Today is day 3 of our safari, and we are all settling into the routine nicely. We are all up early and we aren’t lagging behind to leave camp early, and this always helps in getting the best shots. Today we drove down to the Gol Kopjes in the southeastern part of the park, which is a great location to be remote and to locate hunting cheetahs.
We drove towards the Simba Kopjes first, and decided to spend time with hippos first off the bat. We got out of the vehicles and sat down in the grass with our long lenses in hand. The hippos were active, which made for some great yawning photographs. I absolutely love observing hippo behavior, as it is a challenge to learn much in only a few minutes. After a while, one can learn quite a bit about each individual.
We checked in at Naabi gate before heading off to the Gol Kopjes, and we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon amongst a large herd of wildebeest, zebra, thompson gazelle, grant’s gazelle and eland. We paused for a while to witness a birth of a grant’s gazelle, and wondered at how a newborn can know exactly what to do with regards to nursing. Nature is so amazing.
We had a private picnic under a large acacia tree, with the Serengeti plains all around us. Truly spectacular to see in all directions and see very few trees, tons of wildlife and clouds that touch the horizon.
After our time at the Gol Kopjes, we decided to drive to the Moru Kopjes to intercept what we thought would be a nicely sized group of wildebeest. We had watched a large line walk towards the area in the morning, so we wanted to go check it out.
The afternoon was very quiet, even though we counted 8 lions, with 2 of them mating. All was fairly still, and as stubborn as I am, I did not want to give up. Even the bird life was slow. We did watch a zebra become a meal for 50-odd vultures, which was probably the highlight of the afternoon.
As a side note, as of today we have now seen 42 lions in 3 days. Not bad. I am not sure why I count, actually. I was an accountant in my prior life, so maybe that is the reason. The reality is that my favorite subjects to photograph are giraffe and elephants, and not the big cats. They are all important in my mind, and all worthy of photographing. I just understand the value big cat photographs play in my customers’ minds, and I totally get it.