After a week-long adventure on Kilimanjaro, we rewarded ourselves with a safari through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater (I mean any activity that required just sitting in a car driving around looking at animals in their natural habitat seems like a no-brainer to me). We boarded a qucik flight from Arusha to Seranera where we were greeted by our safari guides John and Comfort. From there, we began our six hour safari game drive on our way to the hotel. We were warned of the "African Massage" that we'd receive from the vibrations of our safari vehicle driving along the bumpy roads!
Within minutes we saw lions, monkeys, zebra, hippos, elephants, and giraffes! This felt like quite the treat for our first day of safari.
We stayed at the Kirawira Serena Camp deep in the Serengeti Bush. We were immediately warned that the pool closes at 6:30PM every night because the pride of lions that lived nearby, frequented the pool for a swim at dusk. After being shown to our tents, we were given a brief safety briefing explaining that we had to be accompanied by guards after the sun went down because animals would sometimes wander into camp.
We continued the next day with another game drive and saw even more animals, adding wildebeests and baboons to our growing list! That night, we enjoyed a dinner and an enormous bonfire in the brush.
The next day we set out for Ngorongoro Crater; however, due to car trouble it took us much longer to get there. On the bright side, this gave us the opportunity to stop at a Maasai village on our way to the Crater! Our car troubles resulted in us only being able to spend 2 hours in the Crater; however, we made the best of our time with an up-close experience with lions, elephants (my favorite animal!), hyenas, wildebeests, flamingos, zebras, and impala.
After a whirlwind 72 hours in the great plains of Africa, we made our way to the airport to head back to the United States. If I had to choose, I'd say the safari in Ngorongoro was more exciting for me because the animals are confined to the space inside the walls of the Crater making them easier to find. We could spend almost an hour in the Serengeti searching for animals, while we found them instantly in Ngorongoro.
TIPS & TRICKS:
- Wear a buff: the roads in the Serengeti are incredibly dusty. The buff will help keep dust out of your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Wear sunglasses: like the buff, your sunglasses will protect you from the dust. Plus, they're great to have to actually protect your eyes from the bright African sun!
- Bring a camera of course! Your loved ones at home will be thrilled when you bring home photos to share
- Go with guides that regularly work in these areas. I've been on two different safaris and it makes a huge difference when the guides know the animals specific to these areas and in some cases, have even watched the animals grow up.