Animal Spotting at the Serengeti National Park

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lions serengeti

If you haven’t bee on a safari, it’s magical, especially in East Africa where animals are in abundance. I went on a safari in Tanzania with Shadows of Africa through the Serengeti National Park and truth be told, the Serengeti is one of the most famous jungles and national parks in the world. Having already seen Tarangire National Park, it was time to drive through Ngorongoro Crater and into the Serengeti.

After a restful sleep at the Osupoku Lodge, we headed out on jeeps with our guide Timo and headed to the Serengeti National Park, which passes through the Ngorongoro Crater National Park to get to the other side.  Once inside the Crater, it was a misty drive up before it eventually cleared in the Serengeti. We saw some giraffes on the way and of course, those dreamy African views and skies that take you to another world.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

First giraffe of the day on route to the Serengeti

Above, the first giraffe of the day en route to the Serengeti. At the entrance, there is a small walking trail offering decent views and introductions to the park.  After registering our jeep, it was time for some animal watching before the sun would sink for the day and animal spotting we did, from giraffes and leopards to hyenas and lions.

The Serengeti goes on for miles - it's huge!

The Serengeti goes on for miles, covering some 15,000 square kilometres. Learning about the animals is not quite as fascinating as seeing them, but background knowledge only adds to the experience. Did you know that a hyena was a scavenger?

Our jeep in the Serengeti

Our jeep in the Serengeti. Must brings include a notepad, binoculars, water and camera gear with zoom lenses of course.

Our first hyena spotting

Our first hyena spotting. My personal highlight from the first day in the Serengeti was seeing leopards in a tree with a Thompson’s Gazelle they had hunted down.

Leopards in a tree

We also saw lots of Wildebeests, of which there are over a million here.

3 of a million wildebeests

3 of a million wildebeests. There were some other real surprises too, including spotting a cheetah hiding in the dense grass, below.

Can you spot the Cheetah??

Can you spot the Cheetah??

Animal spotting was becoming a competitive game of banter between my colleagues Annette, Raymond and myself.  I must admit, I’m not very good at it. During the trip, I once confused a cow for a boar and also claimed I saw 5 leopards in a tree. When we pulled over to check, it turned out it was just branches and leaves! My phantom leopards had scarpered. Other animals of note on Day 1 included ostriches and tons of tropical birds.

An ostrich in the Serengeti

An ostrich in the Serengeti

One of many birds from  day 1

It had been a tremendous introduction to the Serengeti and Timo drove us through the rough and tough roads to our campsite for the evening. The sun was just setting on the way to our base and we passed by hyenas and lions again en route.

Pre sunset in the Serengeti

Pre sunset in the Serengeti

We had completed Day 1 of our Serengeti adventure and we retired to our luxury tents for a nights sleep while wild hyenas and gazelles roamed outside.

camping in serengeti

Cheers! Raymond and I enjoying beers on our first night  in The Serengeti, Tanzania

 

* I was on safari in Africa as a guest on a media tour with Shadows of Africa.

 

Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don't Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.
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