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Old Mar 23, 2012, 8:05 AM   #1
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Default Olduvai Gorge & Drive to Serengeti NP

We left Norongoro Crater @ 8:00AM and passed a Maasai Village. We were far enough away from it so we were allowed a discreet photo through our vehicles open windows. Generally the rule was no candid photographs of the Massai people unless they invited you to photograph them, so we could not stand in the vehicle and point our cameras in their direction.

This picture taken from quite a distance show quite well how the red robes worn by the Maasai men makes them stand out in the dusty dry landscape.

The village is typical of all Massai villages. The houses are built on the perimeter just inside the stick walls. The large ring in the center is for keeping their cows and goats protected at night from predator animals.



Olduvai Gorge located in the Norongoro conservation area, is where Louis and Mary Leaky discovered Paranthropus boisei or the so called nutcracker man because of its huge molars.


Seven major formations are seen in the above picture. From the oldest to the youngest they are: Bed I (about 1.7 million to 2.1 million years old), Bed II (1.15 million to 1.7 million years old), Bed III (800,000 to 1.15 million years old), Bed IV (600,000 to 800,000 years old), the Masek Beds (400,000 to 600,000 years old), the Ndutu Beds (32,000 to 400,000 years old), and the Naisiusiu Beds (15,000 to 22,000 years old).


A Kopji known as inselbergs are made up of very old granite rocks. Hyrax make their homes in small cracks and holes in the structure. The holes are small enough to keep Jackals, Leopards and Servals from getting to them.


Jackal



Our first Giraffe sighting





Ant Galls - Some types of acacia trees form ant galls at the base of the thorns. These galls vary in color depending on the type of acacia tree they form on, but typically they are a dark brown to black and round. The inside is hollow and provides shelter for the ants to live and the tree also feeds the ants in return for protection from herbivores and insect pests.

The ants guard the tree. When Giraffes eat the acacia leaves the ants will bite them on the tongue or lips and the Giraffe will then move to another area of the tree thus not taking all the leaves and killing the tree.


Zebras on migration drinking.


Drinking for zebras is risky business. This Zebra was just across the river from where the Zebras were drinking. Note the Crocodile that killed it swimming to its right.

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Female Elephants and babies.





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Old Mar 23, 2012, 8:10 AM   #2
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The Leopard is a very strong cat, that carries itís kill up a tree to protect it from other predators and scavengers. This is the only Leopard we saw on this trip. It was not to close to the road and the animal was resting in the heat of the afternoon. The Thompson Gazelle had most likely been killed the previous night.





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Old Mar 24, 2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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Great photos. The giraffes long neck looks like a disadvantage on the grass plains.

Ed
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Old Mar 24, 2012, 7:50 PM   #4
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Tremendous photos Lou. Must have been an absolutely fantastic trip.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 2:45 AM   #5
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Fabulous photos! I especially love the sleeping leopard. Oh, and the rock formation. Oh yeh, and the zebras drinking. And the ... well all of them really.
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Old Mar 27, 2012, 12:15 PM   #6
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Thanks Lu a very nice incite into your trip, love the sleeping leopard and the close up of the Giraffe

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Old Mar 29, 2012, 6:44 PM   #7
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Thanks so much for another excellent series from your trip! Great view of the village, fascinating landscapes, wonderful diversity of wildlife. Especially enjoyed the Zebras drinking...
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 7:05 PM   #8
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Thanks all. I am glad you have enjoyed the safari so far.

Lou
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Old Mar 31, 2012, 4:03 PM   #9
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G'day Lou

Another great series of images - thx
I am also very interested to view the exif data for focal length details > my missus has just signed up for a 2-week Africa tour later in the year so we're looking at lenses etc for her. She's running an FZ100 and we're wondering about the 'need' for a TC1,4 > although the FZ100 shoots out to [equiv] 600mm - looking at your images she might be okay with that. Any thoughts??

Regards, Phil
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 11:57 AM   #10
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Very much enjoy the narrative and the pictures Lou. The zebras drinking shot is wonderful but there are others too. Keep 'em coming !
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