Honeymoon Travels: Tanzania - Part TWO
No trip to Tanzania is complete without visiting the Ngorongoro Crater, which is home to the ‘Big 5’ (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, Rhino) and also where we met Simba and Pumba for the first time. We were told we would be lucky if we saw a Rhino, as they are endangered and therefore rare. Also, they are solitary animals, so searching for one in the vast crater is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
The lucky stars must have aligned for us because we did manage to see a Rhino, and in fact, we managed to see all of the Big 5. Leopards are extremely difficult to look for too because they are also solitary animals. When they are not hunting, you can usually find them hiding in the trees under a canopy of leaves, shading themselves from the scorching African heat. That is exactly where we saw our first sighting of a Leopard. The body of a dead gazelle hanging over a branch informed us that a Leopard was in the tree, and within moments we caught a glimpse of the fiercely striking feline, her whiskers and mouth covered in dried blood.
We stayed at Ngorongoro Farm House- a property with 51 chalet lodges, an organic coffee farm, with fruit and vegetable produced on site. All the food and coffee, including the meat and poultry used in the restaurant, are all from the property's farm. This was a winner for us, as well as its location close to the Ngorongoro Crater. It also has a swimming pool which wasn't in use as it was still quite cool in June.
Our final three days of our safari was spent at the Serengeti Tanzania Bush Camp. Being ‘at one’ with nature does not get any more real than this. At night, you can hear the sound of hysterical hyenas howling in the distance and the symphony of crickets and other bush insects, which is beyond comprehension. You really have to pinch yourself as a reminder that you are in the middle of the Serengeti, amidst nature and wildlife! On one of the nights, the hyena was scratching itself up against our tent. The most frightening and surreal experiences of my life, that's for sure!
During our stay here, we visited a Masai village and got to learn about the Masai warrior lifestyle. They welcomed my husband and I by giving me a necklace and inviting us to join in their traditional dance which involved us jumping on the spot with them. We spent time at the small school they had built in the village, which was a basic hut. The zest of these small children to want to educate themselves and become doctors and teachers was really inspiring and brought us back to reality. The basic lifestyle of these villagers dwelling in the remotest of lands gave me a sense of gratitude. For us, these lands signify adventure and wonder. For them, it is a struggle for survival against predators and modernity, which threatens their very way of life.
Find out why a hot air balloon ride is a must for any safari-goer, in Part THREE of the safari adventure