Thursday, 11 January 2018

Serengeti National Park

We left Rhino Lodge on the Ngorongoro crater rim and headed down into the vast endless plains of the Serengeti. On the way down we saw some Red-collared Widowbirds in the highlands, as well as a Lanner perched on the slope above us and a couple of Secretarybirds

Lanner

Upon reaching the Serengeti we began seeing our first animals with Spotted Hyena, and both Black-backed and Golden Jackals. But it was the Wildebeest migration spectacle that took our breath away and would feature prominently during our time in this awesome place. 



Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti

There were huge herds of them heading south and following the rains, and long lines of them with smaller numbers of Plains Zebras tagging along. Birds included 3 Spotted Thick-knees roosting under some small Acacias before we reached the main entrance gate. Here we took a walk and it was nice to get out of the vehicles. We saw Red-fronted Barbet, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, 2 Abyssinian Scimitarbills, Black-faced Waxbill, Black-lored Babbler, Brubru, Long-crested Eagle, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, European Roller and European Golden Oriole. Leaving here we headed further into the wilderness and saw Greater Kestrel, 2 Cheetahs, more Spotted Hyenas and a large male Lion sleeping beside the road.


Our first Cheetah sighting
This Long-crested Eagle was hunting rats behind the local cafe

Our route then took us on a series of dirt tracks to Kati Kati Tented Camp where we had a late lunch. What a setting this was and we could see Giraffes from our dinner table! More importantly was the endemic Ruaha Red-billed Hornbill that posed nicely and a few Ruppell’s Starlings were also new. Our afternoon excursion was spent out in the Serengeti where we saw some lovely Topi, as well as not so lovely Desert Cisticola, Grey-capped Social-Weavers, Red-backed Shrike, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, 2 Secretarybirds, Two-banded Courser, Temminck’s Courser, 5 Lions, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Croaking Cisticola, and several Silverbirds


Secretarybird
Topi
Two-banded Courser

At the Visitor Centre we saw our first Usambiro Barbet, Black-faced Waxbill, Chestnut Sparrow, Lesser Masked Weaver, Martial Eagle and a group of endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl.

On safari
Serengeti National Park
Usambiro Barbet


Yellow-throated Sandgrouse

There were several Spotted Hyenas skulking around our tents at dinner time and one was all too close for comfort! We went to sleep listening to their cackling, Lions roaring and African Elephants as well. Wow!


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