tanzania tuesday: lions!

photo tanzania2010 travel

Tech Tuesday is on temporary hiatus, as it’s been replaced with Tanzania Tuesday.

Today’s topic is lions!

In Swahili, “simba” are one of the highlights of any safari. Everyone wants to see lions. Luckily, these cats are rather easy to find while on safari, as they’re rather large (compared to say, leopards), and tend to laze about openly.

Surveying the Ngorongoro crater.

Default state of being: waiting and watching.

A lazy male.

Stalking an ostrich. Dream on, kitties…

What you won’t see much of are lions actually hunting. Mostly, this is because they hunt in the early dawn hours, and likely, you won’t be awake unless you can convince the rest of your group (and driver!) to be up at 5am and out the door by 6am.

If you do manage to find lions hunting during the middle of the day, you probably won’t see any actual kills, since what happens is that one safari truck pulls up to watch the hunt, and then ALL the safari trucks pull up alongside to watch as well. The constant influx of trucks obviously disturbs both predator and prey, meaning you probably won’t see any actual kills. Sigh, the tragedy of the commons.

You may have better luck in the less popular parks, but in the Serengeti… forget it.

Thompson Gazelle metaphorically crapping its pants…

Lion cubs are somewhat hard to spot, due to their smaller size and their coloring. But when found, they obey the law of charismatic megafauna, which is to say, babies of said megafauna are invariably cute.

Flies are a fact of life in the bush. Every animal has to deal with them, even if they’re at the top of the food chain.

Lions will hunt people; they’re what make the bush dangerous. It’s not like the ocean, where you can go scuba diving amongst sharks and they probably won’t bother you. If you’re walking around in the bush, especially at night, you’re easy meat.

Packer estimates more than 200 Tanzanians are killed each year by lions, crocodiles, elephants, hippos, and snakes, and that the numbers could be double that amount, with lions thought to kill at least 70 of those.

lions on wikipedia