This past weekend and early week, I went on a safari. I can’t even describe what I experienced. Amazing, stunning, beautiful, remarkable are just a few of the words to explain it. We left early Saturday morning and headed out of Arusha. We had about a 3 hour drive to the Ngoronoro Crater. Our drive there was beautiful. We passed African countryside that looks nothing like we have back home. We saw lots of green trees and flowers, hills and mountains. As soon as we got the crater entrance, we saw baboons everywhere. Surprisingly they came very close to us and our cars. We thought this was very exciting but little did we know this would be nothing compared to what we saw later in the trip. After we drove around the crater we had about another hour drive to get to the Serengeti national park.
It was very interesting driving past the crater to the Serengeti because the climate and environment were very different from each other. The crater was very green and lush with plants. The Serengeti was dry with tall grasses and random trees throughout. Our journey to the Serengeti was very bumpy. Most of the roads were dirt with lots of pot holes. I have multiple bruises from being bounced around, but it was still lots of fun. Our driver, Moses, was very entertaining and informational.
Our first day in the Serengeti was great. We saw elephants, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, dicks dicks, gazelles, crocodile, and a black mamba snake. That night we stayed at the Serengeti Serena Lodge. It was a very nice hotel, with great food. All of the rooms were in little huts throughout the property. Because this hotel was in the middle of the Serengeti, at night we had to have a guard walk us to our room to make sure we didn’t come across any animals. The next day, Sunday, we headed off and had another great experience. We got to see a cheetah stalking some gazelles, a lion pride crossing the road, and a lion taking a nap in a tree. When our very bumpy and dusty day was over we stayed at the Serengeti Serena Lodge for one more night. I didn’t see many animals at the lodge beside some dick dicks, which are like mini deer.
On Monday we drove around the Serengeti again. You think after 3 days it would get old but it doesn’t. I could have spent a couple weeks there. We saw many more animals including, lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and hyenas. We enjoyed lots of the scenery and tired to take it all in. We went to the hippo swimming pool and I could not believe how many hippos there were in a pretty small pool. They were very interesting to watch because they liked to fight with each other. However they were also very stinky. We enjoyed lots of the scenery and tired to take it all in. One of the coolest things we saw was the “great migration” of wildebeest and zebras. Every year around this time about 2 million animals migrate to Kenya for food. They return to the Serengeti again in September. It was so amazing to see so many animals in one spot. All you could see were wildebeest and zebras for miles and miles. It looked like something out of National Geographic magazine. Monday night we stayed at the Ngoronoro Crater Serena Lodge. It had the most beautiful view you could ever imagine. The hotel was right on the edge of the crater, overlooking the inside of the crater. I wish we stayed there more nights because it was so pretty.
Tuesday morning we drove down into the crater. We got a great experience with elephants. There were about 60 that pasted our car and came very close. It was an unbelievable experience. The zoo will never be the same. We also got up close and personal with some lions. We came across a pride that just got done eating. The lioness who hunted was very tired. She laid under our cars for shade. She was so close I could reach out and touch her, but I didn’t. We got to see a big male lion from a distance as well. It had a big mane and was about 12-13 year old. Later we got to see two black rhinos. They were pretty far away but you could still see just how big they were. In the late afternoon we headed back to Arusha. On our drive back we passed many Maasai villages. It was really neat to see people herding sheep and cows through hills and mountains. It was hard to think about how these people live out in the wilderness and survive on what they can provide for themselves. This four day safari is an experience I will never forget. I think it’s something everyone needs to do once in their life.


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