Our final three nights on safari were spent doing morning and afternoon game drives in the Serengeti (means “endless plains” in Swahili). This park is known for the annual Wildebeest migration and the predators that prey on these animals. Upon entering the park, we were suddently driving through thousands of Wildebeest that extended out as far as the eye could see. February is also the time when the Wildebeest have their offspring so we were able to see hundreds of little ones that were just a few weeks old. After an hour of driving to get through the Wildebeest herd, we toured other areas of the park and saw the animals that live on the Serengeti. Below are some of our favorite shots. Keep in mind that we brought a Canon point and shoot camera for our RTW trip so these pictures are as close as they appear.
A male lion resting about 10 ft. from our Land Cruiser
Hippos at the local watering hole
One of eight cheetahs we saw on the trip
A baby baboon and his parents
Crocodiles sunning on the beach
Our time on the Serengeti also allowed us to get to know our fellow safari companions and crew a whole lot better. Shelly and I are in agreement that we met the funniest person we’ve ever met in our lives on this safari. Gary (from Vancouver, B.C.) is a Johnny Cash “tribute artist” who, according to him, has tried ”unsuccessfully for 30 years to become an alcoholic”. When we first met him, we were a little unsure what to think, since he was heading out on safari with black cowboy boots, a button up shirt with only one middle button buttoned, and a cowboy hat with mesh around the top for ventilation. Within an hour of meeting him we couldn’t stop laughing and didn’t until the trip was over. By the end of the trip all he had to do was open his mouth for Shelly to start laughing, whether what he was about to say was funny or not. Gary was also our morning wake-up call and would sing some Johnny Cash as we all stumbled out of our tents.
Gary being Gary and riding a baby rhino
Countering Gary on the trip were two very serious women, Ann and Vivian. Ann and Vivian (both originally from South Africa and Zoologists on holiday) were probably 80 years old going on 18. They would run to the Land Cruiser each morning as we all gathered for a game drive and didn’t tire during the trip. They have done 17 day treks in Nepal and were easily the hardest women we’ve ever met. As Gary put it, “all they need is a change of clothes and a bird book”… which summed them up perfectly.
The group from left to right: Ann, David, Gary, Vivian, Raymond (guide), Shelly, and me
Our guide, Raymond, and 4 person crew also made lasting impressions on us. They were some of the kindest and most hard working people we ever met. For 7 days that had a smile on their face and truly enjoyed what they were doing. We also had the opportunity to learn each of their life stories and learned about their families and culture. They were also extremely fascinated with our iPod’s and had never seen them before. When we arrive back in Seattle in April, there may be a care package with a few iPod’s going back to Tanzania.
Our last morning with the camp crew
On our flight out of the Serengeti to Arusha, a nearby volcano was erupting.