On our way to our last hotel, while cruisin through the Serengeti, we finally saw……TAILS AND PAWS! or really just a tail. thats right. it’s Leopard time!
in the first pic, see the hole in the tree trunk? one baby explored it for like 10 minutes!
But seriously, the leopard momma killed an antelope and dragged it to the top of the tree to snack on. Do not mess with a leopard. They are tough.
Another educational tidbit: The most badass tree in Tanzania- The Whistling Thorn Acacia Tree.
This tree comes prepped with not one, but TWO defense mechanisms! The first is obviously the thorns, as you can see below, long dangerous spines cover each branch. However, this doesn’t deter the giraffes, they can sneak their tongue between the thorns to eat the leaves. Thats where the second defense comes into play. The whistle comes from the wind blowing through the little brown pods on each branch. These pods house (and feed with sap) millions of battle ants that come pouring out of their homes at the first sense of movement and bite the crap out of anything in reach. We tested this by getting close and tapping the branches lightly, sure enough each branch was covered with ants in mere seconds. This is why you see the giraffes grazing on this tree, they only take one or two bites then move on before they get attacked.
Hippos and Crocs: how to escape them- climb on a large rock or fallen tree, they both have short legs and unwieldy bodies, and thus cannot climb.
Hippo fun facts: They helicopter their tail when they poop to mark their territory. Yet another reason not to get too close. You know, besides death. When they fight it’s generally a roar-off to see who can open their mouth wider. Apparently whoever can open wider wins….
Croc fun facts- they can live up to 100 years, and can go as long as 1 year between large meals. Also they tend to eat in pairs because they need the other croc to hold the animal so they can each rip large chunks off to eat. They also cool by laying with their mouth wide open.
Our last day was spent in a fishing village in Lake Victoria. Interesting society, the economy is fish, they have a large fish market and also export their fish all over the world. They also have a polygamous society and lots of drug and alcohol problems. But the younger generation is getting away from this and focusing more on building up their school and educating their youth.
Then one last game drive
The group we were with: Dartmouth Alumni trip