An Incredible Expedition to Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater – Tanzania
Ever wanted to visit a destination so bad, that you couldn’t wait, instead, go ahead of the group to picked at town ahead? Guess what!! I went a day before to be picked at the Namanga Border. I was looking forward to this since it was a treat that I was getting from working with One of the best safari companies in Tanzania.
Well, this is how the who trip rolled out from Nairobi…
Start of safari – A Chilly Morning in Nairobi
A fine Tuesday morning on the 15th of December 2019 marked the start of our 7-day safari to Serengeti, Ngorongoro. Waiting for our driver at Sarova Stanley Nairobi, we bravely bore the chilly morning breeze. We had to cover a distance of 130 kilometers before crossing over to Tanzania 🇹🇿 at the Namanga Border.
We cruised over the beautiful landscapes along the well-tarmacked Nairobi-Namanga highway. In our safari, we had different safari companies represented. The whole chilly morning was the best to take those power naps after waking up early. The bond between us built steadily as we progressed with the journey.
We arrived at the border, tired and anxious to traverse Tanzania’s major towns, farms, and national parks. We met Laban, a cool, friendly and chatty safari guide. He helped us park and clear with the immigration processes at the border. A surprise reception was awaiting us complete with generous servings of sumptuous breakfast snacks.
The Namanga to Karatu trip
Welcome to Tanzania, one of the best safari countries in Africa. Tanzania features major wildlife reserves such as Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
We drove to Karatu, a small town between Arusha Town and Ngorongoro Crater. It’s a very productive town, known for massive coffee production and traditional practices.
We checked in at Pamoja Collection Lodge. It is a clean and friendly lodge overlooking an extensive coffee farm. The ambiance was amazing, the beds were big and the rooms quite spacious. We were allocated rooms, each overlooking a garden. The reception was beyond our expectations. We danced, sung and later sipped some beverages to quench our thirst after the long drive from Nairobi.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The next day, we camped at Serengeti Acacia Camps before heading out to Ngorongoro Crater. The 8 hours’ drive was long but worth it. The therapeutic scenery made of lush green landscapes, coffee bushes and the beautiful Lake Manyara had us yearning for more adventure.
We checked in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. At the viewpoint, we were enchanted by the biggest crater in the world, the Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the big five and bears the history of the human race. The Olduvai Gorge in Ngorongoro is a significant historical place that describes the life of the early man.
Serengeti National Park
As we drove towards Serengeti, we couldn’t help but notice the fresh and serene environment. Wildebeest groaning sounds became distinct as we approached the Naabi Main Gate. We spent 4 lovely days at the Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti National Park is 14,800 square meters in size. It is divided into four sections: North, South, East, and Central. The west is occupied by the Grumeti Game Reserve.
Millions of wildebeests are found in Serengeti National Park. They migrate miles upon miles in search of food. Every year, they migrate from South Serengeti to North Serengeti and later to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. After 3 or 4 months, between June and October, they migrate from Maasai Mara to Serengeti, towards Serengeti South. Serengeti is also home to the big five, numerous bird species and other diverse wildlife.
Serengeti Acacia- Rongai Area
We spent at Serengeti Acacia Rongai Area. It’s located behind the Rongai Hills. Did I mention the tsetse flies? Well, it was one crazy reception. The tsetse flies are in thousands, but the camp managers know how to deal with them. We were told they are attracted to blue colors, hence they were tricked into following blue clothing away from the camp.
Moses, the camp manager, gave us a warm welcome around an amazing fireplace. We enjoyed some warm and cold drinks together. We also danced and sung till the wee hours of the morning.
Acacia Camp – Seronera Serengeti Central
Our next destination was Seronera Camp in Central Serengeti. We woke up to some heavy breakfast, including freshly-baked bread and cake. During our game drive, we spotted the big five, and other beautiful wildlife. There were no wildebeests at the time as they had trekked down to the Serengeti South. Ndutu Area is a common birth zone for wildebeest calves. Approximately 8000 calves are born per day.
While driving back to our camp, we crossed several rivers hurriedly to avoid the impending heavy downfall. Laban, our chief guide, had mentioned that we had to cross a river before it floods in some other region of Serengeti. Otherwise, we would be forced to sleep there till water levels subsided.
On arrival, we were picked by 2 beautiful ladies from Serengeti Central Acacia Camp. The camp is well perched in the middle of nowhere, with an Acacia tree being its primary landmark.
This camp has 17 luxury tents each with queen beds and bathtubs. The amazing views of the Serengeti plains and the long green grass make the camp super attractive. We spent our next 3 nights here, marking some of our best safari moments in Tanzania.
The last day came when we had to do some crazy closing activities. We celebrated Patricia’s birthday, one of our colleagues who works as a Safari Consultant. This marked the end of our safari and stay at the camp. We made merry and shared wonderful and memorable experiences. As we embarked on our journey back to Nairobi, we couldn’t help but long for another safari experience. In 2021, we hope to explore the Tarangire and Serengeti areas in Tanzania.