We have been back from our 15 days in Tanzania for just over a week now. Our daughter is off to grad school and in less than 2 weeks, our son heads off for his graduate program. The safari trip was a terrific time together and the source of many great shared memories we can all take with us as these new stages begin.
We were fortunate enough to see three river crossings, enumerable wildebeests and zebras, the ‘big-5’ supplemented by cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, hippos, and many birds (our favorite was the lilac breasted roller pictured here).
In looking back on all the things we saw and did, the people and the baby animals stand out. A big thanks to Dawn for her help in planning the ultimate trip and to David for his expert driving, game spotting, bird identifying and for his friendship forged over our days together. He really made the trip special and every day was kila kitu sawa sawa (swahili for everything is perfect).
We also met so many other Tanzanians whose good humor and helpful way made the travel that much more enjoyable, including Faith and Simon in Arusha, Jonas at Sametu Camp, Edward at Lion’s Paw, and Raymond at Swala. Assante sana!
As for animal babies, some big stand-outs were elephants still learning to use their trunks and mimicking the actions of their older siblings. One of the youngest we saw resorted to dunking half of her face in the pool to get a drink the old-fashioned way (pictured below)!
At one of the kopjes we came upon 3 very young lion cubs without any baby sitter present. We could have watched for hours as they already started showing the ‘king of the beasts’ attitude while staring out at us from the rocks.
While we had hoped to see a black rhino in the Serengeti, the chance to see both mom and baby was really special. To get back to them required some expert 4-wheeling from David. We were rewarded with close-up views of these endangered animals which included curious youngster who walked around and watched while mom napped.
On our way toward Sametu Camp, we saw our first jackals. The pair seemed to be heading off to hunt as evening was approaching. Up the road a bit was a termite mount with 5 jackal puppies playing outside. As we approached they made for home, though their curiosity overcame fear as they watched us and then started playing as though we weren’t there. Big ears and wide eyes overwhelm little bodies at this age.
As we headed out from Tarangire for the drive back to Arusha, we saw our 7th and 8th cheetah, a mom and cub. They looked very regal laying across their rock vantage point ignoring us as they hung out.
On a final note about the babies, we were impressed by how young some of the Maasai boys are who are out watching over the family herds of cattle, sheep and/or goats. Some of them look to be about 5 or 6 as they follow in their father’s footsteps surrounded by the wild.
There are so many memories and animal anecdotes from the trip and too many to share here. Thanks again to Africa Dream Safaris and particularly to Dawn and David for making the plan and executing the plan out on safari.
Scott, Audri, Nicole and Jackson H.
Safari Dates: August 2, 2014 to August 14, 2014