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Brenda’s Travel Diary

Monday, 23 Jul 2012

Location: Serengeti, Tanzania

MapBrenda July 23-26th

Our trip across the Serengeti got off to a rocky start since we were picked up so late that we missed most of the first day. We drove from Mwanza and camped outside the west gate in a campsite with only two other people. They had a little bar so while our cook was preparing a late dinner in an outdoor communal kitchen. we walked over to have a drink. A bat flew around the room as we toasted the first night of our safari.

The next day was amazing. Since we were in the dry season, the animals were congregating at the water holes so it was easy to find them. We must have seen 100 elephants in different groups throughout the day as well as all the other usual suspects. At one point we came across a pride of lions, minus the big male, and they crossed the road right on front of us. There were a few dozen little cubs in the group! Later,we saw a leopard eating a gazelle in a tree!

That night we camped with a few hundred others and ate in a big communal dining area. Each group has their own guide and cook. The cooks all have a station to work at in the big outdoor, covered kitchen area. They set up tables for their clients complete with Massai table cloths. Simba, our cook made us delicious meals throughout the whole trip!!

The third night was spent camping on the rim of the Nogorongoro Crater. There were zebras grazing in the camping area as our tents were being set up. We had many more “amazing animal” experiences in the crater and were only a little disappointed when we drove out because we still hadn’t seen a male lion up close. As we were driving along the rim, back towards our camp, we came upon a male lion sitting on the side of the road. He got up and walked between the stopped vehicles and then along the bank right beside us. A few kms down the road, we saw another one lying just off the road. What a great end to the day!

That night we had a great time in the communal dining room, drinking some wine and Amarula with our meal. I brought out my computer and we Skyped a few of our friends and family...(Most of you were at work!) There was a fun, party atmosphere in the room and later our guide and cook joined us. Eventually everyone decided they were cold and tired and wanted to go to bed, so Denise and I went to hang out by the fire for a while. It was a surreal experience, standing around a camp fire, up above the crater with people from all over the world, camped together!!