Dar-Es-Salaam - Arusha
Today we leave to do a great distance. Final purpose is Arusha. On
our way we don't see too much of the environment. We sleep a lot and the
weather is not too well either. After a long drive we arrive in Arusha.
On the program it says we stay for one day before we leave tot Serengeti
A number of doesn’t feel too much for this idea and we try the option
of leaving a day earlier. This works out and we are glad with the idea
that we can enjoy the wild a day longer. Tonight we dine in the restaurant
at the campsite.
The weather is still not too well and we hope it will stay dry.
Arusha - Serengeti NP
This morning we have to be ready at six to prepare for our trip to
From Arusha we first take an asphalt road. We see more and more Masai.
After a while we turn right into a sandroad and then a long very bumpy road begins towards Ngorongoro Crater.
The bumps are taken with a for the circumstances high speed. We have to hold ourselves firmly to prevent
hitting our heads continuously. After about three hours shaking through
we reach the first hills. In the village that is situated here, we get
the needed food. We proceed our way and after another hour driving, we
arrive in a different landscape. Here everything becomes greener and it
seems as if we are landed in a jungle. A little more and we reach the lips
of the Ngorongoro Crater.
We allow ourselves some time to enjoy the view. After our visit to
Serengeti NP we shall see the Ngorongoro Crater again. We are looking forward
to that already.
We drive further and after seen numbers of Masai, zebras, giraffes,
Thomson gazelles, grants gazelles and topi's, we arrive at the border of Serengeti NP. Both left and right of us
we see large plains with the previous mentioned animals.
The coming nights we'll camp wild close to Seronera campsite.
We have barely entered Serengeti NP when we see a hyena. A little further
we see another two and a secretary bird. We drive on because it is getting
rather late already. After a few kilometres we see three female lions accompanied
by a beautiful fullmaned lion. The females pay all their attention to a
lonely buffalo, while the male is laying himself down. Immediately after
this we see a group of elephants. It starts to grow dusk already. And just
when we think we have reached the place where we will camp, something strikes
our eyes. At a distance of less than threehundred meters straight from
the place we shall stay overnight, we discover a group of eighteen lions
consuming a buffalo. Most lions are fed laying around resting. The lions
that are less in order still munch. In our car at a distance of about ten
meters we observe everything and see how once and a while they fight for
the best place at the buffalo. Meanwhile it has become as good as dark
and quickly we drive to the place we sleep to set our tents. During the
preparations for the night the thought keeps playing through my head that
a little further eighteen lions are laying. The only reassurance we have
is that they just had their meal. Sitting around the campfire we eat a
delicious meal and all of us have only one opinion about the fact that
the group staying in Arusha, missed a lot. (Afterwards we hear that it
rained all day in Arusha). We cannot refrain from shining around us with
an electric torch once and a while. You can see shining eyes proceeding
their way. At the moment the first one has to pee, you realise one has
to walk into the dark. With the lions around it stays exciting.
Strange enough after one of my best nights in Africa, we wake up at
about 5.30. The guides tell us we had company last night of a few hyenas.
During breakfast everyone wonders if the lions are still there. The answer
doesn't stay out for long, because half an hour later we depart for another
game-drive during the whole morning. After we have driven out of the path,
we already see it. The lions are still there. Again we see them eating
rests of the buffalo.
One lion takes the place of another lion. There's much going on around
the carcass. Lions play with eachother, drive away a vulture and once and
a while one signals that another one is getting too close. After looking
for an hour, the last two lions walk away together. Leaving the prey behind.
We too follow our way and a moment later we see a dik-dik along the side
of the road. A bit later we see another couple of lions. A male with beautiful
manes and two females. One of the females discovers a zebra in the distance.
In the course of the morning we see many more animals. Among others
there are elephants, baboons, zebras, buffalo’s, waterbuck's, Thomson gazelles, topi's etc. Just after a
break I see in the distance lots of vultures circling around in the air.
I point this out to the guide and he goes towards the vultures. A little
further he leaves the road (officially this is not allowed). Then we cannot
believe our eyes. Under a tree there's a cheetah laying with four young
ones. We don't stay long because it is forbidden to do so. Weather the
vultures are (in)directly connected with this, we don't know, but it is
a beautiful sight.
Meanwhile morning has passed for a great deal and we decide to go back.
