On Safari in the Serengeti
"We are going on a safari to Tanzania, to see the Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks. Would you like to accompany us. We can share costs....."
Yet another cousin made us an offer too good to turn down (the previous one took us to the Arctic Ocean in 2015), but this time an African safari really was on our "bucket list" (only not this year). The invitation ticked all the boxes: best time of year; small group tour; travel companions we knew and enjoyed being with; visiting Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge and the Serengeti; and yes, shared costs. A quick check with Ria, the travel agent (see Barking Zebra Tours) to confirm there was space in the vehicle and the camping sites; and Qatar Airlines for flights and we were all BOOKED! Leaving home on 4 July, barely six weeks after we had returned from our Danube River cruise, we were making up for the time lost to COVID in 2020-2022.
The safari was fantastic and well exceeded our expectations, despite the long flight times and long layovers at Doha, and the bumpy dustly roads. Our guide told us to look forward to the "African Massage" experience - it did not take long to fully appreciate his humour!! We saw all the big animals (except rhinos), up close but in the relative safety of our Landcruiser. Our guide, Richard, knew the area well, knew where to find animals hiding in the grass (or in the trees) and especially knew how to drive safely on the roads. It was a memorable trip.
Paul and Colma, July 2023
We were away for 13 days although we seemted to spend 4 days travelling. The following table gives a brief indication of each day, with links to an extended photo diary for each day - you get commentary and photos.
OR: you can use the Photo Album link to get just the photos. (There are also short videos in the photo diary - but they can all be viewed here)
|Day: with link to Photo Diary||Album: with link to just the photos||Date||Event|
|Day 1||Tuesday 4 July 2023||Drive to Auckland Airport for flight to Doha on Qatar Airways (via Addelaide), departing 1655.|
|Day 2||Wednesday 5 July 2023||Overnight in Oryx Garden Hotel, Doha courtesy of Qatar Airways.|
|Day 3||Album Day 3||Thursday 6 July 2023||Flight from Doha to Kilimanjaro Airport, transfer to Arusha and then a day in the city to visit the Cultural Centre and the food markets. Overnight at Planet Lodge, Arusha.|
|Day 4||Album Day 4||Friday 7 July 2023||Meet our tour guide Richard, then drive to Lake Manyara National Park. Overnight at Ngorongoro Farmhouse Lodge.|
|Day 5||Album Day 5||Saturday 8 July 2023||Drive into Ngorongoro Crater and around the crater floor before climbing up the steep wall of the caldera for a late lunch at Olduvai Gorge Museum and a tour of the museum. Then the long, bumpy and dusty drive to Serengeti and our accommodation at Nyikani Tented Camp.|
|Day 6||Album Day 6||Sunday 9 July 2023||Game drive in central Serengeti.|
|Day 7||Album Day 7||Monday 10 July 2023||Game drive in western Serengeti.|
|Day 8||Album Day 8||Tuesday 11 July 2023||Game drive in Northern Serengeti.|
|Day 9||Album Day 9||Wednesday 12 July 2023||Game drive in central/southern Serengeti.|
|Day 10||Album Day 10||Thursday 13 July 2023||Depart Serengeti by air from Seronera Airfield for Kilimanjaro Airport and then our Qatar flight back to Doha.|
|Day 11||Friday 14 July 2023||Overnight in Doha before our flight to Auckland via Adelaide.|
|Day 12/13||Sunday 16 July 2023||Back home in New Zealand. Whew!|
Last updated: 10 August 2023