East Africa 2011

Kenya & Tanzania
January 28-February 5th, 2011
Tour Operator: Intrepid Travel
Transportation: Overland Vehicle
Accommodations: Tent Camping
Destinations: Hell’s Gate National Park, Lake Victoria, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro National Park

A mama and baby vervet monkey at Elsamere, near Lake Naivasha
A narrow gorge in Hell's Gate National Park
Mama and baby locust - how cute!
A group of Grant's Zebra
Common Impala
Grant's gazelle
We stopped for a break near a waterhole with a huge variety of birds including these yellow-billed storks, white storks and Egyptian geese.
The fascinating landscape of Hell's Gate National Park
A marabou stork perches above our campsite
A local artisan carving a souvenir near the Kenya/Tanzania border
A small town in Kenya near the Tanzanian border
A kopje just after we crossed in to Tanzania
A yellow-billed kite in flight
Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama
A little egret struts along the side of Lake Victoria
Fisherman on Lake Victoria
Two pied kingfishers clashing over a fish
Mama & Baby Baboon
Impalas in Serengeti
Two giraffes stroll across the open plains
A Nile Crocodile, lurking at the surface
The sentinel of the savannah
Defassa Waterbuck in the tall grass
Giraffe close-up
Giraffe & Elephant
How better to start a Tanzanian morning than an hot air balloon over the Serengeti.  Here the balloons are just beginning to be inflated.
Savannah Sunrise
Sunrise over the Serengeti from the hot air balloon
We stayed in a campground with no walls or fences - just this sign to keep us safe.
Male weavers, like this Speke's Weaver, painstakingly stitch together nests in hopes of attracting a mate with their handiwork.
An olive baboon saunters across the road under an acacia tree.
We surprised this hippo by driving between it and its waterhole, and it responded with an incredible charge, bellowing and chomping its mouth as it ran towards us, spit flying all over.
While in a giant vehicle, I never was worried about the hippo going through with this attack, if you were on foot, this would be a terrifying way to die.  The hippo was very quick, and very menacing.
This was always my vision of Africa even before I had set foot on the continent - endless plains, acacia trees, and a giraffe strolling across.
Hyena in a hurry
A leopard high in a tree
I've seen quite a few amazing African sunsets, but this one has to rank up there among the very best.
Serengeti sunset
Buffalo at dusk
Sunset through other's eyes
Sunset over Serengeti
A final sunset photo, one of my all-time favourites.
A big bull buffalo grazing, while several wattled starlings hitch a ride
Elephant in the golden grass of the Serengeti
This young elephant took a short mock charge - showing off his bravery.
Elephants under acacia
A leopard - the third we saw on this trip.
A southern ground hornbill.  The photo doesn't do it justice - this bird is huge.  For perspective, this is the same tree, at almost the same distance that the leopard in the previous photo was on.
Grant's gazelle - the larger of the Seregeti's two gazelle species
Kopjes like this dot the Serengeti.  were formed when the soft volcanic rock covering the savannah was eroded away to expose granite below.
There have been only a few wildlife encounters where I've felt quite nervous.  This was one, as this big elephant came up on us while we were on foot and seemed curious.
Thompson's Gazelles - or Tommies as they're called by the guides.
Wildebeest staring back at us as we go by
Olduvai Gorge
Thompson's Gazelles, a Kori Bustard and rolling hills at the edge of the Serengeti
A baby giraffe  running along
Elands on the move
Driving in the Ngorongoro Crater
Baby Zebra close-up
A kori bustard in breeding plumage
Puffed up in breeding plumage, and looking for a mate!
A dazzle of zebras
Male & female ostrich
Sleepy Lioness
Two male Grant's Gazelles square off to impress the ladies
An East African Wolf gnaws on the remains of his breakfast
Ostrich on the plains
A power struggle between two wildebeest
Cape buffalo
Punk rock pig
It's hard to convey the sheer abundance of wildlife in Ngorongoro through most photos - there are animals in every direction, often in great numbers.
A staredown between a hyena and a wildebeest.  Nothing came of this interaction, but there was definitely healthy respect on both sides.
Old Bull Buffalo
With the sheer volume of wildlife in the Ngorongoro, it's hard to avoid predators entirely.  These zebras were pretty wary of this lion and his pride as they walked past.
A Speke's Weaver perched on our safari vehicle
Egyptian Geese
African Sacred Ibis
The old bull approaches
Up close and personal with one of the biggest bull elephants I've ever seen.
A last look back at Ngorongoro
A Tanzanian montane dwarf chameleon lounging on a branch above the Ngorongoro Crater