09 May COLLECTING EXPERIENCES, NOT THINGS: SAFARI IN THE SERENGETI AND NGORONGORO CRATER
Our motto and motivation is to “collect experiences, not things”. Whilst on our journey, we’re aiming to spend our time and money on spectacular experiences, to be left with incredible learnings and memories, not tangible objects. This way, we’re sure to keep our lives light without additional luggage, but also be the change we want to see in the world.
Our next featured experience is a Safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.
Whether you’re knowledgeable about African wildlife or not, chances are you’ve heard about the mighty Serengeti.
*cue The Lion King theme song*
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world’s animal kingdom, and the largest national park in Tanzania. It’s home to thousands of animal and bird species, and is probably most well known for the big annual Wildebeest migration. The Serengeti plains are nestled within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the heart of Tanzania, a gem on its own, and the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic crater (#funfact it was also the location chosen for Swifty’s “Wildest Dreams” music video). Serengeti, meaning ‘endless plains’ in Masai (the language spoken by the Masai tribe in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania) offers 15 000 square kilometers of savannah, and was showing off for us like it had never shown off before. Let me tell you why…
We spent a magical 24 hours driving over bumpy muddy terrain in a beast of a car, spotting 29 lions (yes, 29), some cheetah, leopard, hyena, elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, dik dik, gazelle, warthog, jackal, bat-eared fox, lilac-breasted rollers, marshal eagles and a few vultures. Did I mention we were only in there for 24 hours?!! Let’s just say that if you’ve ever dreamed of being on set on The Lion King (or any killer National Geographic African special) this would be the place.
But it didn’t end there. Our safari continued as we drove to the 2400m-above-sea-level rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, viewing a breathtaking vantage point spanning 8300 square kilometers. This place is insane and I don’t think you could ever really comprehend the scale of this 1.5million year old volcanic crater. Even when I zoomed in to see the tiny, tiny speckles on the lush landscape, I couldn’t grasp how small the massive grazing buffalo were from so far away. So, naturally, we had to go check them out, after spending a night camping amongst ‘organic land mines’ which we coined affectionately for the large buffalo poo puddles around us. Our morning game drive proved to be another success, as all five members of the big five, and massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, and flocks of flamingoes, crowned cranes and kori bustards came out to say ‘hi’.
Man, what a life-changing experience being so close to all the wildlife in their own garden of Eden. I must admit, that after all the driving and early mornings I felt like I was all safaried out, but it’s an experience I would recommend to any animal and adventure lover, of any age and nationality. Just be prepared to pee into a hole in the ground, and sleep amongst chilling lion roars and cheeky hyena chuckles.