A key part of the safari experience are the twice daily game drives. At Simbambili Game Lodge up to nine people pile into two open air Land Rovers each with an experienced guide and tracker.
We needed sharp eyes to see the things hiding out there. Here we found a shy buffalo grazing away in the distance.
On our first drive, we dropped off the bird photographer at a private plane on a dusty airstrip.
Pierre was fearless in his driving and would follow leopards and other animals into the bush as allowed (i.e., you can't follow rhinos off road). I thought all the noise of the vehicle would scare the animals away. However, the animals are used to seeing the game drive vehicles around and just went about their business paying us no attention.
At night, Service would use a spotlight to help spot animals based on the tell-tale reflection from their eyes.
Others that had been on safari a few days before us were regaling us with tales of leopards, fighting giraffes, and cheetahs doing a tap dance (just kidding on that last one). We were starting to get a bit concerned that we'd come all this way and we weren't going to see anything of consequence. Fortunately, we were wrong. Our last game drives picked up considerably. We saw wildebeest.
...hyenas that refused to make way for our vehicle.
Sure enough, on one such instance, we got to see a few juvenile male lions roaming on the open plain.
There were accompanied by their battle scarred 'granny' as Pierre called this feline lady.
...and even a type of mantis (not sure if he's the praying type) who sat patiently on my finger.
I'm now going to devote individual posts to celebrate the different species that we saw in more detail.