A hot afternoon on the African savanna, watching a large male giraffe casually stroll past our safari vehicle; he was approaching a mother and her calf when all of a sudden were hurtling out of there!
Speeding over rocks and down into ditches, leaping from our seats we arrived at the Mara River, where we got a front row seat to one of the greatest migrations in the world.
There it was, we’d only dreamed of this, watching David Attenborough documentaries from the comfort of our living room, the migration was in full swing. Thousands upon thousands of wildebeest clambered down the banks of the river to cross the crocodile infested waters to reach Tanzania.
This absolutely fascinating and captivating experience is one we will simply never forget and one of the many reasons an experienced guide will be your new best friend!
Africa is a continent known for it’s wild animal encounters, breathtaking landscapes, fascinating cultures and stunning beaches. This was all to true as we travelled some 12,000 km (7,500 miles) to see it for ourselves.
Having travelled the world and visited some incredible locations this was like nothing we’d ever experienced before and something about this place compels you to return over and over again.
We started our journey through Tanzania in Arusha, a fascinating densely populated town, and whilst there is no shortage of experiences here most notable is that this is the gateway to the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
An African safari is one of the most exhilarating experiences and an incredible chance to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Tanzania offers some of the most amazing experiences and a chance for you to tick off those top items from your bucket list.
Serengeti National Park
Serengeti means “endless plains” in the Maasai language and is undoubtedly one of the world’s most incredible locations and one not to be missed.
It is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve and renowned as one of the sites of the great migration. With an estimated two million wildebeest migrating to the Maasai Mara in Kenya every year, this epic seasonal journey is a photographers dream and one that will blow your mind (literally)!
When most people think of travelling throughout Africa, a safari is generally on the top of that list, and travelling at the right time of year and with knowledgeable guides we witnessed just about every African animal you can think of, both big and small!
As most of the landscape is savannah, wildlife visibility is very high and from the moment we entered the park we knew we were in for an incredible experience.
Ngorongoro was formed millions of years ago when a giant volcano exploded; today it is one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Thousands of animals call this place home and the landscape is epic!
Travelling through the spectacular lush crater highlands, through the early morning fog, we arrived at our campsite on the dusty edge of the crater. Where animals are free to roam we were warned not to venture out at night.
Shortly after dinner we gathered around the campfire after a long day exploring the savannah, we enjoyed some cold beers as the banter flowed amongst the group.
Later that evening as nature called my husband stirred and exited the tent. Nervously waiting inside for his return, hoping he wouldn’t become something’s dinner, he called me out to witness an undoubtedly fascinating opportunity for stargazing. As our attention quickly turned to the heavens we suddenly became amateur astronomers for this rare opportunity away from the bright city lights.
Good Guides Are Priceless
The Serengeti National Park alone covers some 1.5 million hectares so it’s no doubt that you want to have a knowledgeable guide on your side.
Typically your driver with double as your guide and go above and beyond to ensure that get the most out of your safari experience.
A good guide can spot wildlife from what seems like miles away, it’s almost like they have a sixth sense! This was the case as we ventured off before sunrise and our guide pulled over to the side of the dusty track. Pointing out the drivers side window all we could see was grass!? As we cautiously approached a little closer there he was, eating his breakfast, the sound of crunching bones, a large bachelor lion nestled in the grass eating a zebra feast!
As the lion moved on the guide almost predicted this and repositioned further down the road. As he (casually) strolled past our safari vehicle, like a very cool-cat, I think we forgot to breathe! This is exactly how close you can get with a good guide.
When Should We Go?
June to October is the dry season and is usually the best time of year to see wildlife, but this can also mean it is more expensive and sometimes crowded.
As we travelled through the peak season we didn’t feel overwhelmed but crowds or hoards of other tourists but so grateful that we went at this time of the year to witness the annual migration.
The migration, which naturally attracts the hungry attention of most of Africa’s predators, was a thrilling highlight.
Although not typically the breading season for all African animals we were fortunate enough to not only witness the conception of (awkward!) but also an abundance of newborn animals learning how to survive.
From zebra foul, warthog triplets, elephant and giraffe calves to three week old lion cubs (an incredible highlight), time and time again we felt so spoilt with the abundance of wildlife and their offspring.
Hints And Tips
A lot of research and planning goes into getting a safari fully arranged, deciding what game reserve to visit and when, finding transportation and the right accommodation.
Choosing an all-inclusive overland journey was by far the best decision for our African holiday and allowed us to sit back and enjoy every possible experience available to us.
Travelling Africa doesn’t have to be difficult or a daunting experience but it certainly pays to do your research and we have no doubt that you’ll have the adventure of your life!
Who Are The Travel Heads?
We are an Australian couple from Sydney and over the past 13 years we have been travelling the globe together.
We’ve well and truly got the travel bug!
From gap years to living abroad to weekends away, we grasp every opportunity available.
The world is a big place and we want to see as much of it as possible.
We want you to enjoy reading our stories, be excited by our travel photography and feel inspired to travel more.