The Serengeti is a savannah stretching across Northern Tanzania to the South of Kenya covering an area of around 30.000 km². It is said that the name “Serengeti” comes from the Massai language and means “endless plain”. The Serengeti is home to around 70 large mammal and 500 bird species and is one of the best places to observe lions in their natural environment.
This cutie is just a few months old. In the Serengeti we saw many lionesses with their cubs resting together in the shade of trees during the heat of the day.
Lionesses give birth to 1-4 cubs in a sheltered area away from the pride. The newborn cubs weigh just around 1,5 kg and are almost helpless, they are born blind, open their eyes just around 7 days after birth and begin to walk at an age of 3 weeks.
Usually, the mother integrates herself and her cubs back into the pride when the cubs are 6 – 8 weeks old.
Lions go hunting at night and spend most of the day resting. Sometimes one sees just one big furry bunch with heads and paws.
Once during a safari we bumped into this big senior lion king underneath a single tree amidst the grassland. He looks a little strained since he was about to digest half of a zebra 🦓, which was obviously a bit hard to digest.
We were lucky to see many lions during our time in Serengeti National Park, however their number dwindles dramatically. It is estimated that the worldwide population decreased by 43 % over the 2 decades. Isn’t that sad?!
A special moment of every safari trip is the sighing of a leopard. We spotted this fellow early in the morning in the Serengeti hanging out after the hunt well hidden in the tree with his breakfast aside.
Both (the hunter and his prey) were so well hidden that I couldn`t get it with one click. Leopards often hide their prey high up in trees to prevent it from being stolen by lions or hyenas. In areas lacking these predators leopards hunt prey as heavy as a 550 kg (1,210 lb) like young giraffes since they do not need to drag it up trees.
Did you know that leopards can run up to 60 km/h on short distances and are also good swimmers?
In former times leopards were widespread across Africa and Asia; meanwhile they are extinct in numerous countries. In many cultures these elegant and powerful creatures symbolized the power of kings and gods. The coat of the leopard has been popular decorative clothing and a symbol of power, wealth and the exotic. Sadly, today the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.