Lake Manyara National Park.....

August 21, 2007

This post too will contain lots of pics…so those without–a) interest in wildlife, b) time, or c) patience, off you go to the next friend’s entry!

I started another post with the sunrise,but this one I will start with the moonset, as that is what we saw as we left very early from the Kirawira tented camp for Lake Manyara. Who can resist photographing a lovely full moon?

full moon in Lake Manyara

Here's the guide whom I keep talking about in my posts; "Huruma" means "sympathy,compassion" in Swahili: Huruma And here he is with his car, that became practically a second home to us: Huruma and his Toyota Landcruiser You can see how the roof would go up on hinges, and could be closed again during rain or at night. The luggage rack surrounds the open area and was a big hindrance to me as, even if I stood on the jeep seat, the rack was exactly at eye-level for me, and aiming the camera beyond it was very tough. You will find the rack making its appearance in several of my photos! As we descended the hillside to the Lake Manyara National Park, I saw this lady walking along..and in the way we have the occasional monkey sitting around on the road here, there was a baboon on the road... swahili lady and occasional baboon After entering the park, we were treated to a bewildering variety of birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, plants....some of them, of course, were ones I was familiar with in India, but others were amazing and I often had to remember to close my gaping mouth, and pop my eyeballs back in! On my flickr site, I have organized the birds, mammals&reptiles, and lions into sets. I will just choose a few..except the lions, as they have had their post... I simply must start the mammals list with the BLACK-FACED VERVET MONKEY... black-faced vervet monkey...I would have named it something else... To my amazement, there were certain body parts of the male of this animal that were...bright, fluorescent blue! (well, you can see for yourself.) I asked Huruma why, and back came the laconic answer," to attract the females." Wow, how flowers, no candy, no candlelight dinners...the family jewels are the family sapphires! Here, too, is the ROCK HYRAX, a shy animal, related to the TREE HYRAX, which we had sighted in the Ngorongoro Crater area earlier... rock hyrax Amongst the reptiles were the RED-HEADED AGAMA, which is also called the "hot-headed agama" for obvious reasons! red-headed agama And I found this CHAMELEON (question, what colour would a chameleon be if it was placed on a mirror?)... chameleon I found this un id'd, lovely bug: un id beautiful bug The birds...were simply the most amazing of all...I have chosen and posted 37 pictures to the bird set! I will give you, however, a preview of... the BLUE-NAPED MOUSE BIRD blue-naped mouse bird the RED-HEADED CORDON BLEU red-headed cordon bleu in acacia the RED-CHEEKED CORDON BLEU red-cheeked cordon bleu profile the AFRICAN GREY HORNBILL african grey hornbill trying to swallow grasshopper the AFRICAN SNAKE EAGLE with its crest, clearly the equivalent of our CRESTED SERPENT EAGLE african snake eagle with crest showing the HAMMERKOP (meaning "hammer head" in Afrikaans; the head resembles a hammer) hammerkop And I simply loved this picture of the RED-BILLED STORKS (we call them PAINTED STORKS) soaring in the air, high up: cloud of storks Do go and visit the Flickr site for all the other bird photographs; I have added id captions for each one.... Even the flowers and plants were so beautiful. Here is an ACACIA flower: acacia flower An un-id'd flower with a PURPLE-RUMPED SUNBIRD drinking nectar: purple-rumped humming bird on flower and here's a BAOBAB tree, which is called the "upside-down tree" as it looks as if it is upside down, with its roots in the air.... baobab tree This one had a vulture's nest with so much guano in it that plants started growing on it after the vultures abandoned the nest! Local lore has it that every animal was given a tree, and the hyena, a stupid animal in jungle folklore, got the baobab; in disgust, the hyena threw it away, and it landed upside down! After seeing the lions, we went on to the hot spring, and here's KM and his new, beloved mistress, the Canon 30D and the 70-200 zoom lens: the hot spring (it was BOILING) The water from the spring was full of sulphur..and BOILING HOT! Here's the plaque explaining how hot springs are formed: hot springs and rift valley lake manyara There were amazing termite mounds; this one was about 14 or 15 feet tall! termite was about 14 feet tall There were random checks of our park permits by travelling-in-jeeps inspectors: checking our park permits

Having shot so many mammals, I couldn’t resist shooting the wildest one of all, or at least, its shadow on the incredibly dusty ground:

portrait of a traveller in the extreme dust

And of course, here’s the end-of-the-day:

sunset over Lake Manyara

Well…the last post will be about places and scenes in Tanzania…and that will conclude my Tanzania posts, ladies-n-genmun!