Animals! Animals!! Animals!!!

We left our new camp about 7:30 this morning.  It took us a long time to go a short distance.  We stopped for every lizard and sparrow.  We stopped to get better photos of zebra and giraffes we had already seen.

But, at 10:30 we saw another vehicle parked near a tree so we drove up for a look see.  And there, just yards away were TWO BLACK RHINO!!!  These animals are very rare.  There are only 30 something in all of Tanzania.  And they were just yards away!  We stayed and took photos from every conceivable angle.  We stayed until they finally got up and wandered away.

Then we headed for the river.  The wildebeest crossed several weeks ago.  We saw many carcasses of those who did not survive…and vultures were everywhere.  In the same pool with some of the bodies were schools of hippo, big ones and little ones, awake and asleep.  Some submerged except for just their nostrils.  A little way along the bank were two crocodiles.

We finally pulled ourselves from the river and spotted five lioness sleeping beneath an acacia tree.  They could not have cared less if we were there.  They dozed and groomed each other.  We spent another half hour there.

We finally headed in the direction of camp.  OJ, our driver, veered off the road toward a tree in this rocky spot.  Wonder of wonders, there, hiding in the branches, was a LEOPARD, the last of the Big Five!  He (she?) was very difficult to spot even when I was told the exact spot to look in.  I finally got it in view.  It was gorgeous.  God must have been playing close attention that day.

Our short afternoon drive produced only one new animal.  A family of mongoose had made their home in an abandoned termite mound.

After dinner we sat by the campfire until almost nine, then we bid good night to the others.  It had been a pretty full day.   With our flashlights lighting our way we headed for our tent.  Immediately, the camp guard joined us.  Bow in hand, he walked us back, watched us unzip our tent and waited till we were safely inside before heading back to the group.

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