Wednesday, March 2, 2011

our safari adventure ~ cont'd

We were up well before the crack of dawn and had a quick coffee before setting out on our morning drive...

...just as the sun was rising on the horizon.

We happened on a cheetah shortly...
who seemed not to care one iota that we were there.

Crowned crane were out for their morning walk.

We came across herds of elephants many times during our drive.

And not so pretty...the hyena.

Our driver was great at stopping for photo op's.
When we encountered our first rhino's...
he turned off the engine and let us observe.

Mama and baby crossed the road just in front of our vehicle.
We were all standing quietly and watching.
I was in the process of getting that perfect picture...

...when Mama turned our way and made a horrific noise
as she began to charge towards us.

We sat down very quickly...
while the driver tried desperately to start the engine.
Thankfully, the rhino abandoned her charge...
and toddled off onto the range with baby.

That was a first for our driver...
who admitted he was scared.

There were a few hearts pounding for awhile!

As for Papa Rhino...
he walked nonchalantly behind.

The message here...
don't mess with Mama when she has baby out for a stroll!

These brilliant blue birds showed up on many of my photos...
usually in background while I zoomed in on the animals.

Speaking of zooming in...

...while the girls zoomed with cameras,
the guys used binoculars.

The binoculars were mostly to spot things in the distance.
Once we found the animals...
we were often able to park ourselves right next to them,
and observe.

The lions seemed to sleep the day away...
 in a pile right next to the trail.
We watched while they slept...
and waited for some action.
It was great fun observing the babies at play...
just like kittens.

They seemed rather bored with having us there as spectators.
We weren't the first...I know!

While the moms and kittens made camp together...
the males were sound asleep nearby.

There were many varieties of antelope...
usually in large herds.

From the larger topi, impalas and elands....
to the tiny dik-dik that looked more like a rabbit... herds of Thomson's gazelle,
it was an antelope paradise.

We gathered around the hippo pool for a time...
and watched as they came up for air occasionally
This was the only place on our safari where we were allowed to leave the vehicle.

We were advised to stay far from the water's edge...
because, despite their size these animals are swift and deadly.

We met herds of water buffalo at every turn...
and needed to remind ourselves that they too were among the most dangerous of animals on the Masai Mara.

The Big Five is a phrase used to describe the five most dangerous African animals to hunt.
They are the lion, the rhino, the elephant, the water buffalo,
and the elusive leopard.
We saw the others many times over...
but never found a leopard over the few days we were there.

My favorites?  

The graceful giraffe...

and the striking zebra!

And what can compare to having a herd of elephants approaching across the range?

We noticed that some were a little more serious about getting that perfect picture than we were.

Check out those lenses!
National Geographic?  Who knows.

Maybe they found a leopard with their mega-zoom.

Never mind. 
I found one hanging on the wall back at the lodge...
all safe within his frame.

Now I too can say I 'captured' the Big Five!

And that, my friends, is a sampling of what we encountered on our safari.
To see all those amazing animals in their own habitat was an incredible experience.
Thanks for joining me.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  1. A.m.a.z.i.n.g. Great captures! What really impresses me is that you were still taking the picture when the mama rhino was charging. Yikes! I'd have been under the seat. You know, I was thinking, not everyone can get away with the outfit a zebra wears and most especially when all lines converge in such an interesting location. Hmmm... Thank you for sharing all these great photos. Of all of them, I most enjoyed that lovely blue-winged bird. That and I'll never drive my Impala without thinking of the animal for which it is named.

  2. What a wonderful experience that must have been...but scary in places too!
    I love the cheetah photo, such a graceful and beautiful animal.

  3. Wonderful!!!!! It's hard to imagine a hippo being swift. And glory, a rhino charging at

  4. Amazing for sure! Glad mama changed her mind. I'm really enjoying your adventures Judy!

  5. OH we enjoyed the safari. .and especially watched for the rhino picture.
    The zebra and giraffes were my favorite. I have a zebra dress .. I think I'll pull it out to wear soon.

  6. Thanks for the safari! What fantastic photos. And a bit of heart-pounding adventure thrown in. Yikes!

    I think zebras and giraffes are some of the most comical and interesting looking creatures that God created. Those lines, that long neck, the spots - what creativity!

  7. Wow! Judy, you got some amazing shots there. If I ever go on a safari,I will be thinking about you, because you are the first who has inspired me ... somewhat. I'm still thinking about that tent, but in regard to seeing the animals... your pictures are quite adequate to make me feel like I've been on the safari.

  8. The variety of animals is fascinating. They are so different from each other and each so unique. I was noticing how different the water buffalo's horns are from the rhino's or elephant tusks...such a creative Creator!
    You did a great job with your pictures. Thank you for sharing them. I feel a little as though I have lived it.

  9. Wow, that was an incredible adventure. I can't even imagine how exciting it must have been to be seeing this in person. The rhino experience sounds a bit too exciting, however.
    You have taken wonderful photos of these amazing animals. I couldn't help but think of The Lion King as I looked at them. Your grandchildren must really enjoy seeing your pictures.

  10. What a fabulous experience! I so enjoyed all your photos, especially the rhinos and the lions. There's something just incredible about the sight of all those lions just lounging at the side of the road. I love the giraffe photo too - the land animal with the biggest heart!

  11. That final cheeta photo and the charging rhino were fabulous! How big will you make them when you make prints? (Wall sized comes to mind...)

    I know rhinos can only see about ten feet ahead so I suppose once Mama figured out it was just a car she stopped. At the zoo the mom keeps the babies on the far side of her most of the time. Good mothering skills!

    I have enjoyed your trip so much Judy. I almost feel like I should have paid for being able to see all this wonder so comfortably.

    So...where will you go next? Can't wait!

  12. Stunning photos Judy! I visited Taronga Zoo here in Sydney yesterday and saw a few of the same animals you showed in this post. It's nicer to think about the ones you saw not in captivity. That rhino charge looked so scary! You are so right that the mother was protecting her baby and wanted to let you know to stay put!

  13. What a wonderful experience to have seen and photographed all these animals! Really beautiful pictures!

  14. You definitely had a great adventure! Thanks for taking us along!

  15. I loved your Safari tour...I think I could handle that...much more than running off to see another historical museum. When I went to SD we went to the Zoo...and I was so excited to see the images that you captured...because I had never seen them before. I too, loved the giraffe. They are one amazing specie.

  16. Your lion collage and all the other photos are spectacular Judy! What an amazing adventure you had on Safari. I can only imagine the stories you'll be telling to your grandchildren.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  17. My second cousin is actually a wildlife photographer for National Geographic and he actually hosts tours in Africa, for the sole purpose of photographing the animals in action. And yes, they use those fabulous $10000-40000 lenses that you noticed. yes, i put the correct amount of zeros in those numbers. How many goats could you buy with that kind of ka-ching?!!!


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