The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater – My Once in a Lifetime Trip

The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offer an abundance of safari options with a beautiful kaleidoscope of landscapes, wildlife and wilderness.

The Serengeti, one of the greatest wilderness arenas of the world, is home to a magnificent number of animals from the big five – lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and black rhino – to hippos, leopards, giraffes and hyenas.

During my safari at the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, I was fortunate enough to see all of the above including the rarely spotted black rhino.

It was an unforgettable experience full of intimate sightings of Africa’s biggest cats lazing in the long grass, wandering in the rain and tucking into their kill.

Watch the video here

Lioness with bloodied mouth immediately after her kill in the Serengeti Tanzania
Lioness after her kill, Serengeti Tanzania

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When it comes to African safaris, there are two clear contenders – Kenya’s Maasai Mara and the world-renowned Serengeti which I visited in July 2019 ❤

It is without doubt the best safari I have done to date and it’s also up there among my top travel experiences!

For a more in depth idea of what to expect on your Serengeti safari, I’ve put together a diary-like entry of my time at the national park.

TIP: Every safari is different and sightings are not guaranteed. Do not set yourself up for disappointment. Consider every sighting as a bonus.

Beautiful lion photos Serengeti Tanzania

Lions on safari Serengeti Tanzania
Lioness on the prowl wanders past our jeep, Serengeti Tanzania

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Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania, Day 1

Our first game drive at the Ngorongoro Crater began at 6am.

The foggy weather meant we did not get a clear view during our descent into the volcanic crater but it made for a very mystical backdrop to our safari once inside, like a cloudy lid on top of the mountains.

First up, we saw a pair of serval cats before driving through the herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope into the middle of the crater.

Ngorongoro Crater lake Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater lake Tanzania
Picnic’ing at the lake, Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

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Stopping for an early lunch by the lakeside, we were greeted by hungry hippos and coloured cranes before passing through thousands of flamingos on our next game drive.

We saw plenty of cats, including lions mating and another on the hunt before marvelling at the much anticipated black rhino through binoculars.

In the afternoon, we had a two-hour drive in the jeep to the Serengeti for our final game drive of the day. Non-stop adventure at its best!

Zebras Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Colourful birds Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Wildebeest Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Black Rhino on safari in Tanzania
Rare sighting: Black rhino and zebra encounter at the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

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Serengeti Tanzania, Day 1

Entering the Serengeti, the landscape turned to golden long grass met with an angry grey sky.

Twenty minutes into our game drive, we hit the jackpot when our driver received a call on the radio from a fellow guide telling him of a cheetah sighting.

We rushed over, flying across pot holes in the muddy roads, to find a lone cheetah with its fur standing on end in the rain.

It wandered through the bush and onto the path just metres from our jeep. This was followed by more sightings of lions, hyenas and game.

Close up cheetah shots Serengeti Tanzania
Cheetah’s hair standing on end in the mud and rain ❤

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Vis-a-vis accommodation, I opted for adventure of course and chose to pitch my own tent in a bush camping site recommended by Oasis Overland.

The campsite offered cooking facilities and a toilet and shower block – the very coldest of showers.

Beware bush camping at the Serengeti is not for the faint hearted. Campsites are not fenced off from wild animals and if you bump into a hyena let’s say, you are simply told to shine your head torch in its eyes.

But the perks are clear. Huddled in our sleeping bags, we heard the screeching of baboons and the yelping of hyenas in the distance.

Elephant close up Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Hippos Ngorongoro Crater Tanzania

Hyena stalking its prey just outside our campsite on our second day in the Serengeti
Hyena stalking its prey just outside our campsite

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Serengeti Tanzania, Day 2

Another early rise for a sunrise game drive. The air was crisp and our eyes were half open as we strolled into the canteen for breakfast before being greeted by hyenas upon exiting the campsite.

Driving through a dazzle of zebra, we saw hot air balloons rising above the Acacia trees.

Hot air balloons in the Serengeti Tanzania

Leopards Serengeti safari Tanzania
Leopard hiding in the trees with her cub, Serengeti Tanzania

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Highlights included a leopard and her cub climbing between the rocks, a pride of lions laying next to our jeep and a lioness with bloodied mouth following her kill.

Towards the end of our game drive, we went deeper into the African plains with no other jeeps in sight.

My veins filled with adrenaline as we sped into the long grass in an off-road pursuit of a pair of cheetahs.

The ever changing scenery was beautifully consistent in how it seemed to reflect the sunlight, like a platinum sheet blanketing the horizon.

Giraffes in the Serengeti Tanzania

Beautiful landscapes, Serengeti Tanzania
Beautiful landscapes, Serengeti Tanzania

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So friends, I’ve hopefully left you raring and ready to start planning your Serengeti safari. If you have any questions, get in touch!

Hasta la próxima,

Laura x

 

 

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