Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Serengeti Safari

One of the benefits of living in the North-west area of Tanzania is the Serengeti National Game Park. The game park is only two hours away from where we live. People from all over the world come to Tanzania for the purpose of doing a safari (Swahili word for travel) in the Serengeti. In fact, while standing in line to get our food a lady asked Bill, "So, where do you live." She meant which country since, as I've said, there are people from all over the world there. Bill answered, "We live in Mwanza, Tanzania." Her response? "Wow, you are lucky!" This trip was probably a dream for this lady, and she was amazed that we get to live here year-round. (It's good to keep things in perspective since it is easy to grow frustrated with the inconveniences of living  here rather than focusing on the blessings.)

We've only been into the Serengeti one other time. It was back in 2006 when a friend from the States came to visit. When an opportunity came for us to go with friends (driving their Land Cruiser so that it was cheaper) we jumped at the chance.  I'm glad we did because we had a great time!

This trip we refer to as the Elephant Safari. I LOVE ELEPHANTS! Our last trip we only saw eight, but this time we saw about 100. They are so awesome!!! God's creation never ceases to amaze me. In the picture below you see a herd with a baby elephant. Elephants are very protective of their young. It took a long time to get this picture since they kept hiding it from us. One of the adolescent bulls even came at us and trumpetted his trunk until we moved further away!


*  The only mammal that can't jump is an elephant.

*  In a day, an elephant can drink upto 80 gallons of water.

*  An elephant can smell water three miles away.

*  It eliminates around 80 pounds a day on the average.

*  They spend about 16 hours a day eating.

*  Female elephants have a gestation period  of 22 months. They give birth to a single
   infant referred to as a calf. 

We also saw alot of giraffe. To me giraffe have personality. We watched these two for a while. He was obviously trying to make an impression on this sweet young thing!


*  A just born giraffe measures around six (6) feet in height.

*  The adult giraffe’s tongue is 27 inches long.

*  The giraffe is a vegetarian animal, which survives on the
    leaves of the baobab tree.

*  A five to 30 minutes’ sleep a day is enough for the giraffe.

*  A big male giraffe can consume about 100 pounds of food in
   one day.

*  The age of the giraffe can be calculated from its spots. The
   darker the spots, the older is the giraffe.

This time around we didn't get to see a male lion. It was a very hot day so they were hiding in the shade. We did see a lioness in a tree with several other lioness' under the tree with their cubs. We barely saw them though for all the high grass. The lioness in this picture was all alone - as far as we could tell - and taking it easy.


*  The roar of a male lion can be heard from a distance of, as much as, five miles.

*  The largest lion to date was almost 11 feet long and weighed nearly 700 pounds.

*  The male lions of a group hardly hunt. The lionesses are the ones who hunt and bring the food for the entire pride.

*  The eyesight of a lion is five times better than that of a human. It can even see a prey from a distance of one mile.

*  After eating, a thirsty lion may drink for as long as 20 minutes.

*  The lion is the only member of the cat family to have a tassel at the tip of the tail.

We of course saw many other things on our trip. We drove up to a slew of safari vehicles and knew there was something interesting nearby for that many vehicles to be in one place. Sure enough, we spotted a leopard in a distant tree. Unfortunately it was too far away to get any pictures, but it did enable us to say that we saw four of the big five!

1 comment:

  1. Such interesting facts about animals that are seemingly common animals. But, in fact, I really know nothing about them! My kids will really enjoy hearing what you had to say about some of their favorite animals.

    On a side note, our last name "Sloan", in Russian means "elephant." So, we get teased alot about being the elephant family.

    BTW, your blog looks GREAT!!!