to find some left-behind treats. They particularly liked to come into the dining hall to steal sugar packets.

Impala does
Don't know what it was, but something got the attention of this impala harem.
Male waterbuck
Female waterbuck. (No, it does not become a "waterdoe".)
The tiny dik-dik is shy and skittish. We saw quite a few, but they were usually too hidden to photograph.
Zebras may be the most photogenic animal on the African savannah. (More zebra pictures in future posts.)
Most of the time, giraffes require "portrait" orientation, but this one was kind enough to browse a small tree and provide a "landscape" pose.

Enough of the herbivores, everyone wants to see the predators!

Two jackals pose on the side of the road. Despite their reputation, they are beautiful animals and fun to watch. Not surprisingly, their behavior is much like dogs'.
A dwarf mongoose atop a termite mound.
And finally, one of the few reptiles we saw.

Leopard tortoise

Tanzania 3 - Tarangire National Park - Elephants & Lions

17- 19 December 2014

While we saw lots of wildlife in Tarangire, the elephants became the main attraction. In addition to just seeing dozens, if not hundreds, of elephants, we also got the opportunity to watch their behavior up close.

This is a small part of a line of elephants walking across the savannah towards our vehicle.
The babies are shielded by surrounding adults.
Two juvenile males practice their sparring technique.

How to take a shower, elephant-style.

Start with a hole that does down to the water table.
Enjoy the cool water!
And finish with a nice powder.

Tarangire also provided us our first close-up views of lions.

From a distance, a pride of lions can look like a pile of rocks. There are about 16 lions here -- they were counted by another group as they crossed the road before taking a siesta in the shade.

Even with a head poking up, lions can be difficult to see.
Not quite fully grown.
Lions love to yawn (and, incidentally, show off their fearsome teeth).

Tanzania 2 - Tarangire National Park

17 - 19 December 2014

Our lodge was only about 5 km inside the park. It took an hour to get there, because we had to stop and watch impala, waterbuck, elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, and baboons along the way. Just a taste of what was to come!

Nothing says "Tarangire" like elephants and baobabs.
Wildlife has the right of way! (Especially if it weighs 4 tons.)

The baobab flower blooms at night, and is pollenated by fruit bats. It is also a favorite food of baboons, who showered our tent with them through the night.
Toyota Land Cruisers have been specially outfitted as safari vehicles: pop-up top, extra spare tire, and the real "rhino package" upfront.
Sunset at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Tanzania 1 - Along the Road

17 December 2014

On the road between Arusha and Tarangire National Park.

As in India, a bicycle can transport just about anything.
Market Day in a town west of Arusha.
The Masai have retained their pastoralist lifestyle.
Traditional round huts in a Maasai (Waarusha) family compound.
What are those logs hanging in the tree? Beehives!

Rift Valley escarpment in the distance.