Because of the terrible, corrugated roads, we barely made it out of the conservation area on time - despite leaving at the crack of dawn. We arrived at the Serengeti gate and waited a few hours to enter so we would have time to exit the park (again on a 24 hour fee system) the morning of our departure.
Serengeti is iconic and exactly what most of us picture when we think of Africa…endless grassy plains, acacia trees, abundant wildlife and beautiful rock formations. The wildlife here has not disappointed. We’ve had 4 separate cheetah sightings – one of a mother and 3 cubs (the cubs may just be the cutest animals we’ve ever seen?), 2 leopard sightings, lots of lions (including young cubs!), hyena, elephant and other grazers.
We camped one night and then splurged for four nights in celebration of John’s birthday (we needed an excuse not to feel guilty) so we could experience staying in a tented camp. Yes, we’re paying several hundred dollars per night to sleep in a different tent. But, this one has a bathroom, a comfy bed, and includes all of our meals. We’ve also enjoyed a few lunches and a dinner outside. Christy was skeptical given all of our meals while camping are already outside, but it was a great experience with tablecloths, multi-course meals and no dishes afterwards.
On John’s birthday, we were enjoying dinner outside when a male lion was seen lurking around in the shadows - which was quite surprising given there was a big fire, lanterns and ~12 other diners nearby. Fearless! For John’s birthday the staff made a cake and showered him and the other guests with lots of drumming, singing and dancing. We weren’t quite sure of the tradition, but enjoyed how they sang “happy birthday to Johnny” and invited everyone to come and shake his hand.
The best thing about staying at the tented camp has been it’s outside of the busy area of Seronera, so we have had very good game drives where we only see half a dozen, instead of uncountable, safari vehicles. We’ve only come across one other self-driver since entering Tanzania and while we’d heard the safari drivers may not be friendly to our kind, we’ve found them to be fantastic and willing to share information about great sightings (they’re all connected by radio so they’re able to basically guarantee their clients see everything in a day or two). On our last day at the tented camp it absolutely poured with rain for hours and hours. We were so happy to be comfortably warm and dry inside a large tent versus in our small rooftop tent.Read more