If you’re ever headed to Africa and you have a choice, better go during the rainy season.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the Great Migration. The wet season lasts between January and March and no one knows exactly how long the Great Migration has happened, but it has steadily occurred every year at around the same time, right at the end of the Wildebeest breeding season. As the wetlands turn to dry lands over a million large beasts including Wildebeests, Giraffes, Zebras, Gazelles, etc. cycle to the North following the green grazing grass. And they follow the grazing lands year after year after year, for over thousands of years. Which makes an African Safari during the wet season the perfect choice at the turn of the New Year.
The good news is we happened to be in the wetlands at the same time as all the animals! Come and see some of what we spotted.
The car we spent over 3 full days in.
On the way to the Serengeti Wildlife park we started off in Ngorongoro, full of small villages and grass eaters interspersed, we started to get very excited for the big cats and the many other animals.
Villagers were interspersed in the fields with their crops or tending to their flocks in the vast lands as we drove through. Some of them even wore masks, which were actually quite freaky!
Then from afar we spotted the first group of giraffes and quickly popped the top of the land rover so we could get a very good view. Once in the Serengeti Wildlife Park we were able to keep the top up as we drove past the animals, for the best views.
Giraffes were my favorite animal to photograph because they are so funny looking. haha.
They look even funnier standing amongst this small brush, it makes the giraffes look even bigger than they already are.
Camels, owned by the villagers, stopping for some brush as everyone took a rest.
&& a few zebra kisses to go with it.
Gazelle grazing in the grass.
Watch out! Giraffes crossing the road.
Action shot, a giraffe galloping that I caught on camera.
He thinks that he’s hidden behind that tree.
To the left To the left
Definitely one of my favorite photos, he seems so contemplative.
Then we came upon this vulture sneaking upon a dead gazelle. It is time for feasting…
Yummy yummy, food in his tummy.
After a couple of hours driving we finally reached the entrance to the Serengeti Wildlife Park. So excited!
Found our first carnivore, the wild and rugged hyena.
And look there’s another one, splashing around in some water.
Feasting frenzy by various types of vultures on an unlucky wildebeest.
This guy is laying out, relaxin, maxin, chillin all cool. Looks like she’s rubbing her tummy, probably because she’s pregnant or just ate a really big lunch. Look at all of those grass eaters in the background!
Pride of lions just hanging out in the Serengeti Wildlife Plain.
Looking back down the road we just drove up you can see 1,000s of Wildebeests, hanging out. They were EVERYWHERE.
Then these jokers thought they would act like monkey’s up in the tree, they were hoping not to be detected by a lion.
All technology free out here, just my kind of trip!
Have you ever wanted to see a Zebra’s butt?! Good cause there’s one right there. If you answered no to the question, quick don’t look!
Our first elephant out roaming around, and right next to the road too!
The more wrinkles an elephant has, the older they are in age. We also knew he was older because he was traveling alone.
He thinks I can’t see him if he covers his eyes with his trunk. He’s sorely mistaken.
One of the most deadly animals and they don’t even eat meat! Hippos are responsible for countless deaths in Africa every year either because you are swimming in the wrong area or because they feel threatened around their young. Hippos spend all of their hot days laying around in ponds and rivers and all of their nights foraging for food around the lakes and rivers. They can’t go out during the day because the sun will dry their skin up.
In fact, their skin gives off a red oil that can be mistaken as blood but is actually used to keep their skin moist during hot summer days.
Baby hippo and probably already weighs a couple of hundred pounds. They are massive beasts.
“Look, over here, do you see what’s up in that tree?” Anyone have a guess?
A little bit closer now… It’s either a leopard or a Cheetah, how can you be certain which?
Turns out Leopards are the cat that climbs trees because they have retractable claws whereas Cheetahs do not.
Leopards enjoy the shade of trees during the hot day while Cheetahs prefer grassy plains and normally hunt during the day.
