Ngorongoro Picnic

Rufous-tailed Weavers like to hang out at the Ngorongoro Crater picnic area near the hippo pool. People lunching in strange circumstances are messy eaters and the birds take full advantage of it.

Keeping a watchful eye on the tourists, Hippos stay offshore but linger close enough to make you nervous.

This Great White Pelican takes a break from fishing with its friends to preen on the shore.

An African Jacana forages nearby, splaying its phenomenally large feet to stay out of the muck.

A Jacana pair tussle on their way across the pond.

The scourge of the picnic area are the brazen, bold, and fearless Black Kites. They will take a sandwich out of your hand or even your mouth provided it’s still open. They know exactly what lunch boxes look like and are on patrol every second of the day. Eat in the car or face the consequences.

If you don’t have food on you they are sublime and beautiful. If you are trying to gnaw on a dry roll or sort out how to open your juice box with one hand while shooing the birds away with the other, they can be downright scary. Enjoy some of the sublime moments below.

3 responses

  1. Oh Walter, such a fabulous picnic!! I’d go with you any time for such a repast. And thanks for all the glorious pictures of a world far away from this Pacific Northwest island I live on.

    January 24, 2012 at 7:21 am

  2. Sandy Slichter

    I remember those kites, one of the warnings our guide gave us when the tables were set up. Amazing opportunists, pretty funny to see the results when some unwary member of the group ignored the advice!

    January 26, 2012 at 10:57 am

  3. I am enjoying all your photos and commentary from Ngorongoro. Thanks so much for posting these!

    January 26, 2012 at 6:35 pm

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