African skies… and trees

April 23, 2015

storm in the SerengetiNothing can prepare you for the size of Africa; if you consider that Tanzania alone is the same size as the Netherlands, it sort of puts it on context. And what I hadn’t expected was quite how big African skies would be; that might sound a bit strange but it’s the lack of buildings or anything to spoil the vastness of the sky. I think this photo of an afternoon storm in the Serengeti explains what I mean – we could actually SEE the rain coming down, like a tornado…

sunshine in the Serengeti



…but then the sun shone again and the contrast of the grey-blue with the green was breathtaking…


Serengeti trees









And then there were the trees, which were absolutely beautiful – so many different shapes and varieties. As we were there in rainy season all the bush and trees were quite green – not lush, exactly, but definitely green.

lion up a tree










One of the things about being in the Serengeti is that you have to remember to look up, as well as across and down, because you never know what you might see hanging around in a tree. This one had a lioness as a guest (I honestly had no idea lions spent so much time sitting in trees, they’re much more agile than domestic cats)… you have to look quite hard but you can see her tail very clearly…

tree in the Serengeti








…and this acacia had the remains of a wildebeest dangling from it – taken up there by a leopard. I know it’s a bit gory, but it’s a truly extraordinary sight, isn’t it?

trees in the Serengeti







And this one actually had a leopard resting in it – I really wish I’d had a very good camera with me because she was SO beautiful, but sadly we could only view her with binoculars.

Serengeti sunriseSerengeti sunset








Of course the sunsets in the Serengeti are incredibly special – although the sun drops really quickly, and then it really is VERY dark.


One of my favourite moments, though, was when we got up early (6am) to see the sun rise over the Serengeti. It is so quiet at that time of morning, and yet the bush is completely alive with antelope, hyena, giraffe, birds and zebra. And then, suddenly, that magnificent ball of light, turning the enormous sky gold and apricot. I’ve seen the sun rise in places all over the world, but nothing compares to the magic of sunrise in the Serengeti and those African skies. There’s simply no other place in the world quite like it.



You Might Also Like