We had been quite hesitant whether we really wanted to do more game drives / safaris after all the game driving we already did and the costs of tours and entry fees to the national parks of Tanzania had put us off. We actually had decided we did not want to spend all that money on more of the same. But then we where in Mwanza and we were close to the gate of Serengeti and we heard that the yearly migration of around 1.5 million wildebeests was going on just close to where we were and then Emanuel of Stripes Safaris found us and offered us a deal we could not refuse …. and so we went for a 3 day / 2 night tour from Mwanza to Arusha through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
Both parks are famous, hyped, commercial and a destination for most tourists visiting these parts of the world so we were not convinced this would be something for us but at the end we got eager and excited that we had decided to go. In a good safari vehicle we left with Emanuel and Hassan as our guides, driver, cook and together with Miles and
Sara a German couple we entered Serengeti via the most western gate as we came from Mwanza. We drove through the so called western corridor where during the current dry winter month the wildebeests collectively move to more food rich areas. When we arrived in the area where we could see huge herds of wildebeests we were thrilled but some time later we really drove straight through the real migration. It’s impossible to describe and also difficult to capture what a group of hundreds of thousands wild animals looks like. They were everywhere and the mass of animals reached as far as the horizon. Nature again surprised us with a spectacular phenomena.
There was one other things that we were very, almost hopelessly, eager to spot this trip and after a good day of driving through Serengeti and dropping our bags at the accommodation in the middle of the park we went for a last short game drive in the central area where suddenly Emanuel spotted a leopard in a tree :-) !!! Quite ecstatic we were able to watch the beautiful rare animal sitting and climbing in and down the tree. Just beautiful.
Both these parks have
a reputation of being quite overcrowded with tourist groups and safari trucks fighting for the best spot for sighting an animal and both are so much hyped in all stories, guides and brochures that first we were not blown away by the number of animals in Serengeti. There were also not a lot of vehicles so that was very positive. We later got to see the hundreds of thousands of wildebeests though and we also did see a lot of other different species. We got to spend quite some time with different prides of lions, including an extremely cute curious cub, some playful juveniles, a small group of adults on high alert spotting some zebras for lunch (but not able to hunt them down), some beautiful adult males and even a lion climbing a tree.
Also after entering the Ngorongoro crater it took a while before we spotted the sheer number of animals and then finally realised that we were actually very lucky to see so many lions, huge number of beautiful zebras, wildebeests, hippos and even two rhinos.
So even after 6 months in Africa and doing game drives in Namibia, South Africa and Malawi we may
have to conclude that Serengeti and Ngorongoro are very special and end high on our ranking because in just two days we spotted all possible animals making this a very good conclusion of this part of our Africa time.
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