Serengeti Park, Tanzania

  • Date
  • 28 August 2000

Within half an hour of going out for a late afternoon game drive, we came upon 10 elephants of all ages, right beside the dirt path, using their enormous tusks to eat from acacia trees studded with thorns. We passed common (Burchell’s) zebra, Grant’s gazelle, warthogs, impala, Thompson’s gazelle, guinea fowl, various birds and two lionesses with cubs. In the vast golden plain, one lioness rested on her back with legs dangling in the air, just as Caesar, my parents’ dog, does in the back yard. A few minutes later we eyed a cheetah with three cubs, then a well-camouflaged leopard up a tree and later two cheetah devouring a Grant’s gazelle killed just moments before we arrived. I could hear the sleek animals tearing meat with vengeance from the dainty antelope, but the cheetah popped up every few minutes to scout for approaching hyenas, who can smell a scent from 10 km away, vultures and lions.