Tanzania Wildlife Safari and Chimpanzee Trekking Dispatch
January 6, 2017 – Goodbye Serengeti
Dispatch by Nancy Souza
We departed the Pioneer Camp at 8:30am bidding a fond farewell to the staff and heading off to Seronera Airstrip, which is located in the central Serengeti within a small settlement. We were scheduled for a 10:55 flight back to the city of Arusha where we would spend a couple of days resting and relaxing before heading off to Mahale for our chimp trekking expedition.
We left time on the way to the airport in the event that we ran into some of our animal friends and, indeed, we encountered several including a family of hyena where we watched a baby crying to its mom before she exited the mud puddle so she could nurse. It was truly a heartwarming sight.
It was evident to us as we drove that final stretch away from the Serengeti that we had witnessed the most intimate and profound beauty our earth has to offer. We had come to experience it all and had been afforded the opportunity to do just that: Living a dream in seeing "the big five" (rhino, elephant, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard) as well as one the most impressive natural events on earth - the annual migration of the vast herds of herbivores (wildebeest, zebra and gazelle). Our reflections on the diversity of wildlife and scenery over the last six days of our safari continued to astound us as we arrived for our 12-seater prop plane flight back over the vast region we had covered by Land Rover.
The sights from the air were equally as spectacular as we witnessed the entirety of the Serengeti ecosystem from the "endless plains" - treeless expanses dotted by rocky outcrops (kopjes) and mingled with rivers and woodlands. Our favorite Baobab and Flat Top Acacias that beautify the Serengeti were soon disappearing as our plane transitioned to the ridge of the Ngorongoro Crater area - considered to be a natural wonder of the world as well. As the land rose up we could see the main road (that we had traversed) run across the ridge and the view of the lush terrain was truly breathtaking (as the photos will show). We were also dumbfounded to see interesting circles from the air - which turned out to be the outline of Massai Bomas from the air! Just wild!
We briefly landed in at Lake Manyara to pick up passengers and then continued on over Karatu and into Arusha (third largest city in Tanzania).
We arrived safe and sound at the Arusha coffeehouse and were welcomed back with many smiles and embraces. We were delighted to learn that the grounds were inhabited by verbet monkeys to help us transition from the bush - and we welcomed these days of well needed rest and relaxation before heading off for Mahale. Stay tuned for our next dispatch of our R&R days.