Going on an African safari was my trip of a lifetime and I’m already itching to go back. While doing research for the trip, as soon as I learned about the Great Migration in Tanzania I was sold that this was the place to go on a multi-day safari. I highly recommend Tanzania for this type of trip because you will see a lot of different animals, and there’s a good chance you will see the Big Five. We visited the Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater, and had a different experience at each place. The Serengeti is so massive you’ll need at least two nights to have enough time to see sunrise and/or sunset, and hunt for good photo opportunities of the Great Migration. The migration is the movement of a large number of wildebeest as well as zebras, gazelles, etc., to find good grass and water. We zipped from place to place in a jeep decked out in our best khaki gear, ate delicious packed lunches and fell asleep to the sound of animals in the distance. All from the safety of our safari tent.
I have so many great memories from the safari but here are my top 5 experiences:
- Glamp in the Serengeti- this makes you feel like Indiana Jones if he ever went on safari. We were in the heart of the Serengeti National Park, so we heard many buffalo and jackal noises during the night. Our tent was comfortable; we had a sink, toilet, and a real shower. The staff brought us shower water whenever we were ready for showers, however, we had to let them know when the second person was ready to shower so they could bring more water. Also, since the water is limited, the trick is to turn the water off while soaping up. I don’t mind camping, but glamping is the way to go!
- Visit a Masai village- this may seem a bit touristy, but learning about the Masai way of life was a really cool opportunity. My friend and I were also asked if we wanted to marry Masai, which tickled us and is a story we love to tell over and over again.
- The lion encounter- on our way out of Tarangire National Park I saw a lion’s butt in the distance with my binoculars. Our guide immediately darted in the lion’s direction where we found three lions finishing up their breakfast, a warthog. We pulled up right in front of the lions and I may have freaked out and started to roll up my window. I was told there was no need since they would not come after us. Whew. It still made my heart race being so close to them.
- See the big five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino)- at least attempt to. We also saw lots of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, warthogs, and more. It all seemed surreal.
- Personal safari tour guide- we found a great local Tanzania safari tour company Base Camp Tanzania via Trip Advisor and lucked out by having our own guide and jeep. This worked out well since often it’s up to you on the direction and time to spend in certain areas. The company was also quite a bit cheaper than American companies.
Serengeti Safari Camp
The African Leopard (Serengeti)
Masai Village Tour- the Masai performing their welcome dance.
Breakfast With Lions (Tarangire National Park)
Baby Elephant Watching (Tarangire National Park)
Ngorongoro Crater- there are approximately 25,000 large animals living in the crater and this is where we completed the big five by seeing two rhinos. We learned the night before that there was a big buffalo kill, so we would probably see a lot of very full and lazy lions lying around. I also thought I spotted a small bear, which turned out to be a fat hyena. Too cute.
The Big Five is complete!
Fancy packed lunches and banana delivery on bicycles- I looked forward to receiving our packed lunches every day. Most days we were out in the middle of nowhere so we ate lunch in the jeep or stopped at a park if we were lucky. The lunches were filled with all sorts of goodies that changed daily- several pieces of fruit, boiled egg, juice, sandwich or sweet bread. This made me so happy!