February 14: Serengeti National Park

Today's goal is to see the large herds of wildebeests in migration mode. The wildebeest follow an annual clockwise migration path that encompasses almost the entire Serengeti and Masai Mara land. In search for food and water, the animals will systematically move over the plains and over rivers to fulfill their needs. As the rainy season turns to the dry the animals move to "greener" pastures. It is estimated that currently there are over 10 million wildebeests residing in the Serengeti alone. In order to protect themselves from predators, the animals stay herded. A single lion or leopard will not attack a mass of wildebeests, but rather try to separate a young or weak one from the group.

The zebras will herd along side the wildebeest also for protection. They also serve as a "guide" for the animals. The zebra's eyesight is better, the wildebeest sense of smell is strong -- the two breeds compliment each other and form a long line of black and black and white mammals crossing the plains. From a distance it looks like a sea of black waves moving in unison.

Today's extra treat: The group witnesses the birth of a wildebeest! The process takes approximately three quarters of an hour from first sight of the newborn's hind quarter leaving its mother's womb to the young laying on the ground allowing its mother to clean it up. Immediately thereafter, the young starts to try to walk. Nature has taught the breed that survival of the young depend greatly on the speed that the newborn can learn to move on its own and hide among the herd. Miraculously this process only takes thirty minutes!! From womb to run in record time!!

The plains of the Serengeti are relatively flat, but sprinkled throughout the area are kopjes or small predominately granite rock formations. Each is distinctive in nature and serves as a perfect lookout site for the lion, cheetah or leopard to search for prey.

A walk up one of the kopjes at Moru gives way to a series of Masai paintings and gong rock. it is assumed that the artists were a band of young Masai warriors who wandered for several years before settling down to their pastoral life. A couple hundred feet away from the paintings is gong rock, which consists of a large rock with circular holes that may have been used as a communication device. This is a great spot for a group photo.

Baboons On Parade

Road Block!

Hungry Leopard!

Hungry Lion!


Another Kopje Fronted by Wildebeests and Zebras


And Another

Lion Lookout

See Something??

I See Dinner!

Masai Paintings

Jody, Diane and Kathy at Gong Rock

Road to Wildebeests

Off Into Nowhere


Herding Wildebeests

Wildebeest For As Far As One Can See

Wildebeests and Zebra Mix

Wildebeests On The Move



With Young

Black Dots in the Background Herd Moving West

Moving Out

Single File!

Follow The Leader


Keep Moving, Junior!

Baby Zebra

Zebra Herd


Take Our Picture Too!

Mr. Warthog

Mrs. Warthog

Woolly Necked Storks with African White-backed Vulture

African White-backed Vultures Having Lunch

The Group

Back Row: Sue, Christine, Neville, Tony, Bill, Kathy, Jan, Sylvia, Jim, Richard, Jody

Front Row: Nell, Karen, Diane,