Hey everyone. Well we’re back from our three-day Safari and it was amazing! What an experience. We visited three different National Parks and did what they call “game drives.” On our drive to the first park we got to see more of Tanzania and as we passed villages and different landscapes it really hit me that I’m in Africa! I could feel the age and magic of the Great Rift Valley as we drove through it.
Anyway, we saw lots of animals! Zebras, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, baboons, antelope, wildebeests, hippos, warthogs (we called them Pumbas) and a lion! A beautiful female lion resting the shade. Definitely the highlight of my day. The other highlight was the troop of Baboons (I love the term troop). We saw them from across a river and watched as one by one they all climbed into a huge tree. Tons of them disappeared until slowly we started to see them on top of the tree. A large male looking very in charge perched himself on the tip top and watched over his troop.
Covered in dust and elation we arrived at Twiga (giraffe) Campsite that evening. A refreshing dip in the pool and delicious feast ensued. It was nice to sit and drink tea with our fellow Safari goers- two young Brits, a student from Princeton and a lovely nurse from Perth. That night a loud chorus of birds and bugs like none other I’ve ever heard before sang me to sleep.
Our second day was spent at the Ngorongoro Crater. One of the wonders of the world it is the most amazing place. The caldera was formed 2.5 million years ago when the volcano erupted. I couldn’t help thinking of the funny story our guides in Moshi told over and over again. They were poking fun at another guide who’s limited English told this to his clients: “long, long time ago big mountain. One day whoosh! –gone. Animal in, take picture, no questions”.
On our way down the rim of the crater we stopped to visit a Maasai village. I was stuck by the fact that these people get to live inside this majestic crater amongst the giraffes and zebras. The villagers greeted us with a song and dance before inviting us in to see their traditional huts. I had mixed feelings at first feeling like these people were just another attraction at the zoo. But then I noticed the women laughing with each other and truly enjoying themselves. I was also told that they are very proud of their culture and like to share it with visitors. The women even put their beautiful beaded necklaces around our necks and danced with us. The woman next to me held my hand and I tried to bounce with her movements. We crawled into the dark warm hut and asked our guides questions. I won’t forget our language barrier when Julia tried to ask for a Maasai expression or poem. Oh well, we tried.
The highlights inside the crater were seeing the rare and endangered black Rhino, the strange looking Ostriches and huge herds of wildebeests, zebras and buffalos. The most memorable encounter for me was crossing the huge long line of Zebra. They were walking single file by the thousands and the flash of Land Cruisers split the line when we drove up. The last Zebra who had made it across the road, stopped and turned around waiting for the others. He or she stood for a while looking concerned (at least in my human interpretation) and then called loudly- a sound I’d never heard before. When the next Zebra crossed over he/she came up and nuzzled the concerned one. I felt very touched by this as well as a little upset with us stupid humans. The crater felt wild and ancient to me, but also felt a little like a zoo with the large numbers of Safari trucks buzzing around. I do feel good about the regulations in the parks and it didn’t keep me from having an incredible time.
Land Cruiser line
So that was my Safari experience, sorry for the long read. Enjoy the pics, it was a blast capturing them.