A Childhood dream comes true

Trip Start Oct 01, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Serengeti Wildcamp Serengeti National Park
Read my review - 5/5 stars
zara s

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Saturday, October 20, 2012

Throughout my childhood and adult life, I have been fascinated with the Serengeti and its massive migrations. It all began with Lorn Greens New Wilderness on my parents TV and was escalated by our many trips to Bush Gardens. Many years later, I find myself grinning from ear to ear at the Gate of the Serengeti.

We spend 2 days/2nights at Zara's Serengeti Wild Camp and spent the majority of our time looking for game. Our timing was perfect, we arrived just prior to the torrential rains and at the start of the migration.

 The park is 14,763 sq km and is renowned for its predators. On our first morning game drive, we watched a pair of Cheetah's stalk and kill a Gazelle. It happened in seconds, and just 10 ft in front of our jeep. Chetahs are incredibly fast, and this kill took a light jog. The other cheetah watched, while one casually jogged and killed their prey.

Night in the Serengeti is a different experience all together. The Southern stars shine brightly over the camp, and the constellations are very different from home. That being said, I have a soft spot and favour the souther constellations.

  Each night, we watched the local Hyaena's raid our mess tent. It was carefully planned and referred to as " the nightly war" by the camp cook. A war it was, and the cook was losing the battles. The clan would send in a runner, he would creep through the dark grass and hide in the shadows across from the mess. I say it was carefully planned out, due to the strategic "stopping " locations. They crept through a convoluted maze of shadows, keeping them hidden from the mess and all of the solar lights. We watched him wait (5ft away) in the shadows until the timing was perfect. As soon as the cook turned his back and walked into the mess, it was game on. The hyena tipi toed at a lightning speed past our tent and into the garbage. Every night, he ran off with their trash and laughed as he ran into the night. 

Durning our first night, Simba paid us a visit. He was one tent over (maybe 50ft) and I managed to sleep through his first growl. Lynne did not, and thankfully she made a point of waking me. I'll never forget the sounds he made, or the look on Lynne's face as she said " how can you sleep through that" LOL. Two things happen when Simba arrives:
1. Everything stops, and I mean everything. Including the crickets, no joke! The crickets stopped chirping. 
2. You also stop breathing and feel very very humble.

It was at this very moment, that I realized why he is KING! His presence commanded a silence over the entire Serengeti. He took his time, making his presence known to all. Not even the crickets dared to challenge his position.

After our first exciting night, we headed off on another game drive. This time, we spotted several Leopards hunting. Separately, but within several miles of one another. It was my first time, unless you count one sniffing my tent in 2006. Unfortunately, we did not see her kill.


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