Robin's Adventures

African Safari
African Adventures 2011

We enjoyed the diversity of the landscape at Lake Manyara. Our game drive took us along dusty, but scenic, dirt roads that sometimes brought us through thick woods and other times along flat plains by the edge of the very alkaline lake bed. There were also hotsprings and small tributaries that flowed into the lake from nearby hills.

Around every turn there was something new and Robin's head was always poked out of the pop top of the game drive vehicle, even while it was in motion, so she could soak it all in as fast as it came at her.

We saw some new animals that we had not seen at the other places we visited. There were black monkeys, a small (about 10 to 15 pounds) antelope like creature called a dik dik, small mammals that looked like oversized prairie dogs called hyrax, and bushbuck.

Lake Manyara is known for its large population of baboon. We saw large troops that were very interesting to observe. Several would climb a tree and throw down the seed pods to the baboons that were on the ground. If there was any danger, they would make a barking sound that served as a warning.

Some baboons spent long periods of time grooming each other. Babies clung to the parent and parents seemed to be pretty much in tune to the needs of their young.

Check out this video of baboons grooming and making a warning call.

The elephants were busy foraging. We saw one very young baby who was so tired, he just wanted to curl up under his mom and take a nap.

The giraffe were also busy foraging, but they seemed to look at us very curiously while we we looking at them.

Warthogs are amusing to watch. They are somewhat skitish and they seem to take things so seriously. Love the way they hold their tails straight up in the air when they run. We also found a pod of hippos taking a mudbath.

Some lions were napping in the sun in the dried up portion of the lake bed. We pulled the game vehicle right up next to them to take some pictures.

Our next stop was the Ngorongo Crater. Here we stayed at the Serena Safari Lodge which was right on the edge of the crater. The crater itself is a collapsed volcanic caldera that formed during a volcanic explosion 2 to 3 million years ago.

It is about 2,000 feet deep and the floor is about 100 square miles. Pictures from the top only capture a small portion of the crater and don't do justice to the enormity of this incredible landscape.