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Contiki East Africa Safari – Day 10: Tarangire to Ngorongoro to Serengeti National Park

We woke up very early, once again, as we had a day long drive across Tanzania from Tarangire to Serengeti. After bidding farewell to our camp, we boarded our safari vehicle and started on our eight hour drive to the actual Serengeti National Park! 

About halfway in, we started to ascend a somewhat windy trail that we found out was the trail surrounding Ngorongoro Crater, where many animals live including the endangered rhinos. We stopped at a viewing point and were able to “see” one through a lot of magnification on a camera; or we at least saw the shape of one.

We eventually wound up at the sign for Serengeti National Park! This is connected Masai Mara, which we visited in Kenya, but this had the famous name of Serengeti! 

As we began to drive into the park towards the gate where JB would pay our park fees, the clouds started to roll in. Given that it is summer, it is the dry season but the clouds were ominous and some of the animals seemed to glow.

Upon arriving at the gate, we had the opportunity to take it easy or climb up and do a small hike for a beautiful view of the park. Of course, I decided to do the hike with two other people in my group. It wasn’t all that challenging, until the top where I had to hop scotch from rock to rock to get to the viewing part. This may be one of the times that having crutches helps you as I was able to swing from rock to rock until I reached the very top. The view was slightly obstructed, but worth it. Feeling accomplished, we decided to head back down the path and get in the safari vehicle. 

During our drive to our accommodations, we came across a lion, then two more, then three more. All were likely part of the same pride, just distributed across a few kilometers as a pride usually controls ~100 square kilometers!

We continued to drive and JB’s sense of smell started to tingle. We were looking for leopards, but unable to find them. After driving around for about a half hour, it started to get dark and we had to leave in order to make it to our camp by dark. While we were driving, JB stopped the vehicle and pointed out the window. There was not one, but a family of leopards sleeping in a tree. I’d love to say in plain sight, but they were pretty camouflaged. I have no idea how he saw them, but am so happy he did. 

We then really had to find our camp. It started getting dark and it had rained in some places, so some roads were blocked. I have no idea how he found it, but JB was able to make it to our camp in time for dinner. The camp was absolutely amazing – yes, it was still glamping, but it was legit in the middle of the Serengeti. There were no barriers. We were in the middle of it all. This definitely was the trip of a lifetime.

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