After all the safari drama (and no, I’m not exaggerating), I finally decided on taking 4 days off from the clinic to go on a safari to Lake Manyara, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater. I wanted to join a group since I had been travelling alone all summer, so I contacted a bunch of companies and ended up going with “It Started in Africa” for my safari.
Someone picked me up from ADRA to take me to their office (an hour drive), then I hopped in the safari jeep and drove across town to pick up the rest of my group. I was really nervous about this whole group joining business – I didn’t want to be in a group with honeymooners or a large family (talk about feeling left out), but I was really happy to join a group of 3 30-somethings from London! They were so friendly and really made me feel like a part of their group.
Lake Manyara was our first stop and it is about an hour and a half outside of Arusha. We saw lots of herds of zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests, etc. in addition to the animals I have pictures of here. I will say I was a bit disappointed with the feel of this safari – we drove on really nice carved paths through the park, so it wasn’t the bumpy crazy ride I was expecting. But, it was a really beautiful park and I had a great time!
Driving through the countryside!
Pop up roof on the jeep!
Little monkey family
A huge group of monkeys hanging out on the path – they didn’t move for a good 5 minutes (I guess it’s okay; after all, we were intruding in THEIR home). See the two babies in the middle?
We stopped for a picnic lunch in the park, where they had a designated spot with a bunch of picnic tables and toilets. After lunch, we got back on the road and saw this amazing elephant (!!!!!) right next to the path.
It was destined to be the day of the elephant, I think, because we saw herds and herds of elephants , which all walked right by the car.This is one of my favorite pictures!
This elephant walked right next to our car!!!
Panoramic view of the lake and the surroundings!
We left the park and wound our way up this large mountain to drive to our campsite. On our way up, we stopped at an overlook and took a few pictures! Those trees behind us were where we were driving through and you can see Lake Manyara in the background.
Enjoying a candlelit dinner at our campsite. This place luckily had electricity though!
To our pleasant surprise, we had live entertainment during our dinner! Acrobatics, dancing, and live music!
Our campsite the next morning. This was definitely my favorite camp (Panorama Camp) – they had clean facilities, electricity, and a beautiful view to watch the sunrise in the morning.
Dining area the next morning!