The Magic of Serengeti

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Serengeti National Park feels like a completely different planet a million miles away form any civilisation: welcome to one of the greatest wild life watching destinations in the world!

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Last December, I ticked off yet another destination –  I have longed to visit for years – off my list, and this is the place I am unlikely to forget!

In Serengeti National Park the stunning savannah scenery is all consuming. In fact, the name Serengeti derives from the Maasai language: serengit meaning endless plains. Endless stretches of grasslands, interspersed with somewhat scrawny trees and monumental kopjes (granite formations and perfect observation points for predators) seems to stretch to the very ends of the earth, are the most emblematic scenery of Tanzania’s oldest national park.

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In Serengeti National Park, you will come across countless mammals, big and small: a large abundance of lions roaming about looking for something to fill their bellies with or snoozing in the sun; copious hoofed animals – gazelles, zebras, impalas, top, buffalos, waterbuck – are scattered around the almost treeless grasslands.

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Here, the air is so pure and cool that seems to cleanse your lungs with every single breath, and an almost complete absence of human presence  – nobody is allowed to inhabit the Serengeti area bar the park and camp employees – is refreshing especially if you live in a big city like me.

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No wonder Serengeti ecosystem secured a status as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.

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Serengeti National Park is well known for the abundant presence of the much sought-after “Big Five” (as well as “little five” and “ugly five”):

Lion – some believe that the Serengeti eco-system has the largest population of lions in Africa making it the perfect place to observe the extensive prides in their most natural environments.

African Leopard – Leopards are the most gorgeous felines, and here with a population of around one thousand your chance of spotting one is very fair – I clapped my eyes on a leopard en route to my camp from the airport!

African Elephant – elephants here plentiful, but not as many as I saw whilst doing a safari in Africa.

Black Rhino – very few individuals remain in the park due to intensive poaching in the past, which means that they are relatively difficult to come by.

Cape Buffalo – due to its unpredictable nature, which makes it highly dangerous to humans, the African buffalo has never been domesticated.

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Every year, the Serengeti hosts the largest terrestrial migration in the world.

Throughout my three day stay in the national park, I witnessed the beginnings of the spectacular circular great wildebeest migration – almost 1.7million of them – a natural phenomenon determined by availability of grazing lasting from December until March. I remember watching endless lines of these charcoal-coloured antelopes, hardly known for their good looks, moving slowly towards something unknown (but I am pretty sure they know where they are headed).

_DSC9136Be warned: a safari is a taxing activity- think 6am wake up call and 7-8 hours of driving around the park along very bumpy roads looking for game – and not a relaxing activity, and yet every single hour is worth the slight pain!

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I flew in from Arusha, and was picked up by my driver and guide Peter. Because I was there during the “low” season, I had him all to myself and felt very VIP!

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The airport decor was lovely

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Two big male elephants having a bit of a disagreement…

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Same applies to these two hippos… Everybody likes being a little macho!

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Zebras like to hug, because they need to rest their necks…_DSC9037

I think they have had enough!

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Must have been a bloody good lunch!!!_DSC9029

Can you spot a leopard?!

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Such a pretty young female giraffe: I really wanted to adopt her as my pet!_DSC9010 _DSC8985

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The begginings of the massive wildebeest migration. Here they are accompanied by their good friends zebras, who are their favourite companions since they have excellent eyesight (wildebeest not so much). DSC_8864

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Hippo Central!DSC_8687

Marabou stork  – a rather unfortunate looking bird and one of the Ugly Five. Others include hyena, vulture, warthog and wildebeest.

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And here is another animal from the “Ugly Five”…

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Cheetah – my absolute favourite feline- looking for something tasty to eat!DSC_8706DSC_8588_DSC9002My lunch companion one day…

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Where I stayed: Serengeti Pioneer Camp – a fabulous semi-permanent camp in the heart of Serengeti National Park. You can read my post about it here.

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Time to relax and read a book!

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And to sleep…



12 responses to “The Magic of Serengeti”

  1. love this post! finally got a chance to view all the pics! amazing. must be so thrilling to click all those beast in the wild!
    xo
    http://www.cocktailsandcatwalk.com

  2. Olga says:

    Stunning pictures, Olga! You really know how to take good photos.
    http://www.therussianabroad.com

  3. WOW, how amazing must this experience be?!

    xxx Linsey from POSE-BLOG.com

    You can also check my BLOGLOVIN & FACEBOOK if you like! 🙂

  4. Michèle says:

    wow. looks fantastic. definitely feel like traveling the world now
    http://www.thefashionfraction.com

  5. Eden says:

    Unbelievable photos! Definitely adding this to my travel bucketlist. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip 🙂

    http://www.mintnotion.com

  6. Helena says:

    Such a great post! Added this to my bucket list instantly! Love the pictures and sounds like you had an amazing time 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    simply-mode.com

  7. Nicola says:

    Amazing pictures! I especially love the pictures you took of the elephants!!

    xx Nicki

    http://www.morning-elegance.com

  8. Jake Ryan says:

    Absolutely brilliant. Loved every one of these images, this must of been such an incredible experience.

    Jake
    http://www.travelfoodfilm.com

  9. […] Continue to Wide Sea|No Anchor for more amazing pictures. […]

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