After all the game drives in the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park, our safari was coming to an end.  we stopped quickly at the Olduvai Gorge and heard a brief talk about the archaeological finds from the area.

On the way from the Olduvai Gorge to Lake Manyara we stopped at a place with a view of the Ngorongoro Crater.



Game Drive 2 Serengeti


A lion pack.  A leopard with a snack.


And some other animals for your viewing pleasure.

Game Drive in Serengeti

Up late (8:30).  We got in the truck for a game drive in the Serengeti National Park.  First we saw a big group of giraffes eating trees, far away from the road.  Over the day, we lots of many kinds of animals.  Hippos, lions, zebra, elephants, impala, baboons, gazelles.  One of the more notable things we saw that day was a zebra giving birth to a dead foal.  That, and the leopard jumping out of its tree to take a pee.

Ngorongoro Crater

Third day on safari, we all got up and had breakfast early. We were in the truck and descending into the crater by 7am. It was still foggy so we couldn’t see anything. The weather was nice, around 18 degrees C. The first animals we saw were two cheetahs casually laying around, with big bellies, leading Issa to guess they had just eaten. Now in retrospect and looking at the pictures, I believe one of them was pregnant.

Inside the crater and in our vehicle, we all had a cup of coffee to warm up.

And as magic, we began to see many other animals. I remember seeing 5 lionesses and a young lion. For a while, we waited around hoping we would see them hunt, but they did not.  We saw a rhino which is a rarity. We saw hyenas running alongside herds of zebras.

After driving around the crater for a few hours, we stopped at the hippo swamp to eat lunch. After lunch, we took off to the Serengeti.


Our second day on safari we got up and went back into the Tarangire.  For me the elephants were the best.  We saw a baby elephant drinking its mother’s milk.  We saw a group of them “bathing.”  Bathing in elephant terms has nothing to do with getting clean.  It’s a matter of changing from the old protective layer of filth to a new protective layer of filth.  First they roll around in water, then scratch themselves on any available rock or log or tree, then roll around in the dirt and pick up dirt with their trunks and shower it on themselves like cologne.

After lunch we got on the road to the Ngorongoro Crater area where we would spend the night so that we would be there bright and early the next day.  Tarangire is near lake Manyari and at the edge of highlands which sit dramatically on the horizon.  On the drive to Ngorongoro we headed straight for the wall in the west with the sun in our faces.  I sat up front with Issa.  The sun was brutal.  But as we started to climb up into the highlands the temperature dropped.


When we got close to Ngorongoro and night was falling we saw a leopard in the road.  It was a lucky coincidence because they are known to be so shy.  We tried to stop and see it better but it was gone in an instant.  When we got to a point with a nice view of the crater after sunset we stopped to admire the view and take some photos.  We stayed in a place close by.  We had a good dinner and I went to sleep.  It was nice to sleep because it was cold.  T- stayed up and worked on organizing all the photos she took during the day.

Its been too long that this blog about our trip is unfinished.  I think about it almost every day… A new less ambitious dream would be to finish writing about the experiences.

Safari – Tarangire

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On a fine Saturday morning we woke up and did the pack-up routine; eat breakfast, shower, pack, pay for the room, etc.  Issa, our driver guide, came to get us in the Land Rover.  We went to get the last of what we owed for the safari from the bank and then off we went.  I was so happy with the Land Rover.  It had a small refrigerator.  It had electrical plugs.  It had lots of space.  I can safely say we were all happy.  The ladies chatted away.  We got to the first park, Tarangire National Park, at about 12:30PM.

I wanted to go to Tarangire to see the massive Baobab trees.  They didn’t disappoint. They were truly enormous.  I learned and saw that many of the trees have dramatic scars where elephants have carved big chunks out of the trunks with their tusks.  The elephants do this to get water.  We saw lions, warthogs, birds, waterbucks, zebras, giraffes, baboon, vervet monkeys…

At the end of the day, just about sunset, we went to the Maramboi tented camp.  We had a nice dinner, talked with Issa about the next day, and then the Marias got on the internet.  Yes, there is WiFi available in a tented camp in the middle of Tanzania.  You shouldn’t picture this “tented” camp anything like the little safari tent we had in Bujigali Falls.

A “tent” at this camp was bigger than 90% of the places we’d stayed in on the trip, and luxurious.  The bed was picturesque with its mosquito net hanging from a wrought iron frame.  The whole tent was pitched on a wooden structure; a raised wooden floor with a deck outside and a staircase leading up.

We went to sleep content and were woken up in the middle of the night by what sounded like animals in the room.  I dreaded finding a warthog rooting around in our bags – what am I gonna do about that?  But T- insisted that we should find out what it was.  It turned out to be a herd of zebra who came to use the wooden frame of the “tent” as a scratching post.  T- got excited and took some photos.