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Tanzania Day 7 Part 2: Lion Lifestyles

After meeting Maningo at the Serengeti Welcome Center, we set off on a game drive in the Seronera or Central region of the Serengeti. We were returning to camp for lunch so we wanted to remain in the same vicinity.

We passed an Egyptian goose.
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And a warthog finally posed nicely for me.
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We came upon a pride of lions that had some interesting family dynamics going on. This lioness was lying peacefully under a tree with what was left of a gazelle kill.
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This young male was interested in getting a part of her kill but she was definitely not interested in sharing. He sauntered over to see if he could make any headway.
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But lost his nerve and turned around.
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He went back to get reinforcements.
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Which still did not work. The lioness wasn't sharing.
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One of the lionesses, who happened to be collared, walked across the road in front of us and walked towards the river. She seemed to have a purpose.
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The others watched from across the grass.
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She came back from the river with a couple of cubs in tow.
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Everyone converged on the lioness with her kill at once. She got up and moved it.
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They all followed.
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Then suddenly, amidst a lot of snarling, the young male jumped on the lioness. We didn't think he got any of the kill but later when I reviewed the pictures, I saw that he did indeed get a piece of the kill.
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As always occurred with any big cat sighting in the Serengeti, the guides radioed each other which led to huge amounts of vehicles showing up at the sighting. Brenda and I both found this very disturbing for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it seemed to distress the wildlife. Some vehicles got too close to the wildlife or blocked their passage. And secondarily, it certainly takes the feeling of being in the wild away when you have to listen to the constant starting and stopping of vehicles and this is what you see.
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While all of this was going on with the lions, just across the road a small group of elephants were getting a drink of water.
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Once the kill had been split up, the lions settled down so we started back to camp for lunch. On the way, we found a hippo grazing by the side of the road. This seemed odd to me as I thought they mostly grazed at night.
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The other hippos were hanging out in the water.
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And another pride of lions were keeping watch over them on shore.
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We arrived back at camp around 1:30p for lunch. We were the only ones in camp for lunch on this day. We were served gazpacho to start which was cool and refreshing. The main course was spaghetti with a creamy chicken sauce and pasta salad with olives and vegetables. After lunch, I called Mike and we spent some time catching up while Brenda rested in the tent.

Around 4p, we went back out for an afternoon game drive.

We passed a lone cape buffalo

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and an impala family.
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Some Egyptian geese were hanging out with a Blacksmith Lapwing.
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Then we came upon another pride of lions.
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Some were gathered under a tree, others were lying around in the surrounding tall grass.
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As usual, there were a ton of vehicles there.
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Suddenly, the lead lioness got up and walked across the road.
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The others rose, watching her carefully to see where she went and what she was doing.
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One by one, they began to follow her across the road.
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When each one reached the other side, there was a bit of a greeting ceremony.
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There was only one lion remaining on the other side of the road. Brenda and I were worried about her because it seemed like she was boxed in by all the vehicles and unable to cross. It was very disturbing, as the vehicles kept jockeying for position and coming and going. Maningo stayed at a respectful distance with the vehicle off. Finally, she was able to find a spot to cross the road and join the pride.
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Once all together, it was obvious there was a plan already in the works. The females started walking out in a line towards some zebras in the far distance.
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The younger lions stayed back and watched.
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The three females separated and fanned out in three different directions.
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By now, most of the other vehicles had left. We were glad because we didn't want anything to disturb the hunt. Maningo set us up in as good a position as possible so we could watch without spooking the zebras or the lions.
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It was amazing to watch them stalk and carry out their plan with no real means of communication. Unfortunately, something did spook the zebras, they ran off, and the hunt was not a success for the lions. We left them in peace to try again later and headed back to camp.

We stopped for a couple of sunset pics on the way back.
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We arrived at camp around 6p and took our extremely warm bucket showers. Dinner tonight was some tasty pumpkin soup, beef stew with rice, green beans, and cream caramel for dessert. After dinner, we sat around the campfire with some of the guides and staff finishing our wine.

Posted by zihuatcat 13:01 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania serengeti brenda

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