It’s impossible in words or pictures to describe the vastness and intensity of the Serengeti. The first day we arrived there had been a vicious rain storm the previous night. A lion had left these prints on the path to our tents. Yikes
Sunday, February 12, 2023
During our drive that day we saw many lions in different groupings. These two young males had trouble getting comfortable in this tree and kept repositioning but I like this pose.
The Serengeti has large rock outcrops called kopjes not unlike Pride Rock (from Lion King) and we searched a lot of then until we found this guy. You’ll need to zoom in.
I used to think seeing a herd of 100 zebras would be impressive. Or even 1000. But looking out over the expanse of the savannah there were zebras as far as the eye could see. It was indescribable. I’m estimating tens of thousands. All migrating with the wildebeest. Just as we thought we’d seen it all a cheetah appeared by the roadside.
After dinner we were required to have an employee to guide us back to our tent in case there were animals. On the last night after we got into bed something walked across the front of our tent. Before long there was something moving the back of the tent by our heads. As Ross snored away I lay, petrified and imagining the very worst - I froze and didn’t move for about 1/2 hour hoping whatever it was wouldn’t know I was inside! I didn’t manage to get much sleep. In the morning we could see hyena and jackal footprints outside our tent. Then we found out that there had been a group of lions around the tents while we ate dinner. That’s a little too close for comfort. And of course I had to Google 'tourists killed by animals in the Serengeti' (possibly none).
Part of our encampment: (http://www.tanzaniabushcamps.com/)
Directly adjacent to the Serengeti is the Ngorongoro Conservation area. The Ngorongoro crater (a UNESCO heritage site) was formed several million years ago after a volcanic explosion and collapse. You descend about 2000 feet into the caldera which is about 100 square miles but with many of the same animals as the Serengeti. Again the animals were very cooperative, often posing right by the roadside.
Lots of evidence of previous kills. Likely the remains of a buffalo.
We saw the last of the Big Five - 3 rhinoceroses - but they were quite a distance away.
The variety of large colourful birds was amazing. At one little pond we saw several varieties of storks, herons, ibises, cranes, egrets. We even saw some cool spoonbills (no photo unfortunately). This Egyptian eagle is one of about 5 eagles species we saw.
And this marabou stork that tried to steal our food when we stopped for lunch at a picnic site. They’re about 3 feet tall and scavengers. There were also kites (a type of bird), and Guinea fowl competing for our lunch. We ended up eating in the vehicle.
Going on safari is about 95% driving on rough, dusty roads, and 5% happening, but the 5% make it all worthwhile.
Our guides for this trip were booked through https://vijijicenter.com which is partially run by Sandra, an archeologist from Vernon who had a connection through one of our travel companions. She travelled with us along with our expert drivers Amos and Joseph (Suma). Top notch service. Highly recommended.
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