Next up in the Tanzania series…a trip on Safari!
If you haven’t read Part 1 (Life in Africa), you can find it here.
I feel like this is one of those ‘bucket list’ items, that frequents a whole load of lists, but not everyone gets the opportunity. I feel very, very blessed and fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience the Safari in the way I did.
While some of the most lasting memories from the trip involve the people I met, the projects we got involved in, and experiencing the culture, I can’t help but say it was an amazing way to spend the middle weekend of our trip. The Serengeti National Park was basically on the doorstep (about 2 hours away from Musoma), and it was stunning.
It’s not often you see both sunrise and sunset in the same day: but boy were they spectacular, and so worth the 19 hour day!
We stayed in a safari lodge at Ikoma, which was beautiful. While spending a couple of hours relaxing, there was a downpour. The noise of the rain was immense, but such a beautiful sight. I don’t often say that rain is beautiful, but hey, when you’re in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the bush, the true beauty of nature and God’s creation is made clear.
On the way to Ikoma, we drove through a part of the park, and got our first glimpse of the experience to come! By this point, we were all very excited. After all, how often can you go for a drive and come across zebra on the side of the road…?
One of my favourite, although slightly scary, experiences was going on a bush walk just before sunset. We were on the lookout for elephants….and we found them! There are not enough words to describe what it’s like knowing there are elephants merely metres away from you… The noise they make when they trumpet is incredible too.
I have to admit though, lying in bed at night while hearing the cackle of hyenas and elephants trumpeting is a really weird sensation, especially when you know they’re right outside the door. Elephants don’t always trumpet, they can also roar. That’s a powerful noise.
On the second day, we took our trip into the Safari park. It was another early start, but well worth it. Almost as soon as we got into the park, we started ticking animals off the mental spotting list. But one of the first was a complete surprise. We saw a cheetah….with three cubs!
It was just so cool! I genuinely felt like I was living in a dream – seeing these animals without a cage or enclosure in sight – oh boy, it was amazing.
To top off the cheetah sighting, a little later on, we came across a group of safari jeeps all waiting around one spot, with people peering at a tree. Seems odd, right? But, we looked a bit harder, and spotted this beautiful creature. A leopard.
These sightings are so rare – so to get both in the same day, especially with cubs, was a once in a lifetime experience.
I loved this experience – and I’m not going to forget it in a hurry. If you ever get a chance to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat, it’s so worth doing.
We had an unexpected extra day in Kenya on the way home, due to the flight times. This meant we got to visit the ‘David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Elephant orphanage. The shelter was featured on a TV programme (the Elephant Diaries) years ago, and I remember watching them as I was growing up. So it was a massive opportunity to visit the orphanage and see some of the amazing work the handlers do to look after the orphaned elephants until they are re-introduced into the wild.
Could they be any cuter?
Our final stop was the Giraffe sanctuary – again to look after the animals. Visitors had the opportunity to feed the giraffes, and even be ‘snogged’ by them… This did not appeal – and I can’t help but feel the quality of the care wasn’t the same as the orphanage.
I’m so excited that I’ve had the opportunity to share the next part of my Tanzania adventure with you – and I hope you’re excited for the next one!