Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Wild Animals of Tanzania

It was a thrill to see these two teenager elephant play fighting. Fortunately neither was hurt, and they rejoined the herd. It is amazing to watch wild animals in the wild, exhibiting the diversity of animal behavior, but in some cases acting rather human. Or maybe it is we humans who are acting like wild animals at times.
We were in Tanzania in February, after rains had nourished the grasses and the sun had baked them to a golden color. Friends who have travelled to Tanzania in the summer have returned with photos in which the grass is brown and trampled. I love the alertness and eye contact of this group of zebras.
These two female lions were hanging out in a large tree relaxing. Our safari guide said that the male lion was certainly in the grasses below the tree, but we could not see him because we were there at a time of year when the grasses are tall, as explained above. If we had come when the grasses are brown and scarce, we could have seen more animals, but the scenery in the Serengeti would not have been as attractive.
The African plains are sprinkled with these large trees. The smaller trees are sometimes broken by the herds of elephants.
We were fortunate to be in the Serengeti during the annual migration of 2 million wildebeests, also called gnus. At one point they were dots on the horizon as far as the eye could see.
Hyenas stalked around the edges of groups of wildebeests looking to attack the newborns, as we were there during the birthing season for wildebeests. Baby wildebeests can walk and run after only a few minutes, which is essential for their survival with packs of hyenas around.

8 comments:

brattcat said...

These take my breath away. What an experience this must have been!

Joanne said...

I had a wonderful trip in this country, it was the only country so far where I have seen lions in trees! Beautiful:)

JM said...

Wonderful shots! I second Joanne as to the lions in trees and we've also posted on them on our blogs. :-) Love this post!

SFBakstad said...

Oh my Holy God! These photos are unbelievable! We are so thrilled to have found your blog. It was like a mini excursion around the world. Looking forward to following you! Great shots! The lion in the tree is priceless! Greetings from San Francisco!

Steffe said...

Some amazing wildlife photos here.

Crazy Tourists said...

Wow!! Amazing photos and amazing experience!!!

glenda said...

Great pictures! You got so many beautiful photos of these animals.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Wonderful photos. Animals like I've never seen them before. An awesome experience there.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

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