Ah the Serengeti (Maasai – meaning endless plain). 12,000 square miles – flat and sprinkled with stunning acacia trees. It’s everything I dreamed it would be.
As we entered the park they were doing a controlled burn to get rid of overgrowth to keep the floor of the plains healthy. Burns are done sections at a time and the results are clearly visible. Lush green grass was growing in the areas previously burned.
It’s remarkable how different the flora, terrain and wildlife are in Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and in the Serengeti. Even Tsavo for that matter. It is LUSH!! Tanzania is the place to live if you’re a hungry animal. Poor creatures in Tsavo, Kenya are starving.
We had hoped to see hyenas and cheetahs in Tsavo so it was a real treat to see them here. The gazelles were the bunny rabbits – prolific and everywhere.
Day one we saw:
Secretary birds – they peck with their feet like typing
Serval cat like a cheetah
Lots of different birds
Click to enlarge photos…
We went with the beer budget safari and it was perfect. However, I was thrilled to see a Micato Land Cruiser pull up next to us. It was the same vehicle that we had and it had six people in it! Same car and ours was just the two of us. Score one for us. I did notice a tiny difference at lunch time. The park had designated eating areas with bathrooms. We had boxed lunches packed by the hotel and French press coffee made by Amon. The chichi tours had a wicker basket with food, drinks and wine served on plates. They sat at the same tables as we and peed in the same toilets. I’ll give that one to them. I can’t speak about the accommodations. Ours tent camp felt like we were one with nature. Tents surrounded by zebras. Rustic but with everything one could need (I didn’t say want). We left with money to live on for the next six months so I’d say we won. Here’ our rustic…
Our tent was approximately 50 yards from the mess tent (reception, lounging and dining area). We were given walkie talkies and were told not to venture from our tent in the dark. “Call for an escort.” We made it to dinner in the daylight but it was dark when it was time to go back to the tent. One of the workers grabbed a flashlight and started leading the way. “Where’s your gun?”, I asked. “Oh we don’t need one. We’ve been doing this for a long time and know what to look for.” Say what??? Hello, we know from the Great Walk of Africa that guns are essential. There were many times that the workers were armed and protecting us. It reminded me of un-armed security guards back home.
Breakfast and dinner were served buffet style. No Covid here.
New animals on the second day:
Cheetah and 2 Cubs eating an impala
Lion laying on top of a huge rock
Leopard in the mouth of a big rock formation
Superb starling (blue and Orange bird)
Parrots – One tree full of beautiful yellow birds
Ground hornby (big bird)
Lion with a big mane
Leopard walking in the middle of the road! Again, so lucky. They are nocturnal.
Leopard gets its own gallery:
On our second night at camp – out cold and sleeping. A zebra bumped up against the tent right by our heads and woke me up. For the next 20 minutes it grazed. I could hear it pulling the grass out with its teeth and chewing! It was very cool.
Day 3 on the way out the most majestic and beautiful male lion walking in the field near our camp.
Impalas have one male that rules the herd. They fight for this position – retain it until they are challenged. We watched younger males being trained to fight with their horns by the ruling male. We also watched the ram gather the females to cross a road. He was quite impatient with the flaky females who lingered. He actually wrangled each one individually until they were all in a group again.
The whole safari experience was tremendous. We thoroughly enjoyed it. At the pace we went we were glad it was only 4 days. It was exhausting!