Cat in the tree, must be a Leopard.
Then there was a moment when we thought we should sit on the roof of the land cruiser, which was quite short lived. Apparently that’s not allowed.
Stopping for lunch at a place out in the Safari plains a couple left there picnic and went inside for a few minutes. The small animals that loiter about took full advantage for their opportunity at small morsels of food.
After lunch as we were heading back out we saw this warthog with her babies running about in the grass. They are actually quite cute.
Ahoy, looks like there’s something in this tree too, wonder what?!
Yes its a she-lion possibly waiting for unsuspecting prey to wonder by, but I think she’s actually napping over there right now.
Then we happened upon another pride of lions this group walking around looking for a good place to lay in the grass. We were hopping for a lion chase and feeding but didn’t end up seeing one. Would have loved to see something like this:
Lions are one of the few types of cats that actually form family bonds with each other, and raise their young to adult hood while also staying together as a pack.
As we were driving I was standing up in the front seat and there were flies buzzing around. One landed on my leg and our driver caught it right between the wings, that was pretty cool!
Bunch of Antelope. Now we are headed towards our campsite in the Serengeti Wildlife Plain, the day is almost done. We’ve been driving around since 0730.
Another warthog staring up at us as we drove by.
Long Necked Giraffe alongside the road.
& this guy poking his head over the tops of the trees at us.
Just as Dik Dik’s (Smallest animal in the Antelope family) are known as the appetizers of the Serengeti, the buffalo is the grand buffet, the most delightful smorgasbord for a carnivore. Enough to feed an entire pride of lions and have leftovers for the vultures and the hyenas.
THEN COMES THE GLAMPING!
See we can be sophisticated too! Tea in the middle of the Serengeti Wildlife Park.
Our accommodations for the night. Recently in the travel blogging world I’ve come across the term Glamping which is the terms Glamorous and Camping combined to make Glamping. If you aren’t the fondest of staying out in the woods with the bare essentials, then maybe this is more your style. Once you glamp you’ll never go back!
That’s right, our tent had 3 parts to it, the foyer, bed room area complete with wardrobe, and bathroom shower area that was capable of hot water.
Lanterns to guide the way at night. There are 10 tents in total which can accommodate up to 20 people at one time. In the camp that night there were only 10 of us.
A row of tents. Its not advisable to roam far from the camp especially at night. Hyenas hang close because of the smells of cooking from the kitchens and you can hear them scurrying about at night.
The dining area, now tell me you won’t at least try it!
GLAMPING is for everyone.
The foyer area opened all the way up and we could sit inside and relax or sit outside to watch the sunset. After dinner was over that night there was a fire outside and we sat underneath the stars and talked to some of the workers. They escorted us back to our tents in case they had to fend off any hyenas. We even went and looked to see if we could see some, but did not.
The next morning we still had to transit out of the Serengeti Wildlife Park which meant another half of a day searching for more animals.
Hyena, closest we got!
Topi, a type of Antelope that you can distinguish because of the black tattoos on their hind legs.
Ostrich’s even made their appearance in the Serengeti Wildlife Park.
Then we came upon 2 male lions lying in the grass enjoying the early morning before the sun got too hot. WOW.
The closest I’ve ever been to a lion and he was free. They are such intimidating creatures.
Pop the top! Let’s see what we can find out there.
Now this is a good way to do business in the Serengeti Wildlife Park. They even have a little burner for their tea.
Hey! What is that guy doing up there? Vultures were everywhere in the Serengeti Wildlife Park, always looking for scraps of meat.
Then this guy decided he wanted in our car. We had to politely ask him to be on his way.
WHAT! A Giraffe sitting down. That’s awesome. He’s just having a rest, then he’ll be on his way.
After leaving the Serengeti Wildlife Park we were driving back towards Moshi and the Kilimanjaro Airport. It was a long day in the car but the cold beer and shower waiting at the Springlands hotel was well worth it.