Think of Safari, and Tanzania springs to mind. Tanzania is a land of great natural beauty great cultural diversity. It is a country of pristine beaches, the highest mountain in Africa, huge concentrations of game, savannas and forest. The Great Rift Valley runs through the centre of Tanzania.
The country can roughly be divided into three regions: the coastal area and the islands in the east, the interior plato and the highlands.
The first national park that we visit is Manyara Lake National Park. It stretches for more than 50 km along the base of the Rift Valley. The famous American novelist and adventurer, Ernest Hemingway, called this area “..the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. Birds can be seen in large numbers and in many varieties. Manyara is also famous for the tree climbing lions.
From Manyara we head for one of the most famous national parks in the world, the Serengeti National Park. This is the oldest national park in Tnzania and remains a place of scenic beauty, wild life sanctuary endless opportunities for research. The numbers are incredible: More than 2 million Wildebeest, ½ million Thomson’s gazelle, ¼ million Zebra graze on the outstretched savanna.
These numbers give rise to an annual spectacular event: the migration of millions of grazers from the southern plains of the Serengeti to the Masaai Mara National Park in neighbouring Kenya.
These huge concentrations of grazers attract predators, and many lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena an jackal are abound. The sky is filled with vultures and raptors, always on the look out for something left over by the predators. We will also see large herds of buffalo, Grant’s gazelle, Impala, Elephant, Eland, Giraffe and Topi.
The accommodation in the Serengeti is luxurious and comfortable. We enjoy sundowners at the edge of the swimming pool, while we scan the plains below for herds of animals. We are often rewarded.
The meals are excellent.
Unfortunately our time in the Serengeti runs out, and we must start out return journey. Fortunately, on our way back, the Ngorongoro Crater is awaiting us.
On our way to Ngorongoro we stop at a Masaai village to learn something about these mysterious people that isliving on these plains, in perfect harmony with the wildlife around them. The proud Masaai warriors will perform a war dance, and the women will proudly display the jewelry they make. Some of it will be for sale.
At Ngorongoro we spend the longest time possible (about a half day – entrance to the crater is strictly controlled) inside the crater. Our guides know the crater like the palms of their hands, and they are (like they were right through our tour) in radio contact with each other. This ensures that we will get the best of this unique place. The crater is the habitat of the highest concentration of predators in the world. We enjoy a picnic lunch at a picturesque spot.
And so, sadly, our tour to Serengeti and Ngorongoro coms to an end, and we must say goodbye to this wonderful part of the world.
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