Sunday, February 25, 2024

Around the World in 24 Days - A Story of Stone - Part 3 - The Serengeti

Leaving India, we flew right over the Mumbai megapolis and a much large expanse of the Indian Ocean. Many hours later, the east coast of the African continent came into our view. We were on our way to the marvelous Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

This is the east coast of Somalia just north of Mogadishu. It is quite arid. It's always fun to walk up and down the aisle
of the jet and tell folks what can be seen out the window. Whenever mention "Cuba"
"Somalia" or "Iran", they gasp and wonder if it is safe.
The top of Mount Kilimanjaro! See my postings of a trek we did in 2014 here

It was exceptionally rainy in the Serengeti on this visit - usually this happens during an El NiƱo event

Giraffes! Called "twiga" in the Swahili language, they are graceful creatures 

I've never seen so many on one trip as we did this time

Stones! This is an example of a kopje, granite knobs that rise out of the plain. Kopje is a Dutch word that means
"little heads". These rocks are part of the craton (ancient core) of East Africa and are Archean in
age- about 2.5 to 3.0 billion years in age.

Stones! The granite was intruded in to pre-existing rocks called schist and gneiss

And of courser, Tanzania is known for its Tanzanite gems, mined at a small quarry near Arusha

Not all of the wildlife here is large. This is a Hyrax, a relative of elephants!

We did not see many lions on this trip - the rains had caused the grass to grow tall. But this was a pride
of about 8 animals

Ahh, the acacia! Symbol of the Serengeti. I never tire of seeing them.

Thompson's gazelle (thanks to reader Jim D. for correcting my mislabeling as "Impala!)

The rain had cancelled our balloon flights one morning so we got up
again at 4:30 AM and tried again. This time - success!

We were in thr air about 90 minutes and most of the time we flew just a few feet off of the ground. The
altitude determines the wind direction and the pilots know where to place the balloon.

Taken from the balloon

Our group filled three balloons

We saw many hippopotami while flying overhead

Special champagne, er, sparkling wine, for the morning landing and breakfast

Just a short posting this time from Serengeti. Next up, Luxor and Giza, Egypt!

1 comment:

  1. How did the Kopje come to be exposed here?


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