Sunday, December 27, 2009

Serengeti ... Ngorongoro Crater ... Manyara Lake ... Safari

[the safari jeep we rode...] ............. [an impala ...] ................................... [me, Joyce and Kristin]

[a couple of giraffes elegantly strolling ...] [a pretty giraffe ..... ] ......... [a male lion ... Simba ?]

[Scar ... ?] ....................................... [a lonely big elephant ... ] ................ [a couple of buffalos]
[a beautiful lion couple...] ............. [a hyena waiting for a company] ... [sunrise with acacia trees]
[a mother warthog and babies] ..... [hippos in the water ....] ... [zebras and wildebeests all over ..]

Kristin, Joyce and I did the safari at Manyara Lake National Park, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater from December 9th - 13th, 2009. We stayed one night at Manyara Lake, two nights at Seronera in the Serengeti and one night at the Ngorongoro Crater camp site.

Manyara Lake National Park was the first place where we did the safari. We saw a lot of animals within the park in one afternoon. It was our first time encounter with many of them so they look quite interesting, but they became less interesting as we saw more of them in substantially bigger settings later. We saw many impalas that can jump over big bushes elegantly.

Safari at the Serengeti National Park was amazing. Particularly, sleeping in a tent in the middle of the Serengeti on a rainy night was an unforgettable experience. Lightening outside the tent was as vivid as you see it with bare eyes. After the rain stopped, we could hear the howling sound of hyenas. At the dusk, we saw a couple of giraffes elegantly passing by the camp site in an 100 yards away. We also saw a total of 23 lions. At one spot, we saw 13 lions. It was a bonanza. We saw one male lion that looked exactly like "Scar" in the movie "Lion King." We almost witnessed the lions' hunting scene, but wildebeest smelled the lions and ran away. In one morning, we saw a gorgious sunrise with the acacia treens standing out with the surrouding darkness. The Serengeti was as big as 15,000 square km. It represents almost two thirds of Rwanda.

Ngorongoro Crater was a different experience. It is a crater, but it is as big as 304 square km. There was no trail for animals or people before, but now there are trails. Animals may enter or exit from the crater, but they usually choose to stay in the crater once they come in to the crater because grass and water are ample. The trails are rough and it was an awesome experience to drive around in the crater. We saw even the rare black rhinos, plus many other usual animals. We camped at Simba Camp located at the rim of the crater. The view was spectacular and stunning. The sunrise was mysterious.

All in all, I was able to count approximately 50 different animals that we saw.

Pampered camping was also our first experience, but it was precious. Our driver and guide was Juvenile and the cook was Prosper. Juvenile was able to spot the animals that are quite far away and found all big fives and many others. Prosper was able to prepare all kinds of meals and the settings were quite impressive. We were well fed.

This trip helped me cross two items on my list of 100 dreams. - JJL

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