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TANZANIA: THE SERENGETI (1-14/15-09)

The Serengeti is not a zoo.

The Serengeti is not a zoo. We were going to tour southern Africa and various game reserves a year ago but decided that we did not want to go because we would end up spending three weeks in a zoo. We were totally wrong. The following comparison is not even a good one, but the Serengeti is more like our National Parks, with the buffalo and bighorn sheep running free. But the Serengeti is The Serengeti is not a zoo. bigger - a lot bigger, as in 5,000 square miles in Tanzania. That's bigger than all of our National Parks put together, plus some. Ironically, the Serengeti Preserve happened thanks to the tse tse fly, that destructive carrier of sleeping sickness. Not even the Masai people could The Serengeti is not a zoo. figure out how to live around this fly (the Masai ended up migrating both to the north and south of the Serengeti Preserve). The fact that no one lived in the Serengeti opened up the The Serengeti is not a zoo. opportunity to preserve what has to be one of the greatest natural wonders on the planet: the greatest concentration of migrating animals on earth.

Serengeti

The landscape in the Serengeti is breathtaking. We stayed in a lodge in one part of the Preserve that almost sculpted into a hillside, with views from each room over a tiny part of this vast, tree-dotted plain. (In Swahili, Serengeti"Serengeti" means "endless plain" and we certainly saw confirmation of that in our three separate outings.) The trip into the open spaces and the animals was done via a four wheeler that had a tall pop-up roof and seats for six people passengers (not counting the guide and driver). SerengetiThe seats were arranged in such a way that everyone could stand full height in front of their seat and take pictures in any direction. (In a wonderful low-tech creation, each vehicle had a couple of fabric-covered bean bags that long-lens photographers could use to support their camera on the railing on the car roof.)

Serengeti

However, no matter how good any guide is, the type and quality of pictures you get pretty much depend on whether you are in the right place at the right time. But on this trip, everything came together magically. Although we were told that temperatures in the Serengeti were going to be in the mid-90's, The Serengeti is not a zoo!the weather instead turned out to be magnificent: a hint of fall-like cool in the morning and evening and an exhilarating mid-day temperature in the 70's. Not only did we not "cook" in our potential stew pot of a 4-wheeler, the famous migration that we came to see was unusually close to our lodge. That meant we didn't have to drive an extra distance to see and be in the middle of literally tens of thousands of zebras and wildebeests as far as the eye could see. While far less numerous, we also saw hippos, elephants, leopards, lions, hyenas, birds so colorful that it hurt the eyes to look at them in the sun, and trees (acacia and others) so beautifully branched they looked sculpted by Japanese gardeners.

The Serengeti was an absolutely incredible experience.

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So We Begin  |  Cusco  |  Machupicchu  |  Easter Island  |  Somoa  |  Port Douglas  |  Cambodia
China-Tibet  |  India  |   Serengeti  |  Egypt  |  Marrakech 2009  |  Impressions


HOME  |  AUSTRALIA 2003  |  ACROSS AMERICA  |  IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA  |  VIETNAM  |  AFRICA  |  AROUND THE WORLD 2009  |  SOUTH AMERICA 2009  |  LEGENDARY CULTURES 2011
  |  TURKEY AND GREECE  |  CIRCLE THE ARCTIC