Every year millions of wildebeests and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles traverse the endless plains of the Serengeti in a 1,200 mile loop known as the great migration. Differing rainy seasons and grass quality drive the spectacle, which culminates in a dramatic river crossing at the crocodile infested Mara river. Since a fair chunk of our TV viewing consists of nature shows, Mark and I knew all about the migration and scheduled our time in Tanzania to coincide with it.
What we didn’t expect is that we’d be safari’d out by the time we got to Tanzania. It sounds ridiculous (and is clearly a 1st world problem) but in the prior months we had seen plenty of wildlife on our self drives though Kruger and Etosha. Mark opted to forgo the trip and hiked Mt Meru instead. I knew I’d regret it if I missed the opportunity to see Africa’s quintessential safari experience so I joined the adventurous Charina and the fun loving Lavannia on a 5 day adventure. Together, with our guide Six and our amazing cook Gideon, we had a blast. We camped in the heart of the Serengeti, blasted Toto’s ‘Africa’ from our pop up safari vehicle and took more selfis than anyone could imagine.
Although we drove all the way to Mara River, we missed the crossing of the final herd by just 2 days. However, along the way, we saw millions of wildebeests returning from Kenya. They stretched up the hillsides and across the savannah, sometimes causing traffic jams. The sheer number of animals in the Serengeti was astounding– we saw the big 5 within 24 hours of entering the park. Animals like the leopard, which we couldn’t spot elsewhere were all over the Serengeti. Given this abundance of animals, camping in the middle of the park just didn’t seem right. Maybe that’s why I kept waking up convinced that animals were trying to get in our tent!
In retrospect I’m glad I went on this final safari. Each of the parks was unique; Tarangire’s acacia trees and rolling hills were beautiful, the Ngorangoro Crater was unreal with its steep caldera and numerous lions and the Serengeti’s vastness was stunning. Not to mention, I had great company and a break from Mark was well needed!