After listening to the sounds of hyenas, bush pigs, and elephants parading through our campsite all night we woke up excited to continue our safari to the much-anticipated Serengeti Plains. Our professors surprised us with a stop at Oldupai Gorge. The Gorge is a site where thousands of archeological remains including relatives of Lucy, the first homo sapien were unearthed.
During our trek through the Serengeti we made a few exciting stops. Our first was to climb the shifting sands, a mound of black volcanic ash that moves as a unit through the open plains.
When we stopped for lunch, we came across the skeletal remains of a Grant’s gazelle in an acacia tree. It appeared that a leopard had eaten here before we did.
When we entered the National Park we could not imagine what was in store for us. Less than twenty minutes in, we drove up to a pride of twelve lions, including two full-grown males. The moment we had all been waiting for had arrived! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better we spotted two leopards napping in a nearby tree. A few moments later a third leopard walked inches from our truck and sat down to survey the plains.
That night we were fortunate enough to camp within the park’s boundaries.
The next morning we battled each other for the title of Tent Olympic Champion. We were judged based on speed and precision of packing the tent. The champions were Erin Cordiner and Morgan Fiore.
On our way out of the park we came within arms reach of a herd of elephants and stopped at a pool where we saw two hippos fighting.
We left the gates of the Serengeti Park and ventured to our lodge on the shore of Lake Victoria. More to come!
1. 1.Photo by Matt Grasso
A Lilac Breasted Roller perched on an Acacia tree in the Serengeti Plains
2. 2. Photo by Stephen Pope
(From left to right) Chris Stejskal, Erin Cordiner, Aileen Hearn, Emma Rando, Preston Klinke, and Katie Yost leaping off the shifting sands of volcanic ash. The wind in the plains keeps the large pile in a horseshoe shape and moves extremely slowly through the Serengeti
3. 3.Photo by Chris Stejskal
Two hippos in an intense act of aggression in the Serengeti
4. 4.Photo by Emma Rando
A lioness awaking from a cat nap
5. 5.Photo by Mel Cleary
A leopard sunning itself on the branch of a Sausage tree.
6. 6.Photo by Preston Klinke
The skeletal remains of the Grant’s gazelle lodged in an Acacia tree where we stopped for lunch.