Serengeti and Ngorongoro
This place really does live up to its name. It is just a vast plain with nothing around but animals. And the crater, it is enormous. I wasn’t expecting something quite as extraordinary, in fact I wasn’t too sure what I was expecting but it blew me away. The views were amazing and the wildlife that we saw was incredible. Where else in the world can you see the big 5 plus more in 2 days? And before you think I have gone cray cray and caught bush brain, no the title is thanks to a new friend. I was explaining to her how we call police popos in our family so she came up with a little joke:
“Who are the law enforcers of the Serengeti?”
I couldn’t resist using it as it became the topic of many a conversation and the cause of endless amounts of laughter (mainly mine as I don’t think anyone else got it!). And Geti well I travelled with many Australians and as you well know they are very good at shortening all of their words, why would Serengeti be any different?
We left sometime after breakfast for the drive to the Ngorongoro crater area, the drive on the main road was unexciting but the drive through the conservation area was beautiful. We stopped at the view point and it was simply stunning. I can’t explain to you how breathtaking it is. I hope none of you are thinking that it is over rated because it really isn’t. My photos don’t do it justice at all so you all must visit it at some point. You will not be disappointed!
We then drive in to the Serengeti on back breaking roads and definitely the reason why I am walking like someone sent me through a mangle. When we arrived there we headed for a short game drive towards the campsite. We pretty much saw most of the big 5 in that moment. It was awesome. We got to the campsite and grabbed a quick lunch, which I didn’t have to cook (whoopie!!) and headed out for another game drive. When we arrived at the entrance gate we were all planning on walking up to the view point but. Large elephant was blocking our way. It’s amazing to see how stupid some people can be. One American (it’s always the Americans) tried to walk up to it and touch it. After I screamed at them for a bit they moved further down and posed for photos. The elephant started moving towards them and they still didn’t move. Part of me was hoping that the elephant would charge at them to teach them all a lesson but sadly it wasn’t my day. When they came down the ranger gave them a bit of a lecture and they weren’t sure why. Don’t people understand that it’s a wild f**king elephant!! Not long after than a couple dressed to match decided to do the same thing. Tourists are really stupid sometimes. Thankfully all the touris I was with had their heads screwed on and joined me in the lectures and shouting at people. What I don’t understand is how no one can understand how dangerous animals are. Luckily for them the elephant didn’t seemed too fussed that day but if it was there would have been a few squashed people and a few less stupid people in this world. After that excitement we were in the park and my camera and binos were at the ready. We saw so many lions I lost count and heaps of elephants with some small babies too. I was pretty happy! I was also in the truck with the crazy people. Someone must have given them a happy pill or something as it was not stop laughter. I haven’t laughed until I cried for a while. By the time we finished my stomach muscles were aching so much! The other car in front of us filled with the rest of the group didn’t seem all that impressed. According to them we scared off all the animals. Not sure how as we managed to see more than they did (thanks to my amazing spotting ability of course)! Anyway they were aptly named the fun sponge truck. Slightly offensive but they did nothing to change it. I think their tempers really rose when we randomly burst out in spontaneous laughter whilst watching some hippos wallowing. That day was definitely one of the best days I have spent on safari.
We spent the rest of the evening sipping on Amarula hot chocolates and looking at the stars. A perfect way to end a very perfect day.
The next day was an early start as we were heading in to the crater. We had a game drive out of the park where we saw some lazy lions. We were so close to them I am pretty sure I could have plucked out one of their whiskers if I wanted to. Anyway as you can imagine we weren’t the only vehicle there. One lady in another vehicle decided that she would ask her guide a very serious question (a stupid question too, she was also American!). Anyway she said it quite loudly which made us all piss ourselves laughing. Her question of choice was “If I walk towards it, will it attach me?”. Her guide was a hero and suggested to her that she should try it and see. I was looking forward to a good stand off between the lion and her. Thankfully for her own good she used her brain and didn’t try and attempt it. My money was always on the lion. Anyway this got us in to quite a serious debate about lions and wildlife which turned in to a debate. We also had a moment with another safari vehicle that kept blocking off this female lion so she couldn’t cross the road. Anyway between the stupid tourists and bad safari guides I was over it and just wanted to leave the animals in peace.
As we hadn’t seen a cheetah yet this was our mission for the way out. We weren’t lucky this time around but I was pretty happy with the rest of our game viewings. We managed to see most of the 5’s minus the small five. Not bad going for a couple of days.
The second night we camped on the rim of the crater with the game drive being on the morning on our way out. I definitely wasn’t prepared for that night. I have never been so cold and I definitely didn’t have enough clothes! It was still heaps of fun. The highlights being sitting round the campfire attempting to roast some marshmallows and drinking Amarula hot chocolate. What really made it for me was the story from one of the girls on the truck. She has to wake up twice in the night for a wee and both times was met with the beady eyes of a buffalo. I think it is one of those you have to hear the story from her moments as she tells it so well but it was hilarious. I’m not even brave enough to wee with buffalos around the fact that she did it twice is brave and hilarious as well as completely crazy!
The drive back was entertaining too. They were all so curious about South Sudan and what I was doing there so their questions just kept coming. I think I scared them all off after that but it was fun reminiscing, I actually forgot how awesome life could really be there and how ridiculous all at the same time. Saying that though I can’t help but realise how gat things are not too. The fact that I am on my way home having driven from Nairobi to Livingstone and back again is simply amazing. And to makes things even better the adventures haven’t stopped here. In fact they haven’t even really truly started. I still need to get my own truck first and go all the way to Cape Town! For now though I am happy to be back in the homeland for two short days. I am going to enjoy every last minute of it before its back on the truck and Uganda bound.
It has been awesome so far and I can’t wait for the upcoming adventures. Things just get better and better. Life right now couldn’t be any better.
“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they are going” ~ Paul Theroux
““I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson