The Serengeti! - Michael Burke

The Serengeti!

September 20, 2019

The Maasai word Serengeti translates as Endless Plains, a perfect description of the place. At times it felt as if we were standing on the edge of an ocean, the horizon a perfectly straight line interrupted only by the tall, slanted masts of giraffe-ships and the stubby, striped hulls of zebra-boats.

If you only have a limited amount of time, watch this video I created to capture the essence of the Serengeti. Otherwise, read on and risk becoming captivated by the visual wonders and grandeur of the land, its people and its creatures.

Our foray to the Serengeti National Park and the adjacent Ngorongoro Crater was punctuated by stunningly beautiful scenes, like this herd of cape buffalo backlighted by a dusty sunrise.

And the babies! From the baby giraffe, so young that the remnants of its umbilical cord can still be seen to the months-old baby baboon, there were lots of cute ones.

Time and again, we saw remarkable images, like this trio of zebras watching for lions, an oxpecker bird resting on the head of the one on the right.

Because the Serengeti was originally populated by the nomadic Maasai people, they are a big part of its culture. A visit to a Maasai village allowed us to watch the jumping dance, a rite of passage for young men that involves impossibly high jumps to impress the females. They also demonstrated how they start cooking fires in the savannah.

And, yes, there were plenty of big cats. Cute cubs playing with mom. A young male sunning himself on a rock just feet from the main road into the Serengeti. A beautiful female leopard posing on a rock.

The Serengeti does not give up its treasures easily. Every day was a dusty, bumpy ride in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that made the return to our group’s tented camp a welcome respite, as well as an opportunity to trade stories of the memorable sights we had seen that day. Not a one of us regretted it.

For more images from our trip, click here. As always, I recommend you click on the slideshow button above the first image, sit back and enjoy the parade of remarkable images from the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

Coming soon: images from a follow-on trip to Madagascar, one of the poorest and most remarkable countries in the world.

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