Our Serengeti safari was filled with many firsts. We saw an actual crossing (of the Mara River) of thousands of wildebeests and zebras, leopards mating the wild (twice in ten minutes – impressive!), twin leopard cubs, a male giraffe duel, and a crocodile attack on a wildebeest, among many others.
I really did try to pare down our pictures, but it was such an amazing experience (and all in just 3 days), I just had to share many…
More Serengeti landscape.

The plains of the northern Serengeti

A herd of Cape Buffalo - thought by many to be the most dangerous animal in Africa.
A herd of Cape Buffalo – thought by many to be the most dangerous animal in Africa.
This particular breed of male Ostrich turns pink during mating season.
This particular breed of male Ostrich turns pink during mating season.
Female lions munching on a Wildebeest.
Female lions munching on a Cape Buffalo.
Face washing after dinner.  Ugh!
Face washing after dinner. Ick!
...almost clean.
…almost clean.
I can't believe I ate the whooooole thing

I can’t believe I ate the whooooole thing

On the ground, but not near the lions feeding on the Wildebeest.
On the ground, but not near the lions feeding on the Cape Buffalo.
More Serengeti landscape.
More Serengeti landscape…. like one big park.
Wouldn't want to face a charging Cape Buffalo.  I don't think they joke around.
Wouldn’t want to face a charging Cape Buffalo. I don’t think they joke around.
I spy!

I spy!

Lilac breasted roller in flight...magnificent in the sunlight

Lilac breasted roller in flight…magnificent in the sunlight

We were on the ground at the edge of the Mara river, and this Hippo was getting agitated at us.  We stepped back toward the jeep, and he (or she) calmed down.
We were on the ground at the edge of the Mara river, and this Hippo was getting agitated at us. We stepped back toward the jeep, and he (or she) calmed down.
The wildebeest are crossing!!! The race is ON!!!

The wildebeest are crossing!!! The race is ON!!!

A large herd of Wildebeests bunching up to cross the Mara River.
A large herd of Wildebeests bunching up to cross the Mara River.
Finally, one of the Wildebeests jumped in and all the rest followed.
Finally, one of the Wildebeests jumped in and all the rest followed.
It was a frenzy.  Our guides estimated that 50,000 crossed.
It was a frenzy. Our guides estimated that 50,000 crossed.
Here’s a (loooong) video of the crossing:
Straining to get across the river.
Straining to get across the river.
....and stampeding up the other side.
….and stampeding up the other side.
Many of them did not make it - broken legs from jumping/thrashing down the river bank and into the water.
Many of them did not make it – often because of broken legs from jumping/thrashing down the river bank and into the water.
Just a few seconds before this croc chomped a wildebeest that separated from the crowd

Just a few seconds before this croc chomped a wildebeest that separated from the crowd

Wildebeests grazing on the plains after crossing the Mara River.
Wildebeests grazing on the plains after crossing the Mara River.
And a video of the wildebeests after the crossing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4LG-gtUvgM
Another herd of wild beasts at lunch time.
Another herd of wild beasts at lunch time.
As it should be...

As it should be…

A little lunchtime shotgunning throwdown caught on video:
Our good friends, VerNeil and Renee.
Our good friends, VerNeil and Renee taking it all in.
A new species?
A new species?
A large mama Elephant.....
A large mama Elephant…..
....followed closely by its offspring.
….followed closely by her toddler.
Lots and lots of Zebras - all of them very healthy looking.
Lots and lots of Zebras – all of them very healthy looking.
The Lappet-faced Vulture is the largest in Africa.
The Lappet-faced Vulture is the largest in Africa….they had plenty to eat too!
Hyenas are cuter that you might expect.
Hyenas are cuter that you might expect.
Not as cute as Pumbaa.
But not as cute as Pumbaa.
Giant Eland are among the largest of all African antelope.  Beautiful animals.
Giant Eland are among the largest of all African antelope. Beautiful animals.
I couldn't stop smiling.
I couldn’t stop smiling.
Leopards mating - somewhat rare to catch them in the act.
Leopards mating – somewhat rare to catch them in the act.
Apparently, male leopards nip the neck/ear of the females after mating.  I thought he was going to light up a cigarette next.
Apparently, male leopards nip the neck/ear of the females after mating. We thought he was going to light up a cigarette next.
The Northern Serengeti is awash with brightly colored lizards.
The Northern Serengeti is awash with brightly colored lizards.
Our friend (and leader of our expedition), Will - in his element.
Our friend (and leader of our expedition), Will – in his element.
The Leopard cubs looked so cuddly!
The Leopard cubs looked so cuddly!
Hyenas relaxing in the shade.
Hyenas relaxing in the shade.
Loved seeing the larger groups of Giraffes.
Loved seeing the larger groups of Giraffes.
Can I get a little help here... I've got an itch!

Can I get a little help here… I’ve got an itch!

And a not so peaceful giraffe duel video:
The squall eventually overtook us - with 40 to 50 mph winds.
The squall eventually overtook us – with 40 to 50 mph winds.
Gorgeous sunset after the rain showers.
Gorgeous sunset after the rain showers.
Trip created by our travel pros, Khashana Adventure Travel: http://www.khashana.com/