May 21st, 2014
Traveling from Arusha to Serengeti National Park
Jambo from Tanzania!
This is our first full day in Tanzania. We spent the day traveling for about 9 hours in the trucks, with many great stops along the way.
We had a nice American-style breakfast at Ahadi Lodge, and took the time to pose for our first of many group shots in Tanzania:
We loaded into our trucks, Toyota Land Cruises, in groups of 4, 4, and 5. Our three drivers will be our 24/7 escorts throughout our stay. The trucks are large and comfortable, with luggage stowed in back, and coach bus style seats. They also had coolers for our water and, most importantly, pop up roofs that allow us 360-degree views of the countryside and wildlife.
We spent many hours driving along Tanzanian highways. The views were always engrossing: Maasai children leading herds of cattle, goats, and sheep, men on bicycles transporting all manner of goods, and the general hustle-bustle of daily life in Tanzania. Everyone agreed that this was much more interesting than our usual commutes!
At one point, we came upon a pack of olive baboons blocking the road:
As we approached the Serengeti, we entered Maasai territory. There were many villages visible along the roads, as well as many people young and old herding animals:
Plus giraffes! On the side of the road! Just walking around and eating trees! Crazy!
Towards the early evening, we entered Serengeti National Park, our home for the next two days:
We began our first game drive across the “infinite plain” of the Serengeti. We watched storm clouds roll in the distance, vast swaths of grassland that stretched out to the horizon, and countless large game animals, including elephants, gazelles, birds of many varieties, hyenas, and zebras.
We spotted a mother cheetah and her cub:
As the sun set, we saw the most memorable site of the day, a pair of adolescent male lions sharing a recently killed zebra, as a pack of hyenas watched and waited for their turn:
Just before camp, we came upon a family of 12 elephants walking by:
Wowed by the wildlife surrounding us, we drove to our tent camp. This consists of large canvas zip-up tents that hold 2-3 people. Each had a bathroom that worked from its own portable water tank, so showers had to be ordered ahead of time (at which time one of the camp workers would pour 40 gallons of fire-heated water into your tank). We enjoyed dinner cooked over and open fire, and everyone dropped from exhaustion by about 10PM. It was an amazing day, and we all greatly looked forward to an entire day of game driving in the Serengeti tomorrow.
Everyone is healthy, happy, and having an amazing time. Please don't ever take silence as indicating a problem (other than the problem of sporadic Internet access!).
Thanks for reading!