Day 13: Long drive to Naiberi River Campsite in Eldoret, a place where we’d already stayed at on Day 2. Had a relaxing swim as we arrived, and enjoyed some of the most exquisite food at the camp’s local restaurant. Tomorrow wake up call at 4:30 AM as we head off for Nairobi.
Day 14: For a change, even more driving on our way back to Nairobi (at the Indaba EA Campsite). A very tiring drive, yet highly picturesque as we went through Nakuru, Naivasha and parts of the Great Rift Valley. The view was pretty clear which enabled some great photo opportunities.
Day 15: Two exciting activities planned for the day: the David Sheldrick Animal Orphanage and the Giraffe Center in Karen. Had lots of fun watching the young elephants having their mud bath (one of them was rather cheeky), and believe it or not, I got my first ‘giraffe kiss’ ever. Picture attached for skeptics.
Day 16: On our way to the Masai Mara, one of Kenya’s most prestigious national parks. Got to our camp (Enkolong Campsite) at around 1 PM, had a light lunch after which we ventured on our first game drive (from 4 PM to around 6:30 PM).
Highlights of our safari included lazy lions resting in the open, friendly zebra and majestic elephants. Tomorrow should be extremely thrilling as we plan to spend an entire day inside the reserve. Fingers crossed for lots of interesting sightings and things to talk about!
Day 17: I knew that Masai Mara was well renowned for its abundance of wildlife, but I must admit I didn’t expect to see as much as we did in such a short time frame. For most of the guys on the overlanding trip it was a first safari experience and boy did they enjoy the treat.
The animals were just everywhere and we were fortunate enough to encounter 3 prides of lions, thousands of buffalo and wildebeest (some of which were planning to cross the Mara river), numerous elephants, impala, giraffe, topi and kongoni, eland, hyena, and last but not least, a leopard and two cheetah brothers chilling out on a termite mound.
One of the groups even saw a black rhino, and Mick had a huge grin on his face when he proudly showed me some of the shots of his unlikely encounter (black rhinos are extremely rare). What a day!
Day 18: Last morning spent in the park as we head back to Nairobi after lunch. We got a huge thunderstorm last night so the game drive wasn’t as rewarding as the previous day (the animals tend to hide under cover when it is too wet). Tonight we are sleeping at the Indaba campsite once again.
Day 19: A day spent inside Tati (our truck) as we crossed the border into Tanzania. Lots of time to sleep, chat with our newly made friends, and…queue patiently at the border cross in order to get the precious Tanzanian visa (at a cost of 50 dollars US).
The procedure took us approximately 45 minutes which, in African standards, is pretty quick!
Tonight we are staying at the Meserani Snake Park Campsite in Arusha. The place is a popular overland stop before venturing to the Northern circuit parks like the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater.
Day 20: En route to the Serengeti, undoubtedly the most popular safari destination on this planet. Had a stopover on the rim of Ngorongoro enjoying the spectacular view of the crater, and also spent some time retracing history at Olduvai Gorge.
As we approached the park, the abundance of wildlife drastically increased: thousands of Thomson’s gazelles and zebra, and literally hundreds of thousands of wildebeest awaited us across the never ending plains of this incredible ecosystem.
Our drive to camp proved to be unbelievably fruitful with sightings of a lone lioness (with hidden cubs), hyena, elephant, hippo and buffalo. Tonight we are staying at an unfenced camp around the Seronera region of the park, especially well-known for its healthy leopard population.
Can’t wait to stay in the bush, and so looking forward to hearing weird nocturnal noises in my sleep. Talk to you tomorrow!
Day 21: While our previous Masai Mara experience proved to be extra special, our Serengeti safari was no less than astounding! Nothing comes even close to the Serengeti when it comes to animal abundance and variety.
Listen to this: a female leopard and two playful cubs, a cheetah chase and kill experienced live and right beneath our eyes (wish I could’ve captured this amazing event, but it happened all too suddenly), three other cheetah individuals, plenty of hippos grazing about on the grassland, hyenas, jackals, etc.
And to top it off an old bull elephant stormed through camp as we were busy fiddling with our tents.
Day 22: An entire morning spent inside Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Crater might not be the vastest of wildlife preserves, but it sure holds a rich variety of both fauna and flora.
Most memorable moments of our game drive included ostrich mating, four black rhinos, two servals, lions, feeding elephants in the Lerai forest, wandering hyenas, and a female zebra that had just given birth.
Such a touching moment as baby zebra was learning its first steps into life!
Day 23: Back at Meserani camp in Arusha. Mixed feelings to be surrounded by civilization once again. Missing the bush already…did a late visit of the snake park as a consolation prize!
Day 24: Spent most of the morning learning about the Masai traditions, and walked to a local Masai village. Nice to think that we live in a world of different cultures and ways of life.
This afternoon we are back on the road. The initial plan was to drive to Marangu, only some 120 km or so away from Arusha. As I speak to you nevertheless, it is pitch black and we are still on the move.
Hopefully this will make tomorrow’s drive to Dar es Salaam less strenuous. Catch you later. AfricaFreak.
Day 25: After spending the night at a local campsite in Korogwe, we are now moving further south towards Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s economic capital alongside the Indian Ocean (capital city is Dodoma).
This next halt should bring back sweet memories from my early childhood…souvenirs, souvenirs! Sleeping at Kipepeo tonight, a sublime location beside the beach.
Jump to Part 3.