The Serengeti is Africa’s most famous game reserve, renowned for its dense predator population and annual wildebeest migration. The Serengeti is so vast and barren that it covers an area of over 15,000km2.…which is the approx size of Northern Ireland! To put it mildly, its huge!!
Ok so we set off at 8am Saturday morning for our four day safari. In the end there were only three of us on the trip, along with our driver/guide and our cook. The other person was another volunteer who is also staying in the same hostel as us. There were meant to be four of us going but the safari company couldn’t find us a fourth member to join us….happy days! More food for us J
Our first night was spent in a camp site at a lake called Manyara. Its also a national park and we had our first game drive here. We saw loads of blue monkeys(they star in the film “outbrake”), elephants, lions, giraffes, rhinos, hippos and all the rest of the classic gang.
The monkeys were really interesting to sit and watch. Their behaviour and mannerisms are hilarious. I took at least 150 photo’s of just monkeys there.
We had our dinner at 7pm that evening at our camp, before retiring to bed at 9pm. We had a very early start the next morning…with a 7 hour trek on dirt roads into the heart of the Serengeti. This drive was combined with a game drive when we entered the Serengeti. Seeing the vast amount of animals on entering the Serengeti is hard to describe. Wildebeests and zebra’s dot the scenery for miles and miles, with Thompson and grant Gazelles running about like rabbits. To be honest, I’m not big into the wild life scene and only really had eyes for the “big game 5”, but after seeing the different species that the Serengeti had to offer really made me appreciate wild life a little bit more.
We got up close and personal with three female lions who must have just have eaten their dinner as they had blood stains around there mouths! The three of them came right up to the jeep and sat down panting on the edge of the grass….literally 4 feet away from us. Got some very cool photo’s. Even the guide was quite anxious for the lions not to come any closer as they could easily have torn the jeep to bits if they felt like it. Luckily I had my “bear grylls” knife on stand by….just in case. That would’ve been to slice my own neck rather than get mauled to bits!
Anyways we returned to our campsite which we had set up on arrival in the Serengeti and had a beautifully prepared western style dinner in the middle of the biggest craziest thunder and lightening storm I’ve ever witnessed. It rained constantly for an hour while the fork lightening lit up the evening sky.
Before we hit the sack we were gently informed by our guide, that due to the camp been unguarded and its location that we should expect some company around the camp during the night! So that night about 10pm we were suddenly awakened by some animal sniffing my head through the tent canvas. It was pitch black inside the tent and we were both terrified due to been suddenly awakened and also because there was some wild animal roaming around our tent making growling noises that can only be described as something you’d hear off a horror movie. Luckily enough I managed to get some audio of it wit my camcorder.
So anyways, we didn’t know what the animal was at the time and we probably didn’t want to know. Needless to say we didn’t sleep a wink for the rest of the night. And we had to be up at 5.30am for our game drive!
We found out in the morning that the noises were those of a herd of Buffaloes that had come into the camp to inspect what was going on. Also hyena’s were heard around our guides tent and a Lion’s roar was heard around the camp as well….which we def heard but again didn’t know what it was. Good job as well to be honest!!
So our game drive in the Serengeti last a good few hours both in the morning and the evening time. We saw almost all there was to see except for leopards or cheetahs.
We spent the third night in the Ngorongoro crater which is a huge flat plain that has every animal imaginable in it. The views from the top of this crater were savage and it was definitely a great end to the safari.
All in all, four days was enough for us. Unless you’re really big into the wildlife then a few weeks would be the only job. For me the highlight was seeing the migration of wildebeests and Zebra’s just as we were heading out of the Serengeti. As far as the eye could see it was just saturated with animals. Really amazing sight, and worth the trip alone just to witness it.
I would do another safari but next time I’d have a better lens for my SLR as some of the animals were that bit too far away to get really great photo’s. Plus the weather was very overcast so a lot of colour was mission from the photo’s.
But I would definitely recommend a safari into the Serengeti. If you came all the way to Tanzania and didn’t go on one then it would be a shame in my opinion.