LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK.
Today we are at the Lake Manyara National Park. I think that 60% of the park is actually the lake.
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This showed us the boundary of the park and the office where the permits were obtained, car park and toilets were situated. there was also a display building and souvenir shop. An excellent stained glass panel of the Rift Valley adorned a specially built shelter where the glass panel was back-lit by the sun. Our first call after leaving the office was the Hippo pool. An small expanse of water which was used by numerous species of animals and birds. It was also one of the few areas where we were allowed to get out of the car. There were several other party's there so it was not conducive to good photographing conditions. Flying birds, although at distance, were easier as people were not walking in front of the camera then.
Great White Pelicans and Yellow Billed Storks came and went.
A Black Headed Heron and a Great Cormorant also flew past. We met the Square Tailed Drongo? at the picnic area but respected the instructions not to feed the birds or animals.
Driving through the woodland we stopped near this Elephant that was giving itself a dust bath next to the track. Sucking dust up its trunk and the blowing it over his face made for an unusual photo. We got our only sighting of the White Browed Robin Chat and then an Ashy Starling.
This spotted Morning Thrush also came to the bushes around picnic table but the Silvery Cheeked Hornbills were much higher from the ground. The yellow Reichenows Weaver was near the lakeside.
I suspect this small brown bird is a Zebra Waxbill but I am not sure. The Northern Masked Weaver is upside down constructing the nest. A Grey headed Sparrow and a family of Grey Crested Cranes were near a stream.
I have a suspicion that these are Hadada Ibis and not Glossy Ibis. No doubt someone will put me right, please. I suspect the Giraffe is just laughing at me.
There are thousands of Flamingos on Manyara. The D'Arnauds Barbets are the most striking colours while the Collared Pratincole looks so delicate.
One of the most colourful primates we saw was the Blue Monkey and this one was searching for insects on a broken tree. The Black faced Vervet were regular sightings.
It was grooming time for these Baboons as we passed but the Baboon with its baby were just doing their own thing.
The African Elephants we then came across near the road, were something else.
These are my favourite pictures of the elephants and maybe my favourites of the whole safari.
I asked Frank to take us back to the Hippo pool as I thought that it might have been a bit quieter, wrong again, but an African Fish eagle was preening on top of a tree in front of us so I stayed in the vehicle and used my big lens on a bean bag. I was delighted when it flew.
As we left the park I took a couple of shots of some buildings overlooking the park. What views and then back at the lodge one of the staff pointed out this small Chameleon to me.
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