|Walking in Serengeti. Photo credit: Tom Kenny.|
|Viewing hippos resting on foot- the ethical way is to leave them sleeping!|
|The wide angle of the iPhone camera doesn't do the distance justice. A small herd of elephant drinks while we watch quietly.|
Our journey continued with a drive to the beginning of the Tarangire river. Camping on a bluff overlooking the drying river gave us great access to some of Africa’s finest walking. Elephants routinely come down to the river to drink, and the riverbank, termite mounds and large sausage trees gave us good cover to approach. Our goal always to leave the animals without knowing that we had been watching them.
|Arriving back to camp from beautiful afternoon walk along the Tarangire river. What you can't see in the photo is that there were fresh lion tracks on top of our tracks from only an hour and a half earlier.|
The next three days of the safari were spent walking in Serengeti National Park. Only a couple of kilometers after leaving the corrugated main road, we left behind the vehicle tracks and headed out cross-country to our first campsite of the trip. You know you are going to a remote camp when there is not even a vehicle track to get there. From then on, we would be on foot: camp would move about 5-8 km every morning while we walked following a tributary of the Grumeti river, arriving around noon in time for a cold beer and lunch.
We’d head off in the morning, reading tracks and signs and discerning what had happened overnight: fresh lion spoor - probably the ones we heard roaring at night, a leopard track, elephant coming down to drink at night, civet… the list goes on. By 10 a.m. it would be getting warm and we’d start to intercept animals coming down to drink. The entire walk teemed with game: giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, topi, hartebeest, eland, buffalo, impala, baboon, vervet monkeys. Wildlife would come by camp, and on the second day after lunch we found a beautiful lion and two lioness feeding on two young buffalo calves they’d killed. We decided to approach by vehicle so as not to disturb their lunch. At the last camp, at least 50 elephant came by while we were having lunch. Afternoon typically consisted of a shorter stroll arriving back in camp to watch the sun go down, have a hot shower, and enjoy a cold Gin-tonic, Kentucky mule, or beer by the fire.