This past four day weekend was the experience of a life time. A safari was always something I have dreamed of doing and never thought I would ever experience it. It is something I will cherish and have the desire to go back again.
We left Saturday morning at 8:00 A.M. and set sail for Ngorongoro Crater. We arrived at the crater a few hours later. We enjoyed the great sights and looked down at it and seen some of the larger animals. Leading up to the trip, I actually did not know what the crater was and did not think it housed so many animals. After an hour of getting down the crater, we had our first encounter with animals up close. These animals included zebras, wildebeests, and warthogs. We continued in the crater and had lunch just after we had our first glimpse of elephants. We set off after lunch and had our encounters with multiple animals. These included African buffaloes, zebras, wildebeests, warthogs, a couple sleeping lions, a rhino, hippos, ostriches, elephants, among others. Probably the highlight of my day was when an elephant came only feet away from the jeeps and even blocked the road. Nightfall crept up on us quickly and we rested in one of the beautiful Serena lodges at the rim of the crater only to continue to the Serengeti the next day.
The second day of our adventure began with us leaving at 8:00 A.M. We drove non-stop to the Serengeti which we seen many of the same animals with the addition of giraffes (twigas). We arrived at the Serengeti which we began with a picnic. The picnic was extra special since we had some visitors with us. These visitors included elephants which stood about 10 feet from us, and we were even outside the jeeps!
We continued on only to find elephants playing in the mud with our first glimpse of awaken lions watching them. We even came within 30 feet of the lions, but this time we stayed in our jeeps. We pressed on to find more animals. We came across two lions with one in a tree and one just under the tree which was very cool. After the lions, we found a leopard in a tree way out in the distance. After finding more animals, we finally made our way to the Serena lodge in the Serengeti which by that time we were exhausted and ready to rest only to prepare for our third day.
Our third day began at 6:30 A.M. which was full of animals, just not the variety we were seeing. In fact, we probably saw the most animals this day, but pretty much all wildebeests. We set out to find the Great Migration which we did. This was something that is hard to put into words. It was amazing seeing all the wildebeests travelling together in a line, following exactly the movements of the fellow wildebeest in front of them. We took off ahead of them to find thousands of them eating in the fields. We ate lunch, and made our way back towards the lodge. Driving back through the fields, there were not too many wildebeests left in there. Most of them joined the line, which was amazing. I can say I have seen the Great Migration which not many people can say they have. We headed back to the lodge to rest for our last day of our adventure.
The last day began at 8:00 A.M. in which we had only to find a cheetah and snake to have experienced pretty much all of the animals we could have. We first found a python. It was a young one, the guide saying maybe six feet long. We then spotted a leopard way off in the distance again, only picking it up with binoculars. We were then driving along when we spotted many jeeps surrounding a tree. We took off over toward them to find two male lions with manes sleeping. We got within 10 feet of them in which one woke up and looked around. This was probably the best experience besides the lunch visit with the elephants of the second day. It was amazing being so close to a wild lion which is one of the most dangerous and rootless animals in the world. It was getting later in the morning and we decided to make our way back to Arusha. On our way back, we actually came across two lions outside the crater and Serengeti. Also, there were not many wildebeests like the days before since they have started their migration. We arrived back in Arusha in the evening exhausted, but experiencing a memorable and great safari trip.
The last four days were something I never want to forget. So many pictures were taken, but these pictures do not do the Serengeti justice. Anytime I hear someone talk about them wanting to plan a trip, I will bring up my experience of the last four days. Hearing these experiences will make it hard for someone not to take on an adventure of their own.