Emma van de Velde - The Netherlands
At 5:30 am our alarm clock wakes us up after a short night. At 6:00 we are ready to go on safari and we get into the seven-seater safari jeep. This was a great start of the safari! Once we picked up the other five girls and cook Patrick, we start our journey to the safari parks. In four days we will visit three parks: Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. We start the first day with Tarangire National park. Once we opened the roof of the jeep we were all standing and enjoying the wild life in Tarangire. Every time we saw an animal, we jumped up to take pictures and videos.
At the entrance of the park we already saw dozens of meerkats. Timon is spotted, now Pumba! The first day in Tarangire we enjoyed the beautiful nature and we have spotted many animals: impalas, baboons, zebras, wildebeest, elephants, giraffes, ostriches and in the distance a lion and a leopard. After a morning in Tarangire our driver brought us to a stream, where many animals were. We had a sandy road through and yes, we were stuck! Within seconds there were many jeeps around us. In the heat all rangers tried to help us get out of the sand. Still nothing succeeded until that there was a jeep which could pull us with a cable from the sand. We could continue again!
We drove through Tarangire the rest of the afternoon and at the end of the afternoon we went to the campsite. In relative luxury safari tents with beds we we stayed at a campsite between Tarangire and Ngorongoro in. After a hot shower we enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by our cook. A three-course meal that we did not expect! Soup, fried fish, potatoes, vegetables, salad and fruit. We went to sleep with full bellies.
The next morning we left at half past nine for the Serengeti. We had to pass Ngorongoro first, before we arrived at the Serengeti. While we had our 'African massage' from the rough road,, we arrived at the gate of the Serengeti. After waiting for the permits from a viewpoint with a beautiful view on the endless plains, we headed to the campsite.
When we were on the way we saw a herd of elephants. They came closer and passed in front of us on the road. Very cool to see. On the first day in the Serengeti we saw many new animals during the evening game drive: gazelles, purple lizards, buffaloes, hyenas, hippos, a crocodile and finally a lion and a leopard nearby. We also saw a lot of animals which we had already seen in Tarangire. In the Serengeti, there is no shortage of animals! The day flew by. We went back to our campsite before dark, this time the middle of the Serengeti. Our tent was already prepared. A tent with two sleeping mats together. Very cozy. After another delicious three course supper we all went into our tents. They had said that at night animals could walk around your tents because the campsite is not fenced. It was also really cool! Before we went to bed we saw two bright spots (eyes) in the bushes. What kind of animal it was, we did not know. We dove quickly our tent and were wondering if we would get some visitors that night.
On Friday morning the alarm rang at 5 am. It was still dark when we got our of the tent in the middle of Serengeti. That was a weird but cool idea! Las night we had a visit from some buffalos on the campsite. Quickly we put some clothes on, at half past 5 we had a drink and biscuits and exactly at 6 pm we drove with our jeep into the Serengeti to see more animals and to enjoy nature. While driving we saw here and there animals waking up. Furthermore, it was very quiet and cold. We left in the dark, but in no time it was suddenly light. It surprised us all how fast it was going. Once the sun started to show we stopped to silently watching the sunrise in the Serengeti. A bright red/orange ball had appeared completely within 10 minutes. What a beautiful sight!
The rest of the morning we were looking at the big number of animals and the natural beauty of the Serengeti. We saw t a hippo on land this time. We saw many hyenas passing by nearby. One of the hyenas we saw on the roadside seemed very ill. His belly was very sphere and he was breathing heavily. We wonder how long he survived. Also, we saw a lot of lionesses. Such beautiful animals to see. One even crossed in from of our car! We still hoped to see some male lions with beautiful long mane. As we passed by somewater we saw big herd of zebras drinking. It was a great sight to see them all together in that water. Besides these animals we saw giraffes, cranes, secretary birds, pumba's and Dick Dick's. This is a a small type of deer. And on that last morning in the Serengeti, we found even two cheetahs! These animals are very rare to see, and now there were two. What an extraordinary animals!
At the end of the morning we have some lunch at the campsite and then we drove to Ngorongoro. Also here the campsite was very nice. It was a piece of green grass with large trees on a mountain overlooking the crater below. When we arrived we already had a visit from some zebras on the campsite! We all had to get used to the temperature in Ngorongoro. It was here many times colder than in Tarangire and Serengeti. What a cold! Luckily we had a thick sleeping bag at night.
After a refreshing night we started our last safari day. Packed in a lot of clothes we drove into the crater. On our list were the male lions and rhinos. Once we drove into the crater we got a message over the radio that there was a rhino spotted somewhere. We drove fast to the lookout point where if we zoomed in quite well with our cameras, we could see the rhino walking in the grass. We succeeded! The Big Five had been spotted and even one of the 15 remaining black rhinos in Ngorongoro. This was a special moment!
Now only the male lion was left. It was as if they had heard us, because the rest of the morning we saw 6 male lions! In one group of lions there were three males and three females. In the middle of this group lay a dead buffalo! . Now they lay dozing after the hunt. It was nice to see a group of hyenas remotely eyeing the carcass and also a group of jackals were just turning around that group of lions. What a special sight, this is true African nature. We continued in Ngorongoro we had seen a lot of animals. In the water we saw whole group of flamingos and we also saw two huge herds of buffalos and wildebeest.
Apart from the animals, we also enjoyed the beautiful nature. The crater looks like a moon landscape with orange plains and hills and then suddenly yellow pieces and green patches of grass. Very special to see. After lunch it was time to go back to Arusha again. On our way back from Ngorongoro we drove through a bit of jungle. It is such a beautiful piece of nature. We thank our guide Elemes, cook Patrick and Shemeji Safaris & Tours for an unforgettable safari!