On our way we again see much wild. It has become hot and at the campsite
we search for a bit shade. This afternoon there's another game-drive on
the program. Because of the heath we decide to leave somewhat later than
planned. Few of us do not agree, but much wild isn't there to be seen anyway
with this temperature. After the temperature has gone down a bit, we leave
for our second game-drive this day. The lions that were in the neighbourhood
we don't see anymore. It takes a while before we see the first wild. It's
a group of banded-mongoose. Actually they are night-animals and it's nice
to see them hopping around. We proceed our way and after seen more frequently
occurring wild, we stop. A leopard someone calls. How I look around, I
don't see the animal. But then suddenly I discover it in an acaciatree. The animal is hanging with his back-legs over a branch
and is drowsing nicely. Slowly there's more movement in the leopard. Will he get out of the tree? Once more
the animal yawns, he stands up and stretches to slowly turn around and a bit further he starts to lay down again. This
doesn't take long. He walks towards the stem of the tree and climbs smartly
down. For a moment the leopard sits, looks around and then disappears into
It's a piece of good fortune and we ask ourselves what else there is
to be wished (nothing). All together we have been standing here for more than an hour and we decide to go back to
the camp. Before we leave a jeep is driving towards us. In it are the in
Arusha remaining travelling companions. How much did they not see by not
joining us for this extra day? In the camp we exchange the stories. Now
we hear also that the weather was bad in Arusha. On their way they saw
two hunting cheetahs. This naturally compensates the pain for a part. Together
we eat around the campfire, and dirty as we are from the last two days
we seek our sleepingbags.
Serengeti NP - Ngorongoro Crater
This morning we again leave for an early game-drive. We discover that
we don't have a party every day. The case is, we see very few wild. Once
and a while in the distance something is perceived. We drive to a hippo-pool.
Because the largest part of the pool has become dry, the hippos and crocodiles
are laying close to each other. It's a large group of hippos and the crocodile’s
are very big. Here we stay for about half an hour. Just like before we
don't see much wild when we return.
At noon we pack our things and after lunch we leave direction Ngorongoro
Crater. Towards the crater the weather changes. More clouds are appearing. As soon as we arrive at the lips
of Ngorongoro Crater, we are in the middle of clouds and it has become
cold. It rains too and we set our camp as soon as possible. Dinner is made,
while everyone seeks for a dry place to stay. Quickly we eat our food to
soon find our tents to sleep.
Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha
It rained all night. There are few dry places to find. Everyone is
cold. Slowly the weather is clearing up. Today we shall go and see the
wild in the crater. The Ngorongoro Crater is 260 kilometres large and 600
meters deep. At the moment when we have made the descent into the crater,
we get out. We stand right next to the jeeps. A group of zebras walks towards
us and passes at a distance of almost 50 meters. A bit further there's
a lion walking with her young one. The presence of the lion makes a large
group of wildebeest flee. Further we see among others hyenas, buffalo’s,
a secretary bird, jackals, marabous, hippos, Thomson gazelles, zebras,
elephants and at a distance a black rhinoceros.
The only way back out of the crater is wet and muddy. When we arrive
at our camp, the tents barely dried. Yet it is time to pack. This afternoon
we return to Arusha. The road has become very muddy by the rain and once
and a while we see cars stuck in the mud. Just like before the driver keeps
a high speed. We are shaken through continuously. Yet we have confidence
in the driver and after a long drive we reach Arusha.
The weathercircumstances become worse again. The sun is nowhere to
be seen. Quickly we set our tent. From this moment on it starts raining
again. The whole evening and night it keeps raining. Everything becomes
wet and dirty. Fortunately this is our last night in the tent.
Arusha - Nairobi (Kenia)
Early in the morning we leave for Nairobi. Just outside the campsite
our car breaks down. After an hour this is repaired and we can actually leave Arusha. All of a sudden the clouds
break open and we see the Kilimanjaro at a distance. At the border it is
full of Masai offering curios to buy. Masai surrounds us and everyone wants
to sell you something. One feels uncomfortable sometimes by them pressing
and pulling. After the formalities at the border we drive on towards Nairobi.
Getting at the hotel we pack our things out of the car and take a nice
shower. Tonight we will have dinner at a nearby hotel and there we say
goodbye to Gus. He leaves this night for Johannesburg.
Nairobi - Amsterdam
Today we pass in Nairobi. First we say goodbye to a few travelling
companions. They go on to Zimbabwe. This morning we pay a visit to the
former house of Karen Blixen (Out of Africa). Before we leave we have to
go by the bank to change our money. At the bank who advertises with the
words: "this bank costs you the least time" we are busy for half an hour
to change the money. This probably is caused by the fact we are the only
customers at the moment. We take a cab to the Karen Blixen museum. Including
the driver we sit with seven in the cab. In the museum you get a good impression
about the life of Karen Blixen.
This afternoon we visit the centre of Nairobi. The last purchases are
The last hours before our departure last long. But then it's time to
take a taxi to go towards the airport. In a worn-out cab which is loaded again, we arrive at the airport. We say
goodbye to the remaining travellers. With a number of them we make an appointment to keep in touch.
The way back is going prosperously and in spite of our many beautiful
experiences we long for home after a month in Africa. Not much later in
the Netherlands we hear there has been an attempt to a coup in Zambia and
a hurricane on Zanzibar caused three deads. This last news explains the
bad weather in Arusha.
We shall remember this vacation for a long time and it certainly will
not be the last time we have visited this beautiful continent.