Thursday, February 24, 2011

How close do you get?

Many people asked, "How close do you get to the animals?"

This close.
We had to use the zoom a bit to get this pride of lionesses resting in the tree.
Their cubs were nearby, playing king of the mountain on this log. A herd of elephants walked by at just the right moment. The black dots in the background plains are wildebeasts and zebras.
When we first encountered this pride of lions, consisting of 12 lionesses, 10 cubs and a napping male, they were all sacked out.
A couple of the lionesses made halfhearted attempts to hunt a cape buffalo, but the others just couldn't be bothered. Our guide said that it would take about 4 lionesses to hunt and kill an animal that size. It looked like this pride had eaten well recently and had no desire to hunt again so soon.
We went during high season on the Serengeti. It's when you see the most animals.

BTW, we went to the national parks, where the guides adhere to strict rules of conduct. We cannot go off-road to chase animals the way guides in private game parks do. This is better for the animals because they know that, if they want privacy, they need only to leave the road. This is less stressful for them and for their young.

People who run tours in private game parks tout how much closer you can get to the animals. We don't feel any desire to get closer than we experienced. And we don't want to stress out the animals any more than we have to.

4 comments:

  1. Interesting--had not thought about the animals needing privacy, but that makes sense.

    How did you get the top picture? I can't imagine you got out of the car to stand on the road????

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  2. Beautiful pictures - what a fantastic trip

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  3. I'm jealous. So jealous.

    What amazing photos!

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  4. Our group consisted of 8 adults and 7 children in 4 families, a MIT professor and his wife (organized by the alumni travel club) and 4 Tanzanian guides traveling in 4 pop-top Range Rover 4x4s.

    I took the top photo while standing up in another vehicle.

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