Tanzania, The Selous, & The Rufiji River

I am a bit pressed for time but wanted to at least put out a teaser blog about this latest trip to Tanzania. Finally I have reached the Selous Game Reserve and the Ruaha National Park. Fran has been able to accompany me and we’ve had a ball. We have had typically (or better than typically I guess) spectacular safari accommodations with great landscapes, lodging, food, staff, and wildlife. There will be much more on this outing in the next few weeks, but let me get started with a few images and comments. Comments first; there are lots of tsetse flies in the Selous and the rugged terrain makes travel very difficult and slow – but certainly not all bad. Ruaha was a special treat; maybe the best outing I’ve had in years and years. Great accommodations here (Google Jabali Ridge in Ruaha) with wonderful guides, drivers, and game.

Here are three images and, as I said, more to follow after I get home. Fran leaves after two weeks and I stay on to take a Smithsonian group through the Tanzanian Northern Safari Route. This route starts in Arusha town and includes Arusha NP, Tarangire NP, Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti – and sometimes Lake Victoria. (Another set of blogs for another day.)

The Rufiji River in the Selous was full of lapwings (like this White-headed Lapwing), crocodiles, and hippos. On one boat ride we had about 120 hippos and 50-80 big crocs.
This is one of them. From snout to tail tip this animal and many others measured 12 feet or more. A huge crocodile can weigh up to a ton but most are in the 400-750 pound range. Males are larger than females by about 30%. Here in the Rufiji, and on most lakes and rivers, they generally eat fish … but we didn’t drag our hands in the water.
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We found three lions along the sandy edge of the river and approached quietly and quite closely. This youngish, maneless male kept an eye on us the whole time. These three animals were young adults and in great shape. These two were in the sand and the other in the adjacent rocks.

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