Tuesday 26 October 2010

Sunrise over the Serengeti

I cheated! The Serengeti isn't in South Africa; in fact, it's a vast area that stretches over East Africa, thousands of miles from where I live in Johannesburg. My brother-in-law Ian Cockerill is involved in the "Leadership for Conservation in Africa", an organisation that seeks to "find ways to integrate business principles with conservation management, and to actively facilitate the involvement of business in sustainable conservation-led socio-economic development and capacity building in Africa." During the meetings of this valuable organisation, he and my sister are often lucky enough to see the best of Africa's wildlife. This year they flew to Tanzania, and went for a sunrise safari over the Serengeti.

The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region located in north-western Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya and spans some 30,000 km2. Host to the largest and longest migration in the world (considered one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world), the Serengeti contains several national parks and game reserves. "Serengeti" is derived from the Maasai language and means "Endless Plains", although it's actually a diverse landscape ranging from riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.

Here are a few images from my sister Iona's photograph album of their recent trip to Tanzania:

Above: Moonset on the way to a ballon ride

Right: Lift off! We have a lift off! The hot air balloons carrying Iona and Ian for their morning game viewing take off.

Above: A nursery herd of elephants seen from the air. Note the broken tusk on the matriarch elephant on the left. Damage could have been from a fight, foraging or to deliberately pruned to prevent death by poaching
Right: Champagne breakfast was laid out under the trees, and there were ellies on the table too! These elephants were iron table decorations made by the indigenous people as a way of earning money.

Above: A herd of hippos in a pool, seen from the air

Above: Sunset over the plains of the Serengeti.

Above: A lion with a very full tummy after a kill; Iona says just after this photo was taken he fell over into a digestive stupor and went to sleep.
 Serengeti information from Wikipedia
All photographs by Iona Cockerill


N. R. Williams said...

Hi Judy. I'm sorry I haven't been by much, I have been sick.

I am being rude to say how jealous I am. I will probably never get to go to Africa. Love the pictures.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Anita said...

Unreal!!! Like NR, I'm jealous!

CA Heaven said...

Wow! That looks great >:)

I need to find an opportunity to go to South Africa; a geology field trip to the Karoo Basin or something like that.

Cold As Heaven

Amanda Holly said...

A visit to the Serengeti during the river crossing season is on my bucket list and these pictures have just made me move it up a couple of places. Breathtaking.

Thanks for sharing.

Helen Ginger said...

Amazing photos! Would love to go to Africa ('course that covers a huge area, I realize). I really like the iron elephant table decorations.

Lauri said...

I love that elephant statue. Lovely photos too. I want to go on one of those balloon safaris one day.

Anonymous said...

This is all so amazing!! It's like a dream world to me. I've seen 120,000 caribou gathering on the arctic coastal plain, but the Serengeti is the stuff that dreams are made of, even for people like me who live in a relatively wide-open part of the world. Thanks for sharing these inspiring photos!!

JournoMich said...

Cheating is fine for these glorious photos! Thank you for this amazing information.

As to not having any guest bloggers from Africa in my "Write Around the World" series...no one volunteered! I wish I'd known about you and your blog when I was looking for writers.

But thank you for coming by and commenting. I'm excited to follow your blog from now on.

Southern City Mysteries

Judith Mercado said...

I have finally gotten through my blog backlog and arrived here and oh what a delight it was. I'm looking through my window at palm trees, hibiscus, and bougainvillea and reflecting what a wonder it is to live in a world that has such a variety of scenery as that included in your photogaphs and that outside my office window. You brought a smile to my face, always a welcome thing.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

NANCY: Sorry to hear you’ve been ill – hope you’re on the mend. The chances are slim that’ll I’ll get to the States, so thank goodness for blog land because we can share our lovely countries with each other!

ANITA: Come visit and then it will be real…!

COLD: A geological trip in the Karoo is perfect! You can stop over in Jo’burg too and say hello!

AMANDA: Serengeti is high on my list too. My sister & ouswaer have seen some amazing parts of Africa but this is the one trip I *really* wanted them to pack me in their suitcase!

HELEN: The artists who create those little iron decorations are amazing – the animals they produce are so cute.

LAURI: I went on a balloon ride when I worked in the UK; biggest disappointment of my life. I envisaged a silent, eerie flight through the skies. Nearly fell out of the basket with fright the first time the pilot let the flame/gas/whatever into the balloon as it is so noisy! And they have to do it every minute or so to keep the darn thing up. But the in-between bits were beautiful.

PAUL: 120 000 caribou…now that’s the stuff dreams are made of. I’m going to get to Alaska one day. I’m not sure how yet, but it’s very high on my bucket list!

MICHELE: Oh no! If I’d realised you were looking for volunteers for your "Around the World" tour I would’ve stepped up to the plate! I thought it was “by invitation only”! I’m following you on Twitter as I find it easier to manage and luckily most people link to their blog posts, so I don’t miss anything interesting.

JUDITH: I know what you mean about blog backlog! Whew! We went to the Lost City (a tourist trap, but saved by a wonderful adjacent game reserve) and it’s taken a week for my heart & head to join my body back here in Jozi! Palm trees and hibiscus and bougainvillea outside your window…are you sure you don’t live in Durban?

Lauri said...

That;s actually good to know Judy. I also thought it would be very quiet and I'm not a fan of fire.

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

LAURI: That's what I'd expected too (silence)! There were some lovely moments - the sound of a barking dog floating up - but I found myself tense and waiting for the next whoooooosh of flame!! :O