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Serengeti Safari - Tanzania

Tour d'Afrique

Serengeti Safari

Due to it being the 15th Anniversary Year of the TDA, one of this year's highlights is a three day Safari into the Serengeti Reserve as well as the Ngorongoro Crater. It has been on my Bucket List for a while now, so I was looking forward to our planned Safari Excursion.


Encounter with an Elephant Herd: Day 2

Day 1: Speke Bay Camp to Serengeti Reserve


Late morning sleep, up at 0:006 am, breakfast at 07:30 am and off in one of the Safari vehicles to the closest Village to do some shopping for water, cold drinks and nibbles (enough to last for the three days).

TDA provided us with an early lunch at 11:00 am, and then it was an organised departure of the  seven Game Viewing vehicles, each carrying seven passengers and a Driver/Guide. 

Prior to departure, I took a look at all the Game Viewing vehicles which were available, noticed that only one of the drivers was cleaning his vehicle, so booked a place for seven of us with him. The driver's name was Aaron, and he turned out to be the most informative and most capable driver of them all.

Henry Gold and Max from TDA, accompanied Andje, Greg, Murray, Judith and I in the vehicle as we went off on our trip into the Serengeti.

There were many game viewing highlights on  day one, best of all were the sightings of:


- Fish Eagle catching a fish in mid flight.
- Two Cheetahs 
- Serval Cat (two sightings) 
- Leopard in tree with cub & kill
- White Bellied & Black Bellied Bustards

Arrive at camp and pitch our tents, have an early supper, which isn't that fantastic (come back Errol, all is forgiven). Then early to bed in our own tents. We have pitched our tent between Murray's and Andje's tents.

Judith wakes me up at 01:00 am to ask me why Murray is making such a loud noise so early in the morning. I am not impressed at being woken up at such an ungodly hour, and tell her to go and find out for herself, she unzips the tent,  climbs out and say's, "It's a f..king elephant!!"

I peer out in disbelief and confirm her sighting, it is a large elephant, only this elephant is less than 4 meters from us, going through the dustbins next to Murray's tent. We remain motionless in the tent for approximately half an hour, before the elephant decides to wander off between Liz's and Tom's tents (pausing only to steal Tom's water-bottle).

We don't get back to sleep, not before we are also visited by two hyenas and some small antelope. Of course, throughout this whole encounter, both Andje and Liz continue sleeping, oblivious to the fear and excitement of the close encounter with the elephant. 



Entrance to the Serengeti Reserve
Game viewing vehicles congregating before our departure

Cheetah walking around rather nonchalant

Game viewing TDA riders
Giraffe doing his own thing
One of the Serval Cat sittings

 

Leopard in the tree with cub and kill


Hyena sulking around


Pitching our tents at the Camp in the Serengeti Reserve

Sunset in the Serengeti



The moon rise on the first evening of our Safari
Murray, Michael and Rupert discussing our early morning Elephant encounter

Day 2: Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater


Off before sunrise,  deeper into the Reserve, where we are treated to a couple of Lion sightings, drive to a large herd of elephants as well as numerous sightings of buffalo and wildebeest before making our way back to Camp for a late Brunch and to take our tents down and to pack our kit back into the vehicles.

In the afternoon on our way to the  Ngorongoro  Crater we encounter a large migration of Wildebeest and Zebra moving through the Reserve, quite an amazing site to be seen, especially since there are many baby Wildebeest and Zebras in these herds.

Late afternoon we arrive at the rim of the Crater, and camp at quite an amazing spot, where you can see into the Crater.

Unfortunately, we have to share the Camp site with tourists being driven around by other  Safari Companies, and there is a little friction between our shoestring safari company and the other upmarket companies. It all eventually erupts into a shouting match in the morning at breakfast, when some TDA rider helps himself to the other tourist's Nutella Spread! 


Sunrise over the Serengeti

Lion sighting 


The Lion King!

Male Lion on the move


Drinking Giraffe 


Looking down into the Crater on arrival at the rim

Camping spot on the Crater rim

Maasai Muzungu trying to keep warm...


Day 3: Ngorongoro Crater to Arusha


Drive to the Main Gate of the Crater, situated on the top of the rim, and wait for the Gate to open. Then descended into the Crater on quite a steep road, and proceeded to wander around the bottom of the Crater all morning long.

Unlike the Serengeti, the game in the Crater is concentrated in a smaller area, which makes for some fantastic viewing opportunities. There were numerous Lion, Hyena, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Hippo and Elephant sightings.


We even managed to get our first and only good sighting of a Rhino, finally completing the Big Five Sighting List.

Late afternoon we left the Crater up an equally steep road out of the Crater, but not before the  occupants of one of the Safari vehicles were redistributed amongst the other vehicles, due to a mechanical breakdown of their vehicle.

Liz joined us in our vehicle, for the trip to Arusha, where we will be having a well earned Rest Day (Safari Time can be quite strenuous you know!)

All things taken into consideration, our three day safari was a great success, and we were fortunate that we had such a great Driver/Guide to look after us during our trip. The Serengeti Reserve and Ngorongoro Crater can now be ticked off my Bucket List :)


Cheers,
Mike T



At first light looking down into the Ngorongoro Crater
Buffalo encountered on the way down into the Crater
Viewing the Ngorongoro Crater

The Crater floor is quite level in most places

Crested Crane
Dusting himself down 

Up close and personal
Exit out of the Ngorongongo Crater

Kori Bustard

A Hippo Convention 

Purchased some red bananas on our way to Arusha

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