Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Serengeti: The Grand Finale

Our last day in the Serengeti began exactly the way a last day in the Serengeti should, with a pair of giraffes calmly eating leaves right outside our tents. They were the perfect animal to wake up to.  Any of the smaller creatures would not have been nearly as exciting and none of the more carnivorous ones would have been quite as welcome.

And speaking of flesh eaters, I mentioned to Olly, our tour leader, that once again I had not heard any lions during the night. I had, however, heard baboons left and right with their deep, guttural grunts sounding as if they were coming from pretty close by. Olly let me do my best baboon grunt impersonation a couple of times before explaining to me that baboons make no such noise. Those were, in fact, lions. I, the viewer of many MGM films, disputed this assertion and even threw in some inspired roaring noises by way of persuasive argument. Well, it turns out that those impressive roars are only one note in the lion repertoire, used mainly to express agression.  The grunting I'd been hearing for two nights is the noise they make to communicate with each other. Judging by their proximity, I think they may have been talking about us.