10.2.12 - 10.5.12
Serengeti national park is the infamous place folks come to see animals in Tanzania. As I may have mentioned, it's basically an extension of Masai Mara from the Kenyan side but they are very strict in defining what is Masai Mara vs. serengetti. Whilst the parks are adjoining, they are quite different. The serengeti is enormous comparatively- I think you can fit five Masai maras into it. This meant there was a lot do area to cover and the chances of seeing animals are a little lower. As the animals migrate back and forth between parks for the purpose of food, this has a lot to do with what you can see. There are tons of land rock formations throughout this park which make for a very different look and feel than Masai Mara. We managed to see quite a few groupings of lions, cubs, and the most coveted for us- the leopard- completing the big five! We actually saw the leopard while trying to leave the park in the evening to get to our camp- it was starting to get rather dark out and we were rushing to our camp when a leopard crossed our safari jeep. The next day we managed to see some more leopards perched up on a tree awaiting their next catch of the day. The sunset over the serengetti was absolutely unforgettable and a great way to end our evening.
What I found most challenging was our accommodations! We stayed in mobile tents, a first and a last for moi!!! You could hear a lions roaring in the background and hyenas close to our tent. Our showers were open air and had a bag that was filled with hot water upon request. Whilst still nicer than traditional camping, being in the middle of the serengetti in pitch darkness was quite the experience. Complaints aside, it was actually super cool! Fr those of you who know I am afraid of the dark, you can understand how thankful i was to see so many stars in the sky.
Our last stop in tanzania was the famous ngorongoro crater, a unesco world heritage site. It's a giant caldera that has an abundance of wildlife and a very interesting history. We visited a historical excavation site called oldapai where it is said that human kind first originated. We managed to see quite a few animals, from elephants to gazelles and baboons, ending our safari jaunt quite happily.
On our return back to arusha we stopped in a local village to see a banana plantation and learn a bit more about the importance of agriculture in Tanzanians daily lives. We tasted the red bananas and some banana beer and enjoyed interacting with locals.
We now head to our next stop, Zanzibar- an island off the coast of Tanzania to enjoy a bit of what the Indian Ocean has to offer. More soon- net connectivity depending.