Luke's Safari

Karibu to Tanzania. Follow me on my safari... By Luke Claussen
I started my safari on December 17 with 23 hours in the air and arrived at the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania Africa. We met our guides and started our adventure in Arusha National Park. We then moved on to Tarangire National Park,Ngorongoro Crater and finally finished at the plains of the Serengeti. We stayed at two lodges and three nyumbas (tent cabins) in the national parks. By the time we finished our AWESOME adventure I had seen 47 animals, 122 birds, learned about a lot of new cultures, made friends forever and have memories for a lifetime!
Lucky me, we saw all of the big 5! 1) Elephants 2) Cape or African Buffalo 3) Rhinoceros 4) Leopards 5) Lions
Elephants are the biggest living land animal. They can weigh up to 7 tons. Their babies can weigh up to 250 lbs at birth. They can live up to 70 years. They are herbivores (vegetarians). They eat 50/60 lbs of vegetation per day and drink up to 200 liters of water when they are full grown. The males have round heads and the females have square heads.
Cape Buffalos are the meanist animal out there. They live in herds and are vegaterians. It takes 4 adult lions to kill 1 Cape Buffalo.
The Black Rhino is in danger of becoming extinct. There are only 26 living in the Ngorongoro Crater and we saw 4 of them. They too are herbivores. The Black Rhino has horns that they use to protect their territory or their young.
Leopards are 1 of only 2 cats that can climb. They live solitary lives and are very sneaky animals. They hide high in trees that have a lot of branches and leaves. They are meat eaters and prey on medium sized antelope. They bring their meal up in the tree to protect it from other animals such as hyenas or lions.
We saw so many lions...babies, moms and dads. The female lion are the hard workers. They hunt (meat eaters) for the pride because they are lighter and faster then the males. However the males get to eat first. They catch a kill around every 2 weeks. The females stay in a pride for their lifetime and the males leave to be on their own when they are about 3yrs old. The younger males then try to take over their position as leader. There can be up to 15 lions in each pride. Now I'm going to tell u a story about the lions and our car.
Here are some of the other animals I saw:
Hyenas' bite can have pressure of about 1000lbs and bite right through bones. They are scavengers and eat everything, including bones. They have white poop because of eating bones.
Warthogs use there tusks to defend.
Maasai Giraffe have the same number of bones in their neck as we have. They are vegetarians and love Acacia trees because the leaves have a lot of protein. The giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania.
Cheetahs can run up to 75 mph. They are the fastest land animal. They are solitary cats and hunt for meat.
Antelopes: The biggest antelope is an Eland and the smallest antelope is a Kirk's DikDik. Some others that fall in between are the Waterbuck (toilet seat buck), Impala, Thomson Gazelle, Grants Gazelle, Topi, Cokes Hartebeest. The African antelope are known to us as deer.
Zebras have what is called cryptic colorization. This means that there black and white stripes make them look brown from a distance to try to camaflouge from predators. Baby zebras are brown and white. Now I have a question for you???
The wildebeest is the last true migrating animal...there are millions throughout east Africa. All the moms have babies in February. They have poor eyesight so they follow the zebras. They prefer to eat short grass which makes them an easy target for predators.
The Serval cat is a solitary, nocturnal animal. It has a very good sense of smell.
The Banded Mongoose are very social animals. They will stand upright on their two hind legs to look out for danger.
The Leopard Tortoise gets it's name because it has spots on it's shell like a leopard's coat.
Hippos spend most of their day in shallow water. The come out at night and graze for about 5 hours then go back to the water. They are known to be the most aggressive animal towards people. They will charge and kill humans if they feel that they are in danger.
The Hyrax looks like a rodent but is thought to be part of the elephant family because they have the same type of feet.
The Jackal is like a fox to us.
Primates: I saw the Sykes/Blue Monkey, Black and White Colobus Monkey, Black Faced Vervet Monkey and the Olive Baboon. The primates live in large groups called troops.
Birds: There are about 450 species of birds in East Africa. I saw lots of them!
The Maasai tribe is the biggest cultural group in Tanzania. They live their lives raising and herding their cattle, sheep and goats. The more livestock each family has means the more successful they are. The men can marry as many women as they want but they have to trade cows to the family to get the wife. The man and all the wives, kids and cattle live together. The area where the BIG family lives is called a boma. Their houses are made out of cow dung, mud and sticks that becomes waterproof and durable. The women are the hard workers who build the houses and take care of the family. The young boys take care of herding the livestock. The men build the fence for the animals to live so they are safe from predators. The Maasai people wear red for a sign of power. They are happy people that live off of the land to survive.
Fun and living... 1) meeting my pen pal, James 2) hot air ballooning over the Serengeti 3) soccer at the village school 4) lots of football with camp crew 5) flying on single prop plane from Serengeti to Arusha 6) playing Last Card and War 7) making a zebra out of black ebony wood 8) tent cabins sleeping with the animals 9) Mt. Kilimanjaro (Mt. Kili) 10) Christmas and My Birthday in Africa 11) Crazy Abel!
Boy am I going to miss these guys! The End