Our colleague Lene was on a tour of Tanzania in 2016. Read her travelogue from the tour below.
Serengeti is the oldest and largest national park in Tanzania, and we had been looking forward keenly to experiencing it. Our visit got off to a great start: we had barely entered the park when we spotted the first group of impala; we were surprised to find wild animals so close to the entrance.
Abu, our guide, was already talking to his colleagues over the radio to find out which animals were in the park, and where we were most likely to find them. We soon encountered some giant boulders rising high above the savannah. Abu swung off the broad gravel track and followed a smaller trail towards the stones. As we approached, we could make out two male lions grandly surveying the scene from the top of the boulders. Watching them relaxing in the sun, it was clear to us that they truly rule the savannah. Abu explained that they were almost certainly two brothers and that they would remain together, protecting one another for their entire lives as they are much stronger as a pair.
We made our way back to the broad gravel track, and before long we found the first herd of elephants, which numbered around ten, including a couple of young calves. We drove slowly towards them, because they were standing right next to the road, and Abu switched off the engine. Silence reigned; the elephants grazed peacefully, flapping their ears, and we could hear all the different sounds they make. It was a truly magical moment.
One of the species we spotted most often was the zebra. We usually saw these beautiful animals in large herds, often mingling with the wildebeest. Zebras and wildebeest enjoy a symbiotic relationship, which means that they tend to migrate together and help one another: namely, the wildebeest lead the zebras to food and water, while the zebras help protect the wildebeest and make them feel safer.
Our visit to Serengeti was liberally sprinkled with wonderful highlights. We even caught a lion and lioness in the act of mating. When a lion and lioness are to mate, they leave the pride for a week or so and mate several times during this period. The male spends much of the week circling the female, waiting for the opportune moment and for her permission to mate. Once again, we were able to approach very close, because in the heart of the savannah, the lions sought out shade – and found it in the shelter of our safari vehicle. We spent around half an hour there, watching the intricate ritual that played out between male and female. We considered ourselves extremely fortunate to have witnessed it.
Our tour to Serengeti was an absolute delight, and I must say that it exceeded even my high expectations.
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