Four Magical Big Cat Moments

Georgette and I wanted to take the time to write you a few of our thoughts on our recent safari.

As we headed to the airport, we talked about our extremely high expectations for the trip. We felt that we were starting on our greatest vacation ever. When we arrived home, a little over two weeks later, we realized that the trip had far exceeded those expectations. The African Dream Safari team had provided us with a dream vacation that we will never forget. We wholeheartedly would recommend ADS to anyone who is considering a safari vacation.

We had the perfect guide for our trip, an incredible wealth of knowledge of all the cultural, natural and scientific information of the Northern Tanzania area as well as having an extremely friendly and easy going personality. One of his first questions to Georgette, me and my two sisters was what was our priority to see on the safari. We are all cat lovers and of course our response was to see the big cats. Through a little bit of luck and and our his knowledge of where the big cats were often spotted, we saw over one hundred lions, cheetahs and leopards during our trip.

FOUR special cat moments on the safari included having a male cheetah jump up onto the hood of our land cruiser and peek over the opened roof at us. I took an incredible close up of its face (from about three feet away). I was standing up in the vehicle directly behind the guide when this happened. My sister took a great shot of the cheetah through the windshield of the vehicle.

The second cat moment came in the Lobo area of the Serengeti when we came upon a male and female lion pair lying on the grass next to the road. As we were taking pictures, the male suddenly stood up and mounted the female. Somehow, I managed to take a few pictures of their intimate moment as Georgette and my sisters were laughing so hard they didn’t get any pictures of the moment.

A third cat moment occurred on our last morning in the Serengeti. We came upon a kopje with over a dozen young male, female and lion cubs sleeping on the rocks. As we were sitting there watching them, our guide spotted two mature male lions about 1000 feet away sleeping in the grass. Later, one of the male lions stood up and started to roar. All of the lions on the kopje responded to the male’s call with their own cry including all of the young cubs. This continued on for probably 30 seconds. We were mesmerized by their morning roll call. Our only wish was that we would have thought to record the audio of it.

The last cat moment that I will mentioned occurred in the Ngorongoro Crater. We witnessed four young lions trying to take down a mature cape buffalo. During the course of the chase, the buffalo ran within 30 feet of the land cruiser. The lions were young and inexperienced and soon gave up. Then as the cape buffalo ran to escape from any further attacks, the buffalo ran right into an elephant who had just emerged from some vegetation. The elephant and cape buffalo appeared to wrestle for a moment when the elephant suddenly rolled the enormous buffalo over onto its back. Our guide said he had never seen a buffalo and elephant in an encounter like this.

We knew we would see a lot of a lot of animals on the trip but the sheer numbers was more than we had imagined.  The Northern Tanzania countryside was absolutely beautiful. Even during the rare moments when we were in an area with only a few animals, we were lost in the beauty of the landscapes. I would have enjoyed the drive though the natural wonderland even if we didn’t see many animals. Finally, we enjoyed meeting the beautiful people of Tanzania who always seemed to have a smile and were dressed in vibrant colors. All of these things combined to make the perfect trip.

In conclusion, we all agreed that this trip was incredibly special and with the pictures we shared with my sisters and the journals we wrote about the events of each day, we will be able to reminisce about this trip for the rest of our lives. Again we would like to thank the African Dream Safari team for all of your efforts and would recommend to everyone that they book their safari with ADS.

Ronald and Georgette Reckers
Sacramento, California
June 2011

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