Thursday, 8 August 2013

Selous GR - Day 1

Rufiji river
We arrived at Selous around lunchtime, and had planned to spend the day relaxing and then head to the park first thing in the morning.  The national parks (of which Selous isn’t a member) don’t allow multiple entries during your 24 hour permit, so if we went in the afternoon, we’d still have to pay again for the next morning.  

Wildebeests running away from us!

But since it isn’t a national park, we decided to try our luck to see if we could get multiple entries.  And sure enough, you can get a multiple entry 24 hour permit, which means 2 things - firstly we could go into the park that afternoon, and secondly - we didn't have to keep getting a permit every morning which is what we'd done last time.  

Three-banded plover

All that does is eat into our time first thing in the morning.  So we got a 3 day permit - which would allow us in that afternoon until the Sunday afternoon.  And then we could just head in as soon as the gate opened each morning.

Lioness on a buffalo kill
Having an afternoon bonus round was great, especially just to get an idea of where everything was.  What we mean is where were the cats... After chatting to a couple of passing safari vehicles, we soon heard that there was a buffalo that had been taken down by lions near Manze.  

Resting after taking down a buffalo
Of course it was a lot harder said than done to follow the directions given.  The guides all know the park like the back of their hand, but only being there for the 2nd time, it was a lot more difficult for us.  

Openbills and egrets have a conference
After driving round like headless chickens trying to make sense of the directions we'd been given, we finally made it a habit to stop each passing safari vehicle and make sure we were on the right track.  About an hour and a half after first hearing about the lions, we finally found them...

Young lion
A fully grown buffalo was down, with one of the lionesses eating from it, while the other 4 lions just hung around under the shade of a palm.  There wasn't much happening, but it was nice to have such a great sighting on our first drive. 
Waterbuck at sunset

We spent quite a bit of time with them, but not much more happened than one of the other females heading over to gorge herself as well, and soon it was time to head back to the gate in time for closing.  But not bad for a 1st drive around the park.

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