Monday, September 11

his morning’s sunrise was more pastel in contrast to yesterday’s vivid colors. There were even three hot air balloons in the sky!

Two East African Crowned Cranes came close to our vehicle. They are such beautiful birds with their crowns on both males and females.

African Crowned Crane, Balearica regulorum

Later we came upon a cheetah feasting on its kill.

Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus

It was not long before the sharp-eyed vultures spotted it, and began circling. Soon many other vultures joined in and squabbled over the best portions.

African white-backed vulture, Gyps africanus

Nearby an impala seemed disinterested in the loss of another animal.

Impala, aepyceros melampus

Wherever there is a river in Africa, there is a crocodile and this one was huge, possibly 12 to 15 feet long!

Nile crocodile, crocodylus niloticus

Also in the river are found hippos, which use the buoyancy of the water to support their huge bulk. At night we could hear their grunts.

Nile hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius

The Spur-winged plover was a beautiful bird.

Spur-winged plover, Vanellus spinosus

Another cheetah was stalking its prey this day.

Notice how the cheetah’s spots allow it to blend in with the dappled shade. The natives used to think the circles of its fur were many eyes, allowing it to see very well.

The Thomson’s gazelle, its target, was aware of the cheetah’s presence, but kept on grazing.

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