Along with the Kilimanjaro booking, Lasse added on a three day safari. This was an excellent idea and we spent the next three days sitting in a Toyota Land Cruiser watching animals. The areas we visited included Lake Manyara, Ngongoro Crater, and Tarangire. All three of these locations were great and contained a lot of wildlife.
Leaving Springlands Hotel around 9am, there was just over a three hour drive to Tarangire. As we arrived, it was time to eat our packed lunch while our guide went and checked in. Driving into the park, we immediately started seeing zebra and wildebeest. These were going to be the first of many to come. Of coarse there were a lot of pictures taken during this time. Driving through the park, each of us enjoyed seeing all of the wildlife that the park had to offer. Elephants, giraffes, and buffalo were in abundance. It was spectacular to see all of these animals in their natural habitats. The best part of the day however is that our guide received a call from one of his friends saying that cheetahs had been spotted. Racing over to see them, it took a few passes up and down the road to spot the cheetahs. They were laying underneath a tree about 200 yards away from the road. Seeing as we were the only vehicle around, we drove over close to the tree even though it is not allowed. There were three cheetahs hanging out in this African desert underneath a tree and we were able to get some good pictures of them. This was one of the highlights of the safari trip. We had only been in the park about an hour before we were able to see some cheetahs! Later in the day after covering some more ground and seeing elephants and giraffes, another call came in. There were lions not too far from where we were. Unlike the cheetahs, there were many vehicles here watching and taking pictures of the lions. They were just laying on the bank of the river catching some sun rays. Two cubs with two females and no males in sight is what we were able to see. After this, it was time to start heading out of the park and to the Highview Hotel for the night. For the first day of our safari it had been really eventful! The only two animals of the Big Five that we did not get to see were the rhino and a leopard which we hoped would be in one of the next two spots.
Ngorongoro Crater was really cool to visit. Since it is a crater, we had to drive down a steep road to get inside. The crater itself is impressive and covers a vast area. Looking into the crater from the top, you are able to see some great views of the land. Once inside the crater we were able to see bustards, hyena, zebra, wildebeest, lion, hippos, and a rhino far off in the distance (too far for picture). Now, when we would see zebra, there would always be wildebeest accompanying them. Both of these animals get along exceptionally well for one specific reason. Zebras have good eyesight and wildebeest have an excellent sense of smell. In this way, both of these animals are able to help protect each other from predators. Our guide showed us a spot where we were allowed to get out of the car and capture some cool pictures of the zebra and wildebeests. It was a great safari day and each of us enjoyed it a ton.
This safari was a blast and I loved the whole trip. It would’ve been nice to see a rhino up closer but atleast we got to see one. Unfortunately, we never did end up seeing a leopard. This was the only animal of the Big Five we did not see. The animal life here was abundant and many giraffes, zebra, lions, wildebeests, various birds, hippos, hyenas, elephants, rhino and baboons can be spotted. This was a great safari trip!