In to the wilds of Africa

Serengeti Travel Blog

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The gang chilling out by Lake Victoria

A few days ago we started the second half of our tour through eastern Africa, into Tanzania. After a brief pitstop in this hole of a town called Narok, we were off again. This time around we had 8 new group members. So far everyone seems nice and we all get along. Before the newbies arrived, the "old" group was a little anxious about the new group dynamic! Lol but lucky for us so far so good.

Our first day together we crossed the border into Tanzania.  Nothing too exciting about that, other than me worrying about getting a visa, but no problems there!  I just walked across the border, paid 50 bucks, had a banana and there I was in Tanzania!  Tanzania is the biggest country in east Africa (I.e., Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda (aka the country named after me!), and Burundi).
Two male lions
  Tanzania is home to the world-famous Lake Victoria, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and of course Mount Kilimanjaro. So far we've covered the first too, I won't be climbing Kili this time around, so that's one thing left to do here. Maybe! Lol

Our first night was pretty chill, we basically setup camp along Lake Victoria and had the afternoon for some optional activities like bike riding, walks along the lake, etc. Its funny though, no one did anything! It was so relaxing there everyone just sat around, shared some stories and drank lots of beers. Good times. Well all was good until the next morning when I had a huge headache (mmm ok hangover) from drinking too much of a beer called "The Kick"! Lol that 8% alcohol content sure did give me a “kick” in the morning! Sh*t.
Serengeti at dusk


The next two days we spent on game drive in Serengeti National Park. Again another dream of mine fulfilled! When you grow up reading National Geographic you tend to hear a lot about all the beautiful scenery and animals in the Serengeti.  And boy talk about scenery! The Serengeti is full of large open plains sometimes full of animals, sometimes not. Throw in the big blue sky, pure white clouds and you have paradise. One thing I must say about such a vast area (10x bigger then Masa Mara in Kenya to which it is adjoined) is that you can sometimes drive for a LONG time before seeing any animals, even a zebra or gazelle who are ubiquitous to the area. But when you finally do see something, it definitely is worth it!

Speaking of animals, for those that love the movie "The Lion King" (me included) the Serengeti is the home of Simba, Timon and Pumba!  Funny story.
A family of Hippos
When watching the Lion King you tend to hear a lot of words that you think are made up and funny. Words like Hukana Matata, Jumbo, and Pumba found in the film are actually real Swahili words!! Hukana Matata REALLY means "no worries"! Lol our cook always said it to us. Jumbo means "hello" and Pumba means warthog, just like Pumba in the movie!  

According to our guide Julius, unfortunately Pumba in Sawahli means stupid! Lol, because they equate the warthog to being a little stupid! For example, if they have babies, when being attacked they tend to run AWAY from their babies, rather than protect them! And their physical appearance is a mishmash of other animals aka the "left overs" as Julius says.  God made Pumba from leftovers because he was the last animal to be created, the head of a pig, the tusks of an elephant, the legs of a hyena and the mane of a wildebeest! Awww how sad! Although the Pumba is odd looking, I have to admit its one of the cutest animals out there on the savannah! Especially when its running with its little tail up! Lol
Other than Pumba, we saw all lot of animals roaming the plains, lions, elephants, zebra, wildebeest, you name it and FINALLY we saw a leopard!!  One of the thrills of going on safari is to see a leopard.
Elephants in the distance
Leopards are so rare to see as they are generally shy and solitary animals, that tend to hang out up in trees. So actually seeing one made everyone excited!  There it was, you can barely see its tail dangling from the sausage tree (lol that's the name of tree they tend to rest in).  Only with binoculars and my long zoom lens could you actually make out the distinctive pattern of a leopard's skin. Beautiful.

Night time in the Serengeti was a little different then other places. Usually we sleep in campsite that is fenced off from the wildlife....usually! One time before (in Loita Hills) and now, we had to camp inside the park, with the animals! Of course there are designated campsites, but there are many warnings, especially about leaving your tent at night to pee.
Zebras
If you really need to go, their suggestion is to just unzip your tent and pee right there! Its not always safe to leave the tented area! Why!? Well because sometimes water buffalo, elephant, baboons come into the campsite. Snakes too it seems! Before packing our tents we were asked to make sure we moved the tent before packing, just in case their were any of Africa's deadly snakes seeking warm under the tent. Lucky for us, no one had snakes. The other rule is to never, NEVER bring food into the tent. Julius told us once someone brought some food into their tent and a hyena ripped apart the whole tent to get at it! Crazy! Lucky no one was in the tent at the time.  That night. we did have a few hyenas come into the campsite, lucky for me I didn't hear them! Phew.
Big Sky over the plains
:)

Next up, Eden as its sometimes called, the Ngorongoro Crater. 
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The gang chilling out by Lake Vict…
The gang chilling out by Lake Vic…
Two male lions
Two male lions
Serengeti at dusk
Serengeti at dusk
A family of Hippos
A family of Hippos
Elephants in the distance
Elephants in the distance
Zebras
Zebras
Big Sky over the plains
Big Sky over the plains
Serengeti
photo by: Baosafari