A Safari in the Serengeti

When I first set my eyes on the Serengeti National Park “Serengeti”, my journey into Africa felt somewhat complete.  Although it might be quite cheesy to equate the Serengeti to the Lion King, it could be somewhat true.  The abundance of animals roamed the endless open fields.  Umbrella-like trees called acacia trees decorated the land in clumps.

The Background (obtained from Wikipedia)

The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region located in north-western Tanzania (known as Serengeti) and extends to south-western Kenya (known as Masai Mara).  The Serengeti is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is a world heritage site.  It spans some 30,000 km2(12,000 sq mi).  Serengeti is derived from the Maasai language, Maa; specifically, “Serengit” meaning “Endless Plains”.

The Serengeti Plains

Approximately 70 larger mammal and some 500 bird species are found there. This high diversity in terms of species is a function of diverse habitats ranging from forests, swamps, grasslands and woodlands.Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and buffalos are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.

The Balloon Ride

If you want an unforgettable experience, a balloon ride over the Serengeti will paint a picture from above.  Cost is approximately $500 USD and although pricey, it is a great way to see the national park as the sun rises.  As the hot air balloon lifts off, you can see all the animals squirm around as the noise from the balloon creates a disturbance.

Balloon Ride in the Serengeti

After a 20-minute balloon ride, a wonderful breakfast awaits you under an acacia tree.  The service seems to replicate a safari 100 years ago where men wore traditional white outfits and turban-like hats to serve you.  The breakfast consists of fresh fruit, sausages, and eggs.

Even the bathroom had the view of the hills. Built with three pieces of wood and just three sides, you can gaze upon the lovely scenery when releasing your bladder.

Game Viewing

The main purpose of most safaris is the viewing of the animals.  It feels like you are playing a game of “Where is Waldo?”  You are searching through the thick bush for animals in the distance.  The key is to have a good guide as he/she would point out the most famous animals in your safari jeep. Having a good pair of binoculars are also handy for seeing closer detail and for finding animals in a distance.

A family of elephants

The big five, coined originally by the white settlers, are the five most difficult animals to hunt:  elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino, and the lion.  Fortunately we had the chance to see all but the rhino in our safari drive.

Giraffe on the lookout

Other animals we viewed were: giraffes, gazelles, antelopes, hippos, monkeys, zebras, and many more.

The trails and roads in the park are quite dusty.  You feel like you are off-roading through the arid landscape.  Luckily, the safari jeeps are quite capable of handling rough trails.

Camping in the Serengeti was an experience.  At night, sometimes a pair of twinkling eyes would greet you as you made your way to the toilets.

Overall, my 2-day experience in the Serengeti was quite magical.

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About Jan

In 2004 and 2010, I set aside time to travel the world in 3 parts. In 2004, I traveled to Thailand, Europe, and Pacific Northwest region of the U.S. In 2010, I traveled to 3 continents: Asia, South America, and Africa. I am not sure if I have a fascination with the number 3, but I seem to be constantly traveling by numbers.
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7 Responses to A Safari in the Serengeti

  1. Shu says:

    Love the elephant family and hot air balloon !!! Wow the hot air balloon ride cost 500 dollars, did you carry that much money in cash or can you use credit card?

  2. Amy Ayalloore says:

    Love the pics-gorgeous! Happy ‘dirty 30’ Birthday!! Miss you and can’t wait to see you!

  3. sonia says:

    these pics are surreal & gorgeous. so glad you are enjoying your trip! how long did the hot air balloon last?!

  4. JO says:

    Magical indeed Jan! What an amazing location. What wonderful memories.
    Fantastic animals up so close. How very fortunate we were!

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