Sunday – Safari (Serengeti)
Drove from the hotel in Arusha to the Serengeti. A series of unfortunate events first came about when one of the cars tire fell flat; luckily, it was a quick fix. [please note that we had our first flat tire prior to this event] But little did we know that tires don’t enjoy staying on, and whilst driving through the Serengeti at a rapid pace, said tire decided to leave. It sadly rolled away from us, and we were forced to stop. As most cars need four tires to continue, this car only had three.
While some of us decided to collect the interesting rocks chilling on the road, others just sat in frustration. Eventually, a car from another company helped us out of pity. The car with the missing tire was left in the dust.
On the way to our camping site, we saw lions, elephants, zebras, gazelles, and a bunch of other safari animals. We finally arrived at the campsite in the evening and set up our tents… and oh what an interesting night it was.
Monday – Safari (Serengeti and Oldupi)
We all woke up at 5:00 am to hyenas laughing hysterically and other unknown creatures making noise. Once we felt safe to leave the tent, we saw the sun rise and ate a quick meal. Soon after, we set for another adventure through the Serengeti. The drive was magnificent as we continued to see more giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, hippos, etc. Finally, we saw more of the Big 5: the water buffalos and lions! We came across the lion sleeping in the tree.
Ate lunch after our 6 hour Serengeti adventure back at camp. We packed up and then headed off to Oldupi (a 2 hour drive.) Oldupi was where the earliest known human footsteps were found. After visiting the museum and the scenery at Oldupi, we headed off to Ngorogoro campsite.
At dinner tonight, we had a slight epidemic, during which about half the group ran off to the bathrooms and vomited. Needless to say, it was not the most enjoyable night.
Tuesday – Safari (Ngorogoro)
After little sleep and lots of stomach pain, we dragged ourselves out of bed at 5:30am in order to have as long of a safari as possible. We attributed our sickness to something in the food or water. Although a lot of us still felt queasy, we all decided to go on all six hours of the safari, because this was an experience we definitely did not want to skip. The safari was really incredible. The view of the crater in Ngorogoro was just breathtaking, and the amount of wildlife was equally stunning. Apparently, this crater has the greatest concentration of wildlife in the world. At one point, my car was within a few feet of four lions, all snoozing in the middle of the road. After the safari, we rubbed our bellies and headed back to Arusha. The ten hours of driving on bumpy roads were a bit rough on upset stomachs, but we managed and got to sleep early that night.
Wednesday – Arusha
After a night of sleep and long showers, everyone woke up feeling a lot better than the night before. Everyone ate breakfast in shifts, and enjoyed the morning and the breakfast at our hotel.
We spent the morning walking around Arusha looking for souvenirs to buy for family and friends. There were a lot of popular places to buy things where the majority of the group went to buy. All in all, everyone had a fun time having a free day to buy and spend and enjoy the last full day with the whole GIEU group.
After a day of buying, the whole group had a final debriefing session. We travelled to a different hotel and had a fulfilling session that covered the whole trip and everyone got to offer their suggestions about how to improve the experience. We had our last group dinner and took photos together. Our last night as a group was very bittersweet as the group splits off into two: the students going to Kilimanjaro and those who are leaving for home (America!) tomorrow. We decided to all meet for breakfast tomorrow at 8am as our final goodbye as a group.
The group consensus: Tanzania was awesome and we are all so grateful for the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful country! We are so appreciative to Mama Mpesha for making all of the arrangements and letting us experience the culture of such an amazing place!
America here we come!
Bri’An, Greg, John, Sam, and Trevor