After traveling through Europe for the first 3 weeks of June, I hopped on a flight from Barcelona to Arusha to co-lead another photo safari with Everlasting Tanzania Travels.
Our four lucky clients - a family of four from Ohio - and I spent a week together traveling through the Serengeti by Land Cruiser along with our Everlasting Tanzania guide Solomon. The trip, a bespoke itinerary just like our February 2016 safari, was a private tour through the best the Serengeti has to offer. Here's a brief overview of our travels, along with a few photo highlights at the bottom:
After flying over the Ngorongoro Crater on our flight from the Lake Manyara airstrip to the central Serengeti's Seronera airstrip, we took in a pleasant sunset drive en route to our accommodations at Kiota Camp. Kiota is a classic tented camp situated on a hillside that affords guests panoramic views of the surrounding plains. Our game drives got off to a tremendous start, as we spotted a pride of lions - complete with at least 6 cubs - right out of the gates. And our luck continued all throughout the central Serengeti, where our clients exclaimed that they saw more game in the first two days than they expected to see over the entire trip. On our third day we continued our game drive north to the Serengeti's Kogatende region.
The central Serengeti's open plains gave way to the Kogatende's rolling hills and - during this time of year - masses of wildebeest. We embraced the views as leisurely covered ground before arriving at Mkombe's House - the private 4-bedroom house adjacent to Lamai Serengeti that we would call home for the next 3 nights. Our accommodations were so nice that it was almost difficult to leave for our game drives. The house comes complete with a staff of 5 of the most genuine and hospitable gentlemen I've ever met (including a private chef), an enormous deck with panoramic views all the way into Kenya (and not one but two pools), and the structure itself dances beautifully in and out of enormous granite boulders that adorn the hillside on which it is built.
Our luck in sightings continued in the North as we not only spotted thousands of wildebeest and zebra but plenty of lions as well.
We capped off our time together in Tanzania at a private concession adjacent to the Serengeti, and it turned out to be a special experience. Klein's Camp is situated atop a ridge overlooking 10,000 acres of private land leased from local Maasai tribes. On private land, game drives suddenly become more flexible: night drives, offroad driving, bush walks, and drone flights are all allowed! As the sun was setting during our evening game drive, we were greeted in a wide open plain full of wildebeest with a lavish sundowner spread complete with a bonfire...before we set out for our night game drive. The next morning our clients were able to fly their drone from atop a rocky outcropping as our guides prepared bush breakfast. Without a doubt the right way to end an outstanding safari!
After parting ways at Klein's camp, our clients flew on to Rwanda to track gorillas while Solomon and I drove the long road back to Arusha, making a pit stop at Lake Natron. We all returned home in early July with wonderful memories, new friends, and loads of photos to sift through...and an urge to plan the next safari in Africa.
And now for the photos behind the words: