Shooting Stars in the Serengeti

Posted: November 20, 2012

If I were to describe the camping expedition to the Serengeti National Park in one word, I would use remarkable. Although I enjoyed every moment of the trip, even having all of our belongings drenched from the rain one of the days, three events really stuck out to me.

The first would be the stars we saw every single night. I have never seen so many amazing shooting stars before. One night a shooting star, if I can even call it that, went through the sky turning blue and orange. The next night we all ended up laying on the grass to watch the sky for more shooting stars and we ended up seeing one that stretched across the entire length of the sky.

Secondly, we encountered multiple herds of elephants. We were driving along the road towards Serena Lodge and all of a sudden we came across a herd of about twelve elephants including some young ones. Usually we tend to see them foraging and walking around, but this time it was different. The elephants had formed a wall to protect the elephant that was lying on the ground. As we got closer to them on the road we noticed that the elephant lying on the ground was struggling to stand up. We watched as this elephant continuously failed to stand up. Our car had decided that maybe the elephant had broken a leg, had been hit by a car, or something of that sort. But as we watched the elephant struggling, it began to crawl onto all fours, just like a baby would crawl on the floor, and we saw the elephant get a good grip on the ground and raise itself to a standing position. Once this happened, all of our theories of why the elephant was on the ground disappeared because it seemed to stand up and walk to join the wall the elephants had formed, as if it was never lying on the ground. The even more amazing part of observing this was that we got to witness the protective instinct of the elephant herd around the fallen elephant.

Lastly, as we began to drive back to the campsite for our last night in the Serengeti we came across a male lion and his cubs feasting on a wildebeest while the sun set in the background. We had yet to witness the lions actually feeding in the Serengeti, so to be able to see this on our last night really was the icing on the cake. The male lion was just demolishing the meat that was left on the wildebeest’s body. As he fed, his cubs continued to gnaw on the wildebeest as well. The lion continuously pulled, licked, and chewed on the meat until he was full. When he was finished, he lifted up the left over meat into the air and walked a few feet to the side. After he was done, some of the female lions approached the wildebeest to eat what was left. Serengeti was another really amazing national park that we have been so fortunate to visit.