Going on safari in Serengeti National Park was a dream come true for me. Our trip started on a small plane just a day after hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. As we landed on the grassy plain, giraffes ran along the edge of the runway. We were very excited and had no idea that this was just beginning. We thought that our day would be driving down long dirt roads and occasionally seeing an animal in the distance. The scenery would be beautiful at least so we were still excited to be in the Serengeti.
Boy, did we have that all wrong. Around each turn was another animal. It was almost too much excitement for me! Endless grassy fields and beautiful trees unique to Africa, made even the few moments without animals interesting. Driving along in our safari modified Land Rover on the bumpy dirt roads, I felt as though I was in a National Geographic television show. Groups of gazelle regularly ran in front of our vehicle so close that I was worried about hitting them. At our first sighting of a giraffe, we stopped and cameras clicked away. By the end of the day, we only stopped when animals were 15 feet from the vehicle or closer! The herds of gazelle had become common to us, and we had seen all of the big five but the rhino on day one. We were on animal overload and couldn’t have been more happy about it!
Education in Animals
The wild cats were my favorite, no surprise there! I also fell in love with each baby animal I saw. Thanks to our great guide from ClimbKili, we were educated about each amazing animal we spotted. Learning about how animals like the elephant take care of each other when one is injured (even sharing food) added so much to our appreciation of these amazing creatures. When an elephant dies other elephants mourn the death and take the bones to a special place. We were in awe of these animals that have so much intelligence and compassion. It is impossible to look at animals the same way after learning so much. I would love to head to Tarangire National Park which is known for having the largest population of elephants.
Small animals like the dwarf mongoose, who were very entertaining, caught our eye at times. The mongoose had taken over a termite mound and were very happy with themselves. They looked like royalty relaxing at their new palace.
Our lunch breaks were just as entertaining. Beautiful brightly colored birds flew by and walked around our tables picking up crumbs. Dwarf mongoose hung around in the bushes waiting for scraps to fall. The king of the beggars were the hydrax though. They casually hopped around tables, and even got on the chair next to me. Large groups of hydrax wandered the lunch area, and were often found lounging in the sun. Our safari was nonstop animals, perfect for a wildcat like me!
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