I wouldn’t say I dreamt of going on safari but I always hoped and expected I would one day. It exceeded my expectations in every possible way. There is nothing better than seeing such an amazing array of creatures doing their thing in the wild. Because they actually do things, a opposed to lazing around, bored and unstimulated in a zoo enclosure. They hunt, mate, eat, look after their young, yawn, preen, take in their surroundings and impress Jeep-loads of tourists ogling them.
We did a three-day safari in Tanzania through the Maisha Arts Hostel. Depending on your budget there are many safari options in Tanzania, ranging from a camping safari (like we did) to staying at the Four Seasons for $US1000 per person per night and taking a small private plane from national park to national park. Fancy! Our safari, which was actually four days(?!) turned out to be about $US200 a day each including park fees and permits, meals, accommodation and a driver/guide. It was amazingly good value.
The safari started from Arusha, Tanzania. We got there via bus from Nairobi, Kenya. We spent the night at Maisha Arts before setting off the next morning with our guide Hans. Our first stop was Tarangire National Park.
It’s amazing how much the terrain changes as your drive around. It seems so dusty and barren but then all of a sudden there’s water.
We kept our eyes peeled for the big 5; lions, elephants, buffalo, rhinos and leopards (realistically knowing rhinoceroses and leopards are notoriously hard to see).
I was pretty excited to see giraffes too!
These were the first lions of the trip! We saw them from very far away and they were constantly mating, resting and then mating again about five minutes later. Such stamina.
It wasn’t long before we saw our first up-close lioness sighting; a mother-daughter duo on hunting practice.
They stalked and eventually chased some zebra but were unsuccessful.
Andy can be credited with spotting the first elephant of the trip, but watching this elephant family cool off in a stream was an absolute highlight.
After what felt like a minute, but was probably closer to an hour, we moved on. And found more beauties:
At the end of the day we were sweaty, dusty and (Sarah) covered in tsetse fly bites, but so happy with the day and enchanted by the things we’d seen.
And it was only the beginning!