A Safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater- Part 1
Following the 6-day Kilimanjaro hike, I must admit that I had no intentions of moving a finger on the 5-day safari. I wanted to be catered to. Simply sit or stand on the jeep, watch and take pictures of the animals, and that’s it! And this is exactly what Marcel and I did. No hiking and no sleeping in the cold were part of our safari experience. During our 5-day safari, we visited Lake Manyara National Park, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. This safari is every animal lover’s dream, I swear!
Lake Manyara National Park
Our first stop was Manyara Park, about 2 hours from Arusha. As we entered the park, we saw mainly baboons, monkeys, giraffes. elephants and various birds. It was a forest-like scenery until the landscape finally opened up to a grassy food plain landscape. Then, we saw nothing but green grass, zebras, gazelles and a hippo pool. The scenery was awesome and the best part of this day is running into Jonathan, John and Charles, three friends we made in Kilimanjaro. It was a Kili reunion in Manyara park. Definitely a great feeling!
The Seregenti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest and most popular park, being a world heritage site. It’s 14,763 sq km of open plains, an absolutely stunning scenery known for the largest migrations in the world. The word Serengeti originates from the Maasai word Sirigent meaning “The land of endless space”. The Serengeti National Park is part of the Serengeti Plains, which includes both the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
I’m not quite sure how to accurately describe the feelings I was experiencing when driving through the Serengeti. All I can say is that everyone should visit this region at least once in their life. December is part of the raining season which means that the plains were very green. As we were driving, we saw nothing but animals, from zebras, to gazelles, to impalas, to wildebeests, to lions, to leopards, to buffalos, to jackals, to warthogs, to ostriches, to topis, to hyenas and so much more! It’s absolutely fascinating the abundance of animals one can see while driving in this Park.
While game watching, you can notice zebras flirting with one another, mothers caring for their little ones, lions mating among many other things. There are a few facts I learned through my guide while visiting the Serengeti:
- Once a male lion finds a female, they mate for a week, every 10-15mins.
- Impalla’s can jump up to 10ft high
- The cheetah is the world’s fastest animal. They can reach a speed of 100 km/h.
- Leopards are a solitary animal. They are difficult to find (but I saw one!!).
The Big Five (list derived from how dangerous and difficult it can be to hunt them down):
- The Lion
- The Leopard
- The Buffalo
- The Rhino
- The Elephant
The next post will touch the Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire Park. Stay tuned!