Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park hosts the largest and longest overland migration in the world. It is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world and we’ve been there and very lucky to experience it.
Located in the north-western part of Tanzania getting there is somewhat an adventure in itself. Typically people make their last stop in Karatu which marks the end of any tar road. That's what we do as well this time as we ran out of money. 'We stay for just one night, do some quick shopping on the local market and hit the road the next morning.
From here it’s a rough dust road which takes its toll on your vehicle and your back. Passing by the Ngorongoro Crater and a lot of Maasai settlements we drive for several hours until we reach the entry to the Serengeti National Park. While we didn’t have any tyre problems unlike so many others, our starter doesn't seem to like the rough ride. Trying to find a good spot for downhill parking is essential from now on. But luckily there is a great team of mechanics in the park who fix quite a few of our technical problems, including a broken suspension and the unreliable starter. Many thanks to the guys at the Serengeti “Jua Kali” Garage. We wouldn’t have made it without you! :-)
After a few hours on a very rough road we finally arrive at the gates.
Almost immediately after entering the park we pass by a few lions and zebras.
A few hippos in the hippo pool.
After a great and amazing day it's time for a beer.
Here we camp in the middle of the park. Nobody else is around, only the animals.
Also in the bush Michael tries to keep a certain shape.
Another great camp further north towards Kenia. Again, we are completely alone.
One of those amazing sunsets are about to start.
Time to prepare dinner.
The sun sets pretty fast here.
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Apart from above mentioned technical problems we have a great time in the Serengeti. Having come at the end of the rainy season we have the place almost to ourselves. Spending five nights in the tent, just the two of us listening to the unfamiliar sounds around us is certainly something we will never forget.
Unlike the camp sites we’ve known from Namibian or South African NPs the camp sites here aren’t fenced. There are just marked spots in the wilderness and the only facilities are long drop toilets (admittedly some have showers but they only work when the elephants haven’t damaged the water pipeline). Forget about any luxury. For this you should go to one of the expensive safari lodges. However, you won’t have the same experience for sure ...
In the Serengeti we come across a wide variety of animals.
A couple of topi.
A giraffe eating some grass.
A few impalas trying to understand what we are doing here.
This one came a bit too close to our camp while we prepared dinner.
Getting some sun on a big rock.
Hello, can you tell me where I can get lunch today?
Elephants are around here as well of course.
This is one of those famous lions who climb up the trees.
And last but not least the wildebeest migration.
Us standing in the middle of thousands and thousands of animals. Unforgettable.
This is course provides various lunch options for others.
The hyena is also trying to grab something.
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Having taken some really good photos they only go a certain way in giving an impression of our great adventure in this magnificent part of the world. Us standing in the middle of the gathering of almost 2 Million wildebeests and zebras is amazing. The smell, the sounds and the sheer enormity of the herds is something we can’t cover in pictures. You just have to experience it yourself.
We were lucky to pass the migration twice. The first time right when we enter the Serengeti in the south and the second time after a few days further north. Obviously when the table is laid so richly predators and scavengers are not far away... Which means that we were able to see a diverse set of animals. Clearly one of the highlights of this trip.
One of the experiences we will not forget either is our encounter with some of the buffalo. Camping up north at the Lobo camp site - again we are completely on our own - we are just preparing dinner as the sun is producing again a spectacular sky while it starts to set. Strange noises come from the close by bushes. A second later a single buffalo get's out and starts grassing on the green grass of the camp right next to us. Shortly after three of his brothers are joining him. Clearly a bachelor party. Although they seem to ignore us we decide to take our meal inside the car and watch them as they have their dinner. We don't want to get into their way which unfortunately also means that we can't get to the long drop toilets. They are exactly grassing on the way to them.
They keep us company for half of the night and we fall asleep while listening to their sounds from our tent. Nature pure.