The first stop on our safari was Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is an alkaline lake — so alkaline that most animals can’t drink the water. Instead, they drink from streams flowing into the lake. In the national park, our land cruisers had to stay on the road.
Baboons are social animals. They spend a lot of time grooming each other, checking for fleas and ticks. They’re sitting on a termite mound.
Lions of Lake Manyara can climb trees. Look for the tail and legs hanging from a tree branch.
Our car moved ahead, and we saw the lion’s tail.
As more cars left, we were able to move forward again. Now we could see there were three lions in the tree!
It’s not known why these lions climb trees. Tree-climbing lions are rare — almost always female, and limited to a few regions of Africa. Climbing trees can be difficult, especially turning around with four feet to get down! Falling from a tree could cause injury, hampering the lion’s ability to run down prey and and get food.
Lake Manyara is home for hundreds of kinds of birds. This superb starling sprawled out on the ground next to our picnic table at lunch, so we could admire its superb, iridescent feathers.
Finally, we visited the hippo pool. There are four hippos in view: the large one on the right, a smaller hippo next to the large one, a pair of ears showing, and a pair of eyes showing. Hippos look very relaxed, but they can be dangerous. In Africa, more people are killed by hippos than any other animal.