Serengeti National Park - 2016
   
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African Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus)

 

Fabled Serengeti was the main reason for the 2016 Tanzania safari. Until my 2007 trip to this region, Serengeti was the only place I had seen a leopard, one of the main treats of any safari. In 2007, I also saw a lot of other predators, especially in the Seronera region in Central Serengeti. And sure enough, Serengeti did not dissapoint this time either. Just after arriving in Seronera, the driver was told by other guides where to find a leopard. We encountered the African Leopard relaxing in a tree. It had killed a Spotted Hyena, and was laying half asleep on a branch. Quite impressive of the leopard to kill what looked like an adult hyena. Often the hyenas are able to steal carcasses from leopards. Leopards prefer to stay away from the hyenas to avoid injury. Unfortunately, the tree was situated 30-40 away meters from the road, and the animal was partly hidden behind branches. So not optimal conditions for photography, as the safari vehicles are not allowed off-road in the park. But I still managed to get some decent images of the animal. I also got a glimpse of another leopard near some Simba Kopjes, but that animal hid in the bushes before I was able to get any photos. Serengeti also produced four cheetahs, of which one was feeding on a newly killed Thompson Gazelle. On the open plains we came across a mother cheetah with a half-grown juvenile, relatively close to the car. As during my last visit, we encountered numerous lions. But none with fresh kills, unfortunately.

Other highlights included fighting hippos in the Seronera River, and mud-bathing elephants. And a decent number of bird species. A night-time safari around the Mapito Tented Camp failed to give any good photos, but I got to see some of the savannah's nocturnal species, such as the Common Genet, the White-Tailed Mongoose and the Bat-Eared Fox.

All in all, the two full days Serengeti safari produced the expected wildlife species, but we failed to find any of the rarer species I was hoping to see.

The only leopard I got a photo of, deserves two images

 

Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)

More spotted cats. A Tanzanian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus raineyii) with a cub

 

Cheetah feeding on a Thompson Gazelle

The heroes are tired. An old king of the beasts

 

Tree-dwelling lioness (Panthera leo)

African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana) having fun in the mud

 

Mud-bathing

Serengeti Elepahnts

 

Drinking Elephant

Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer)

 

East African Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius kiboko) in Seronera River

Unrest in the pool. Hippos in Seronera River

 

Hippo fighting

Spotted Hyena youngsters in the mud

 

Finished business

Western White-Bearded Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi). Coming into Central Serengeti from the north and spreading out

 

East African Eland (Taurotragus oryx pattersonianus)

Masai Giraffe (Giraffa tippelskirchi)

 

Grant's gazelle (Nanger granti)

Dark Chanting-Goshawk (Melierax metabates)

 

Dark Chanting-Goshawk

African White-Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

 

Hey buddy, where is our next meal ?

Nile Crocodiles in Seronera River

Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Seronera River, Serengeti

 

Croc

In the hippo pool

 

A young hippo tries the yawn

Black-Shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)

 

Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus)

Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer)

 

Abdim's Stork (Ciconia abdimii)

Bateleur Eagle (Terathopius ecaudatus)

 

Juvenile Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis)

Greater Kestrel (Falco rupicoloides)

 

Tawny Eagle

Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus)

 

Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus)

Lilac-Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus), with a big bug

 

Helmeted Guineafowl (Numida meleagris)

Grey-Breasted Spurfowl (Pternistis rufopictus), a Tanzania endemic

 

Male Masai Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus)

 

Serengeti landscape

 

Serengeti National Park - Daybreak

Brubru (Nilaus afer)

 

Common Fiscal (Lanius collaris) and European Roller (Coracias garrulus)

Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)

 

Serengeti landscape

Coke's Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus cokii)

 

Thompson Gazelle (Eudorcas thomsonii)

Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei)

 

Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)

Topi (Damaliscus korrigum)

 

Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi)

Common Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)

 

 

Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis)

Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)

 

Female Masai Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus)

Tawny Eagle (Aquila rapax)

 

Tawny Eagle. This is the most commonly encountered eagle on the plains

Mwanza Flat-Headed Rock Agama (Agama mwanzae)

 

Olive Baboon (Papio anubis))

Common Genet (Genetta genetta). From a night-safari near Mapito Tented Camp

 

Black-Backed Jackal at night (Canis mesomelas)

East African Springhare (Pedetes surdaster)

 

Cape Hare (Lepus capensis)

Senegal Lapwing (Vanellus lugubris)

 

Crowned Lapwing with chick (Vanellus coronatus)

Square-Tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus fossii)

 

White-Bellied Canary (Serinus dorsostriatus)

African Dusky Flycatcher (Muscicapa adusta)

 

African Grey Flycatcher (Bradornis microrhynchus)

Little Bee-Eater (Merops pusillus)

 

Simba Kopje

Rueppell's Long-Tailed Starling (Lamprotornis purpuroptera)

 

Vitelline Masked Weaver (Ploceus vitellinus)

Usambiro Barbet (Trachyphonus darnaudii usambiro)

 

Silverbird (Empidornis semipartitus)

Grey-Capped Social Weaver (Pseudonigrita arnaudi), Serengeti National Park Visiting Center

 

Rufous-Naped Lark (Mirafra africana)

Laughing Dove (Spilopelia senegalensis)

 

African Mourning Dove (Streptopelia decipiens)

Black-Headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala)

 

Black-Winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), with a Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) in the back

Spur-Winged Lapwing (Vanellus spinosus)

 

Little Stint (Calidris minuta)

Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis)

 

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Black-Bellied Bustard (Lissotis melanogaster)

 

Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori)

Southern Ground Hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri)

 

Serengeti Spotted Hyena

Lioness yawning

 

Over-eating male lion relaxing