Category Archives: safari

Serengeti Review: Birds of Prey

We returned last weekend from a fabulous three days in the Serengeti, including a great balloon trip.

This is the second of a series of posts outlining the creatures we encountered – this time birds of prey


Last occasion we saw no vultures – so it was a real treat to see two species this time

Lappet-faced Vulture   

Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture  


We saw these birds in the Ngorogoro and Serengeti 

Eastern Chanting Goshawk  

Dark Chanting Goshawk


A Greater Kestrel at the entrance to the Serengeti  


This Steppe Buzzard aka Common Buzzard  


 African Fish Eagle

We caught this bird drying it’s wings in the sun.

Martial Eagle 

Flying high in the sky above the rim of the Ngorogoro crater

  Tawny Eagle  



Black shouldered kites were common throughout the Seronera and this juvenile was seen in a tree 


Serengeti Revisited: Big Cats

We returned last weekend from a fabulous three days in the Serengeti, including a great balloon trip.

This is the first of a series of posts outlining the creatures we encountered staring with Big Cats


Having missed out on a cheetah last time we were able to see one early on this time.


Ever present top predators we encountered several prides and single lions.



We came across leopards on three occasions, the first was the most memorable as the hidden beast rushed out vehicles, the other two were little more relaxed.  


Other mammalian predators were scarcer and our views of Hyena and Javkels were restricted to views high up from balloon or brief glimpses as we drove along the road. 

This safari however, was dominated by the three big cats which more than made up for the lack of other carnivores.

Up Up and Away

For many years this has been my desire.

A balloon flight, over the Serengeti!

On Saturday I realised my desires, in celebration of my upcoming 50th birthday.

We were already in the Serengeti for a safari with our visiting mums. Staying on a campsite in the middle of the Serenera. 

 We were up early before dawn, for the drive from our campsite to the balloon launch site. As we travelled we were able to witness life in the dark of the Serengeti. 

  A white mongoose  A pride of lions.

We arrived just before sunrise. 

 Our balloon was still to be inflated as we received our briefing. 

 We clambered onboard and hooked up while the basket lay horizontally, then as the balloon filled it suddenly righted.
The hats were a vital part of the kit to prevent hair being singed. 

Then suddenly we were rising up into the dawn skies. 

 Sadly the effects of El Niño have meant that the teeming herds of Zebra and Wildebeest had already moved south, and so were not where they were supposed to be, but you can’t have wild animals on cue. 

From above the plains of the Serengeti were different, revealing the tracks of beasts which had wandered through. 

Below we found scattered herds of topi and hartebeest, elephants and impala; hyena, jackets, even a pride of lions. 




All too soon we were back on the ground and off on a mini-safari to see a cheetah we had viewed from above.

The cheetah turned out to be a leopard and what an encounter we had.    


The leopard suddenly sprung from its hiding place and rushed our vehicles …..



…. before turning and running away


We left the great beast alone and returned for a Champagne toast – a long way from the leopard.  

Then a cooked breakfast under the open skies of the Serengeti.    

All in all a fabulous start to the day.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic Chobe

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Monochromatic.” Taken on our Safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana.