Lake Ndutu Area - November 18 - 22, 2017

Following the long drive from Tarangire National Park we spent four nights at the Lake Ndutu Safari Lodge (See their website) located just outside the southern border of the Serengeti National Park in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) (See map of the area). The lodge sits back on a bluff away from a direct overlook of Lake Ndutu. The open space allowed wildlife to roam freely in the wooded savanna in front of the lodge and we saw wildlife most days. We had to be extra vigilant especially after dark so flashlights were always a necessity. Massai guards were stationed amongst the cottages with bright lights, whistles and their acacia walking sticks to chase off the wildlife and escort us to and from the lodge. One morning about 0400 hours I heard a large cat walk past the open window of our cottage.

All of our days began at 0600 hours as we headed out to either the southern Serengeti National Park or the NCA. The soft and warm early light was best for photographing wildlife. During the pre-breakfast period we saw and photographed some of the nocturnal animals returning to their dens after a night of hunting. Birds were especially evident in this beautiful light of early morning. Some of the big cats such as the leopard and cheetah had been up early and were returning with their morning kills to a tree (leopard), or bringing their kill to their cubs (cheetah). One of the leopards we saw was in a tree with a dead Serval (cat) and we spent some time with a cheetah family resting and playing after eating some of their breakfast that was temporarily abandoned in the brush a few yards away.

Every morning the lodge provided us with a "bush breakfast" of cereal, yogurt, fruit, eggs and bacon, coffee, cocoa and juices, as well as muffins and scones. The guides always found a nice safe place to stop (usually around 0830-0900 hrs) so we could get out of the vehicles and stretch, socialize, and eat breakfast. The breakfast fare was set up on a folding table and the hood of one of the vehicles. What a great way to start the day!

We stayed out to about 1200-1230 hrs before returning to lodge and lunch. The afternoon game drive began at 1530 hrs and lasted until it was almost dark. Park rules require all safari vehicles to be in camp between full dark and sunrise.

The Lake Ndutu portion of the safari lasted three full days with one last game drive on the last morning. During the stay at Lake Ndutu we observed many species of animals and birds. Please you enjoy the Lake Ndutu gallery as much as we enjoyed making it.