22 October 2017 Sunday – Flamingos, looking for Rhinos, Cheetahs ~ Day 13

Today we went out searching for rhinos, but unfortunately didn’t find any. Thus, it turned out to be a very slow day, at least compared to the previous few.

We got up very early—5:30—and left by 6:00. We headed south. The first thing we saw was one of those secretary birds. We got a much better look at it this time.

We saw another beautiful sunrise.

Then we drove to one of those flamingo lakes. In the peak season, there might be millions of flamingos in this lake. But because it was off-season, there were only a couple dozen total. It made for some good photo taking though.

I didn’t know this, but the flamingos aren’t normally pink. They get their pink color from their diet. In this case, their diet did not include the pink stuff, so the flamingos we saw were mostly white, which was odd.

After we left the flamingo lake, we started looking for rhinos. We saw a pack of hyenas.

We saw some giraffes.

We saw plants, shrubs and trees, like the “candelabra” tree.

We visited a small park office in a rhino area. They had a bunch of information about the rhinos and what they’ve been doing to protect them. One of the officers gave a talk about the place.

Next, we came upon a couple young male lions sitting on a huge rock outcropping.

They seemed like buddies. Maybe they had recently been kicked out of the pride, which often happens. The males become more solitary and only rejoin the pride from time to time.

One of them seemed interested in checking us out, so he came down the rock to have a closer look.

Next, Eki took us to a cave where the Maasai people from a hundred years ago used to make paintings on the walls. The paintings weren’t that old, though. You could clearly see the shape of a bicycle and such. But it was a well-known place for them.

Next, we went to a well-known place called “ngong” rock, which stands on top of another large rock outcropping. Yes, the “n” is intentional. This rock has a peculiar characteristic: If you hit it with another rock, it makes a metallic clanging sound. Eki said they don’t exactly know why it does that because it’s clearly made of granite, not any kind of metal.

As we walked up there, I was a bit nervous, because lions obviously liked to lay around on high ground. Eki said they once surprised a lion up there, and fortunately, they both went running. So today, he makes noise to scare off any lions that might be hiding in the area.

Kathy had to give the rock a try.

So did I. It was weird.

We ate our boxed lunch on the rocks, then piled back into the range rovers to look for rhinos again.

We saw a cape buffalo.

We saw some hippos out wandering on dry land, which was weird. They were pretty far away.

We saw another giraffe.

We also saw a rather large herd of Thompson’s Gazelles.

Then we saw a male lion trying to get some sleep under a tree.

Next we saw a big mama elephant and her toddler.

The toddler was cute.

We saw some female lions, also lounging around under a different tree.

They were cuddling and looked very cute.

We also came across some baboons with a tiny baby, trying to hold onto mama.

Then we saw a group of cheetahs. There was a group of wildebeests and we thought we’d get to see the cheetahs hunt them. In the end, though, they decided not to. They laid down in the grass. It’s funny how they almost disappear in the grass.

We spent a long time taking photos of the cheetahs.

Finally, we headed back to our Serengeti camp. Kathy took some photos of the toilet in our tent and the shower controls.