Cat House

Nancy Vandermey, Author
Tanzania Trip July 2015

We were in the crater by 6:30, with jackal, buffalo, and zebra on the way in. We went to a hyena den and watched 5-6 puppies playing. Several adults were hunting nearby. Next was a posing kori bustard, and we noticed several vehicles down the road - lions. 5 in the grass, calling, two more behind us. They met up and returned to the riverbed, playing a bit (especially the 8 month old females). One slightly older female cub seemed distressed, continuously calling. She eventually headed back up the road they just came from, and everyone else followed, including the many vehicles. We headed the other way, with more jackal (black-backed and golden), hyena, wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, elephant, and hippo. Curving around we came across the same lions again, still walking up the road, with even more vehicles in attendance. They flopped briefly under us, and then we went on. Michael knew of a place he'd seen serval before, and lo and behold a dark shape I spotted turned out to be one! We must have spent an hour watching her move through the grass hunting. Two kori bustards nearby were nervous, but much larger than the cat. She finally caught and ate some rodent before moving out of sight. It was time for us to head out, but on the way we saw a group of 30+ hyena, and then found 3 male lions, with a fourth one following, and probably some females under a tree as well. A few pictures and we had to go. We got to the airport and a nice guy at the KLM counter gave us a business class lounge pass, which was great before our 24 hours of flying to get home.

Page 1 - Mkumi and Ruaha part 1
Page 2 - Ruaha part 2
Page 3 - Serengeti
Page 4 - Ngorongoro