The Alamana camp is located on Maasai lands outside Serengeti National Park. We may use open vehicles, go on bush walks, drive off-road, and do night game drives. These activities are not permitted within the National Park.
The first morning we climbed into open vehicles to drive to a bush walk. Lucas, a Maasai camp employee, is standing in front. The open vehicle with three levels of seats facilitates game viewing and photography.
We did a game drive to a dry stream bed, where we did a bush walk. Noeli, a camp guide, led the the group and carried a loaded 416 caliber rifle. Lucas brought up the rear and carried a spear, the traditional Maasai weapon. We stayed close to Noeli, who carried the gun. He has used the rifle on bush walks, killing a charging hippo with a single shot from his bolt action rifle. No one asked if he would have had time for a second shot in case the first one only wounded the hippo. Remember, hippos kill more people than any other animal.
Noeli showed us a whistling thorn acacia, which has a symbiotic relationship with ants. Some thorns have a bulbous base where ants live, entering and exiting through a hole. Wind causes some acacia bulbs to whistle as the wind passes the hole. If the acacia is disturbed, the ants crawl out and bite the animal eating the acacia. Although this acacia has long thorns, evidently the thorns aren’t enough to protect it against herbivores!
Noeli cut open a bulb. Ants crawled out of the bulb and are biting his hand as he holds the bulb for this picture. Noeli is one tough dude.
Here’s a leopard tortoise, which has spots like a leopard.
To our surprise, Lucas pulled all this from his backpack, so we enjoyed coffee and cookies in the shade.
Driving back to camp we saw a male impala and his harem.
Near the camp, we saw one of the three Maasai camp guards. Each guard is stationed on a kopje, a granite outcropping.
We did an evening bush walk after a much-needed siesta, . A troop of baboons watched us from a kopje. Baboons are a favorite food of leopards, so baboons stay vigilant.
We did a night game drive after dinner, but we didn’t see much. Day 1 in Alamana.