Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
144Trip End Ongoing
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With great anticipation we arrived at the northern entrance gate to the park. This is the SERENGITI after all. The gate is so utterly unimpressive. This obviously makes no difference to the parks popularity. One can gather this from the number of vehicles' parked there waiting to go in. I could not help but compare it to parks in SA like Kruger Park or Ado Elephant park.
Here we are! In THE Serengeti!
At first the country side reminded us much of the typical "bosveld" of SA. Blue Wild Beasts, Zebra and Impala greeted as at the get go. The park has no fences, which is another difference to SA. We soon started to climb from 1100 to 1600 m
Once everyone had had a good look and the tire was fixed, the same scene played itself off once again. They all came charging pass us. The clouds were starting to form above us and looked promising. Arriving at the Public Campsite Seronera, there was already a large number of tents pitched for the night. How it works is the Overlander Trucks bring people in by volume, give each one or each couple a doom tent. Everyone helps setting up. Then the visitors go for a drive while the operator gets dinner ready for them.
We booked for two nights at two different camps. Realising that the second day’s camp was way too far from the gate where we planned to exit, we left Lynxi at Seronera for the day and went for a self drive in the direction of Lobo near the Mara River
It was an extraordinarily beautiful day with signs of possible rain. The scenery just kept getting better. This place is truly every bit as beautiful as everyone says. There is already a lot of “new-green” to be seen everywhere. The yellow grasslands, new green trees and amazing blue skies paints a breath taking picture across the horizon. It somehow creates a feeling of wellbeing unmatched by anything man can conjure up.
The road to Lobo is in fairly good nick which allows one more viewing time. It is quite incredible to constantly see animals even though the park is vast. The closer we got to Lobo the faster the number of buffalo, Blouwildebeeste, zebra, impala and Thomson’s Giselle increased. Even though the migration already passed through the region the “resident” numbers are huge. Giraffe and Elephants are in abundance too. The Eland was shy and we did not see many of them until we got to the higher lying areas on our way back at which time their numbers increased by twenty fold. We hardly mention the Warthogs but they too were plentiful and almost all with little ones.
It is an indescribable feeling to see so many animals together
By now the skies were heavy and one could see it raining in the distance. We seemed to just miss the actual rain all the time. It was spectacular to drive towards it all the time. The excitement of thunder and lightning together with the obvious energy it brought about was quite simply my favorite thing. The road improved by heaps and bounds with no more dust to speak of, even the corrugation seemed smoother. “It was raining in the Serengeti and we were here to witness it! Amazing”!!
Taking the “roads less traveled” on the way back to camp, we encountered bigger volumes of Eland, as I already mentioned. The kopjies allowed us to get a good overview of the area. We stopped off at Lobo Camp, where we would have stayed. Buffalo were in and around the camp. The Kopjies here look like kopjies at Llandudno, huge big granite boulders. One of the lodges is very close to the campsite. They also have an air strip. One of a couple, in the Serengeti. Keep in mind – there is nothing or no one at the airstrip
Heading back, a Crested Eagle sat, refreshed by the rain, right above the road in a tree. It happily remained put for us to take photos. This was not all, our luck had not run out for the day cause next we found two lionesses lying about 7 – 10 meters from the road, just relaxing after the rain. Amazing the effect rain has. They too let us take photos to our hearts content.
In camp we had a number of Tanzanian Tourism Students on our doorstep. They came to chat to us and shared the fire. A lovely bunch of youngsters. Bright eyed and full of enthusiasm for the trade. They impressed us with their knowledge of Tanzania’s parks and wild life. The numbers of foreign visitors fluctuated, all looking a bit bewildered and out of place. As we did, probably.
We had a stupendous time in the Serengeti. Highly recommend it and we would visit it ourselves again, when possible. As for this visit, because of the 24 hour arrangement, we would have to break up camp early morning to get to the exit gate to the Ngorongoro Crater before having to pay for another day
The drive towards the gate was again different with the countryside much more savanna like – or rather typically Sergengeti like. Wide open spaces with grass lands as far as the eye can see. We were content with our coverage of the different areas of the Serengeti. We even saw hippo and forgot to mention the huge croc that we spotted the day before.
WARNING!! The road toward the gate and beyond is revolting to put it lightly! It is a VERY slow drive with tremendous corrugation (especially if you have a trailer). We made it in time before the 24 hour curfew. After paying the most exuberant price ever – we were now on our way to Ngorongoro on this torturous road (68 km straight line – it felt more like 180 km).