Sunday, January 24, 2010

Safari!

I am still alive and kicking around. I have been in Arusha, Tanzania for the last week visiting a friend and shedding the last vestiges of semi-employment. Life is great. It's warm and sunny, I have no worldly responsibilities anymore, and I'm meeting a ton of great new people. I couldn't really be any happier right now.

Out of nowhere, I kind of fell into the opportunity to go on a safari in the Serengetti and Ngorogoro Crater, two of the absolute best spots on the planet to see amazing animals. I came to Arusha to see Mary and Shannon, two friends of Caitlin who came to Mbale for Thanksgiving. I found out when I arrived that they were about to leave for a Safari with Shannon's stepmom that they'd been planning for months and months. In the kind of stroke of luck that seems to characterize my life these days, they had one extra spot. Hells Ya! In a further stroke of luck, apparently mid January is like the best time to see lots of animals in the Serengeti because it's the Great Migration and several million wildebeest, buffaloes and zebras are on their way through the park. What better way to break in my new camera.

I learned that Zebras and wildebeests are apparently very good friends. Zebras see really well and wildebeests have a great sense of smell so they always hang out. Who knew?

Zebras, I learned, like grass.

We saw maybe 15-20 lions, and like 5 lion cubs. No kills though.

We were told there was a 50% chance of seeing a rhino. We saw 12 of the park's 20.

I learned that rhinos like to hang out in pairs.

Tree fulla monkeys.

More lions. Things got a little PG-13 just after this. I learned that when I female lion is in heat, her and her man-friend will do nothing but have sex approximately once every 5 minutes for like a week. You can tell she's almost done because they're so skinny- they've been too busy getting busy to stop for a snack for the entire week. Jebaale Mr. Lion!

More lions. This one stood there like a statue watching the sun go down for easily 20 minutes without moving.

Hippos. One thing I will give to the Uganda National Parks, is that they delivered better hippos. In every other way, this was incomparably better.

Giraffes are funny. Did you know that their front legs are longer than their back ones?

Ngorogoro crater was a huge bowl with an area of 250 square miles or something. Full of animals. Zebras and wildebeests in the foreground, the pink in the back is a few of the approximately 50,000 resident flamingos.

We saw a couple hundred elephants, always moving in big groups. It is very difficult to express just how much better seeing elephants in the wild is than the zoo. The elephants were so happy and content going about their lives and hanging out with their buddies, whereas the zoo elephants look depressed and lonely.

Elephant breakfast.


A dung beetle going about his business.

This leopard walked alongside our car for like five minutes, maybe ten feet away. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Sunrise over Ngorogoro Crater.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I think this is the first time reading your blog I'm really, truly, jealous. Usually I think "That's neat it would've been fun to do that". Today it's "What the hell am I doing here when there's that out there?

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