My first time on a Safari. The word itself evokes romantic images out of a Karen Blixen novel.
Through a social network I belong to, ASW, I communicated with Joshua who runs a safari/travel outfit in Nairobi. He procured a Land Rover, retained the service and expertise of a great guide/driver and booked the various lodges I had selected. He met my husband in Kilimanjaro and drove to the lodge where Judy and I had just checked in, following our trek down the kilimanjaro mountain.
I was to experience the nature and wildlife of Africa.
I was in awe of the raw, simple beauty of the landscapes. Our first drive took us to one of my favorite place, Tarangire National Park. From our cabin on a plateau, we looked down onto a vast ravine and flat plain, teeming with life, elephants taking a rest, giraffes walking back and forth, wilderbeast going back and forth in very large groups, Giraffe drinking in the river. I was pinching myself, Is is this real? I felt as was looking at this extraordinary life in a fishbowl.
A safari is actually spent in a Land rover type car, with an open roof, and driving...lot's of driving...on the park's dirt roads in search of elusive animals and birds. But animal life is all around you, one can observe the social inter actions of the various type of animal. I could stare for hours and never tire of watching, feeling the hot dry air, listening to the sounds and birds singing.
We then drove to Ngorongoro Crater.From our lodge, cosy and high on top the largest crater in the world, 2000ft deep and covering 100 square miles, one could observe the crater plateau teeming with life where 25000 large animals live. The drive down to the crater was not for the faint of heart... i saw my first Lion and Rhinoceros.
The highlight of this Safari was the days spent in the Serengeti. The immensity of this dry, arid land is breathtaking. In the evening, resting on a chaise, watching the sunset, the only sounds were the ones of the animals settling in for the night or huntting. An elephant slowly passed right by me, eating his evening meal of tree bark, I could almost touch its trunk. I felt pure joy, absolute peace in this magical, perfect yet brutal land.
It was sad saying goodbye to Serengeti, but on we went to Manyara Reserve where thousands of Flamingos tinted the landscape in a soft pink tone.
masai bringing their herd to their compound for the night
elephant turning down for the night
Off to Kilimanjaro airport to a complete new experience... Zanzibar rich in Omani culture, architecture, natural beaches.