Published on 1 October 2023 at 12:11

Simba, Swahili for lion, is something we saw a ton of today! First thing this morning, we were so fortunate to see a mother lioness in a tree. She had two cubs on the ground resting in the shade. Our guide told us the cubs were too small and had a difficult time climbing the trees. She watched over her cubs carefully like a hawk. 

Next we saw several large giraffes. One male and three females walking and grazing together. We could see a few birds on top of the giraffes. The birds are eating the ticks and bugs off the giraffe. Finn says loudly, ‘they have a symbiotic relationship’. Then he explains to Nash what that means! Thanks Karen for teaching him this while we were in Hawaii! 

We left the giant giraffes and were just wondering around the vast savanna. We saw a bunch of black faced monkeys. The boys loved watching all the monkeys scavenging around. As we were watching these ‘cute little guys’ (as Finn and Nash say) we saw the big, daddy monkey jump into one of the vehicles behind us. The lady was so busy taking pictures she didn’t notice that the monkey had jumped into her car. We all started yelling and waving saying, ‘hey, the monkey is in your car’!!! Finally the driver noticed and scared him out. The boys were laughing so hard and hoped a monkey would jump into our car so they could hug it! 

We continued our drive and crossed a small river. We noticed the area smelled awful and there was so many chunks of mud in the water. As Finn says, ‘that ain’t mud chucko ’ (from Tommy Boy). All that mud was hippo poop! We were approaching another giant hippo pool with all of them tossing their poop onto their backs. Apparently it’s natural sunscreen but the boys refuse to test it out.  During the day the hippos stay in the ‘water’ and at night they can be very dangerous because they exit the water and graze all night. The only hippos that don’t leave the water are the moms and babies. The moms stay to protect the babies from other predators like crocodiles. The hippos are a true family- the babies stay in the middle of the group and all the adults protect them regardless of the relationship to the baby.

As soon as we left the hippo poop pool, we saw several mongoose. The mongoose are tiny but mighty as Nash says because they are the only animal in Africa that can kill a snake. ‘Pretty cool’ says Nash! 

As we continued exploring, a giraffe came close to us to say Jambo!  When we were watching this giant giraffe when our guide showed us all these trails. He said, do not walk on these trails. These are made by the hippos from their waterhole to the grasslands for them to find food. Hippos are very dangerous to people because they are aggressive, territorial and can run up to 35 mph. Hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. 

As we ended our drive we saw so many lions! Simba and baby simbas all sleeping under a tree. One baby cub decided he was bored and wanted to harass the group of zebras behind his pride. He was so cute and funny to watch. The zebras were not afraid but they knew not to mess with him because his pride was close by. He is the king of the jungle of course! 

The boys were exhausted on the drive back to camp and both passed out. I think all the hyena noises kept them up most of the night. Nash, of course, woke up at 5:30 am to take a poop!!! The boys are still hanging on but are definitely tired, hot and dusty from camping. 

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Karen Mary Schaefer
9 months ago

Wow!!! Amazing photos!!!
You guys really didn't want to try out the hippo poop as sunscreen? Maybe you could start a business of it!! LOL
Finn and I had/have a symbiotic relationship! Yay!!
What an adventure!
I love the photos soooo much!!!!
Which are your favorite animals so far? I love giraffes and I also love big cats, so I'd love seeing all the giraffes and lions.
Love you guys!!!!

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