“We were truly amazed each and every day. Each place we visited had its own special moments. The birding was exceptional and as for non-winged animals, the list was extensive.
Ndarakwai was our first destination. On day one we saw zebras, elands, baboons, warthogs, impalas, gazelles, wildebeest, waterbucks and an exceptional display of giraffes at sunset. The photos and memories of the giraffes will be etched in our minds forever and the lighting was breathtaking. Our visit to the Maasai village was the real deal because our guide was a local Maasai elder. He gave us access to things only he could allow. We felt very privileged and respectful of the Maasai. We all kept saying, “This is only day one and two!”Tarangire was our next stop and as well as seeing all of the above, our take-away will be the elephants. Herds of elephants – close, far, walking, resting, running, frolicking in mud holes by the river and socializing. It was something we had only seen before in pictures and on video. We even had 12 elephants parade between our friends’ tent and ours, which delayed us heading back to be tucked in for the night! We realized this is their world and that we are the visitor. It was also our first sighting of a group of female lions. We think they had taken down a zebra because they were not interested in the other zebras that gathered around to watch the lions. Majestic!
Next we were off to Lake Eyasi, which was a double treat with the cultural experience of the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes. Their simple way of life and of living off the land was like taking a step back in time. We also had our first encounter with flamingos and ostriches. Again, something we had only experienced in zoos. We loved the cultural experiences and would highly recommend them to others. Eating fresh barbequed dik-dik from bushmen was another first.
Ngorongoro Highland and Crater were next on the itinerary – the quintessential wildlife experience that should never be missed. Around every corner was another amazing sight. We saw more of all the aforementioned as well as cape buffalo, massive amounts of zebra and wildebeest, a pride of sister lions socializing, hippos lounging and sunning themselves in mud holes, flamingos by the thousands, brother male lions that were napping as only males can do and hyenas resting and congregating at the edge of Lake Magadi. We caught sight of the ear, eye and horn of a black rhino and the tail and body of a leopard in a tree. They would not completely cooperate but were still spectacular.
Now experiencing sensory overload, we were off to the Serengeti. This also did not disappoint. On our drive into Kirurumu we had our fourth encounter with lions. This time it was a complete family or multiple families with females, cubs and juveniles. They were working on a fresh kill and we could watch and hear them gnawing on the bones. We suspected a warthog! Coming into camp, we were greeted by a family of elephants, giraffes munching on treetops and a group of baboons on the rocky outcrops around our tents. Just another day in the wilds of Africa!
The next day we added to our list an amazing cheetah 20 yards from the truck, a serval cat stalking its prey, a jackal, flamingos and hippos, giraffes, elephants, gazelles, a hartebuck and topis. After all these amazing sights, the icing on the cake was our last day where we witnessed the mass migration of the wildebeest across the Mara River. We observed in awe and wonder. There were tens of thousands of wildebeest jumping from cliffs along the banks of the river to swim to the other side. Our driver, Joseph, was like a child in a candy store. He said he had been guiding for 20 years and even he had never seen this type of display. It is hard to imagine so many animals congregating in one spot at one time. It seemed endless. There were many successes and failures with the crossing but nature took its course. Vultures and crocodiles were there to scavenge the remains.
As you can tell, we had an amazing time. We asked you for active and action packed and you delivered in spades. Thank you again.”Marc & Kathy