Next morning i woke up early and checked the birds on the nearby area.Rupell’s Long tailed Starling,Superb Starling and a variety of weavers caught my attention quite a while.Afterwards we took breakfast and packed our things into the car.
While going back we saw a hot air balloon taking off.I thought it would be a fantastic experience to observe all the game from a bird’s eye view.The guide told me that the cost of a balloon trip was about 500 euros.
Early morning, we spotted a group of a few topis, see first picture below, mixed with some hartebeests,see second picture below.Notice the characteristic dark bands and darker colour of the fur of topis when compared with hartebeests.
After a while, we saw a group of impalas.The group consisted of one male with several females.You can see the horned male on the back of the picture below.
This diurnal hervivore feed on grasses and sometimes fruits and live near water sources or succulent plants if water is scarce.Males are territorial when mating, demarcating its territory with urine and feces.They are an habitual prey of lions,cheetahs and leopards.Notice the characteristic pattern on the backside of the animal.
A bateleur was seen soaring the skies on the first hours of the day.Notice its distinctive red beak and white and black pattern of its feathers.
Cheetahs were very active during the early morning looking for prey.This animal is well known for being the fastest land animal in the world, reaching speeds of up to 120 km/h.Its streamlined,slim and light body is perfectly adapted to accelerate rapidly in short distances.Large nasal passages,enlarged heart and lungs are other adaptations that ensure to maximise the amount of oxygen in blood and hence allowing them to run at high speed.
The claws, unlike in other felids that are fully retractable, are narrow and semi-retractable.They are easily differentiate from leopards by its slimmer body and black round spots, in contrast to the most robust body and black rosettes of leopards.Notice also its characteristic black tear marks on the face in the picture below.
An African Mourning Dove was seen near the rough road mid morning.
Later on,we headed towards the famous Hippo Pool.This place is home of about 150 hippos.The hippos were half submerged on a small pond while some of them were fighting against each other.
These herbivore animals like to spend most of the day into the water, while grazing on the grasslands at night.Their body is very well adapted to its semi-aquatic life.Their eyes,ears and nostrils are located in the upper part of the head, allowing them to see and breathe while mostly submerged.Their skin secrete an oily substance that protects them from bacterias and ultraviolet rays.
Hippos are territorial in water, marking their territory by defecation.When pooing they agitate their tail to spread their feces over a greater area.Hippos can be very aggressive defending its territory or protecting their calves.They are one of the most dangerous animals, alongside elephants, in Africa.They are responsible for many human fatalities every year by charging and attacking on boats.
I stretched my legs around here, where I could get near a Grey-capped Social Weaver.This allowed me to take a close shot of this cuty bird.
Our last stop was in Seronera Lodge.We took a stroll around this area, where we could see rock hyrax roaming around.
A dwarf mongoose was seen observing its surroundings attentively on a thick branch.
Speckled-fronted Weaver was another nice addition to my bird checklist seen here.Notice its unmistakable black crown with white tips.
We continued our trip along the road.On the way we could see again herds of zebras and wildebeests on the sides of the road.
We spent several hours before reaching the gate.The park was inmense.It was a short but intense experience although I would like to spend more time in here on my next visit.
Next stop Ngorongoro NP, a superb national park with mammals and birds roaming around a huge caldera !!!
See you soon my friends !!!