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Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara is part of the usual 'northern circuit' safari in Tanzania.
The lake itself is at the base of the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley.
Olive Baboons foraging

A baboon troop moving through, always on the lookout for food. At this time, they were eating white flowers.

Duncan in tent at Kirurumu Tented Camp. If you look closely, you can see a rare proof that I was actually there!

We stayed at Kirurumu, a small luxury tented camp on the edge of the Rift Valley. The food was excellent, and we took their excellent picnic with us so that we could stay down in the Park all day. The bird guides at Kirurumu can take you out and show you the birds of the area around the camp.

Red-headed weaver

Kirurumu has a little pond and bird-feeders, ensuring that there's always something of interest to birders right in the heart of the camp. This male Red-headed Weaver had just started to build a nest, and continued throughout our stay: fascinating!

Hamerkop
The Hamerkop is a primitive looking bird with a 'hammer-shaped' head, accentuated by its thick crest. It is a unique species to Africa and Madagascar, and builds an enormous, untidy nest, in which other bird species often nest.
Necking giraffes Necking giraffes Necking giraffes

We spent so long watching these young male Masai Giraffes 'necking' that we didn't even get to the hot springs. This was one of the few occasions where I wished I had a video camera.
The 'necking' contests are the way by which Giraffes decide male hierarchy, and is carried out before they reach sexual maturity. Although the blows can be hefty, the whole affair is very stylised, and the movements resemble a sinuous dance. The heavier the skull and the wider the arc of the swing, the harder the blow - so older, taller and heavier males have an advantage. However, since hierarchy has been settled before maturity, adult bulls seldom come to blows, unless a stranger comes in and 'takes on' the top male in a local hierarchy.

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