We knew we wanted to make our way east across Tanzania (we had a flight booked out of Dar es Salaam) so we booked our 2 night 3 day camping Serengeti safari from Mwanza through Serengeti National Park around the edge of Ngorongoro Crater (you’ve gotta pay extra to go down into the crater where the rhinos are) and then catching the bus to Arusha.
It was AWESOME!
We saw almost everything you possibly can see in Serengeti. Lions. Giraffes. Elephants. Hippos. Heartbeasts. Cape Buffalo. We had a cheetah walk around our jeep and monkey that practically jumped into our jeep. We saw a number of leopards and even saw one with a fresh kill up in a tree. We got some great videos and amazing photos, despite not have any kind of a zoom lens. We spent two nights camping in the middle of the park waking up to giraffes walking less then 50 yards from our tent.
From there we made our way over to Ngorongoro Crater but on the way we crossed through the endless plains (Serengeti means “endless plains”) and the great migration. We’ve heard of the great migration, we’ve seen the National Geographic documentaries, “Planet Earth” etc. but it’s impossible to capture it. It’s wildebeest and zebras as far as you can see in every direction. There is a hill on the edge of the park and from the top you can see what almost looks like a single file line of wildebeest and zebras from one horizon to the other. We drove through the plain for over 2 hours and saw big herds and little groups, just as far as you could see everywhere. It was pretty epic.
Eventually even the “endless plains” ended and we made our way up the hills to the crater. We past Maasai villages and saw Maasai tending their herds and flocks among the giraffe, zebras and wildebeest as we made our way up to the rim of the crater. From the top you can see all the way across the crater and it’s looks like scene from Jurassic Park or something like that.
We came to the end of our Serengeti safari at the “bus station” in Karatu where we said goodbye to our guide and then got in a “minibus” to Arusha. It was a standard mini van that was filled way over capacity. And of course the mozungos get put in the way back. You know the little seat in the very back of a mini van that has 3 seatbelts and barely holds 2 adults? We sat 4 wide back there for 3 hours. We spent the night in Arusha then made our way to Moshi at the base of Kilimanjaro.