We admit that our posts about our visit to the Serengeti so far have been a bit cat-centric, but there is a lot more to see in the Serengeti besides felines. We had some good luck with birds and elephants on our drives, but some of our best shots were produced while Mansour was dealing with a curse of his own—flat tires!
We had so many flat tires in the Serengeti that we lost count of them all. It seemed like every time we went out for a drive, somewhere along the way, we would have to stop to change a tire. We always carried two spares, which were quickly traded out. Eventually Mansour would have to run to the garage to get the punctures repaired before we could head out on safari again, starting the whole process over. On one particular day, we had a grand total of three flats. It was a little crazy!
The only bright side in all of this was that the garage happened to be located near the main Visitor Center, which is a pleasant place to hang out while your car is getting repaired. (It certainly beats the Jiffy Lube!) It features a well-designed nature trail over the kopjes with exhibits about the park and a little cafe serving simple snacks and cold drinks. There is also a shaded picnic area set in an inviting garden for eating and relaxing. The colorful flowers and food-bearing tourists attract an impressive array of song birds and a large population of tame rock hyrax. Rather than sitting in camp each time while Mansour dealt with the tires, we asked him to drop us off at the visitor center where we could take advantage of the opportunity to photograph and identify birds.
When all was said and done, we went to the visitor center three times. Here is what we call our “Flat Tire” Collection.
Click on photos to enlarge and view as a slideshow.
Once we were back in the car, we had a lot of other great sightings, too, particularly with large herds of elephants. They are such wonderful animals to observe. The gentleness and grace they display despite their tremendous size always puts us in a state of awe.
Part of what makes safari so much fun is that you never know what you are going to encounter. Whatever you find is bound to be spectacular. Here is a sampling of some of the other animals we observed over the course of our five days in the Serengeti.
What a magical place! We loved our time in the Serengeti and would go back in a heart beat. After five fantastic days, we bid a tearful goodbye to this wonderful park and hoped that our next stop in Tanzania’s famed N’gorongoro Crater would be just as rewarding.