Ok, after my posts about Tarangire NP, Lake Manyara and Lake Natron (1, 2, 3), i’m going to continue with my Tanzanian journey and switch now to the Serengeti national park. This park is one of the most famous national parks in the world. It’s famous for its huge diversity and for the wildebeest migration together with other herds of cloven-hoofed animals like zebras, gazelles and impalas. It’s really an amazing and spectacular sight, but i was not lucky enough to watch it. The problem is that the animals migrate in the very northern part of the park which is quite far away from the northern entrance. So if you visit the Northern Serengeti, give yourself at least one full day and two nights to surely visit the migration at the river spot. The best time to see it in the Northern part is September.
We arrived there from the lake Natron, the road was astoundingly beautiful, but extremely bumpy. A good idea was to bring some radio or iPod dock station so you can entertain yourself a little bit. I also had a gauze bandage, since it’s really dusty! In total, it took us about 8 hours to get there and we saw a few jeeps got stuck on the way, basically in the middle of nowhere. So be sure that your driver is experienced enough and be prepared for some “unexpected” adventures 🙂
So, on our day 5 very late afternoon we arrived at the Northern Serengeti and on the way did some safari in the park till we got to the overnight stay spot. The spot is really amazing. Since not so many people visit this northern area, it’s quite empty, just a few tents. And the most exiting thing is that animals can visit you along the night. Well, i mean here buffalos, leopards, lions can walk around the tents during the night time. It was really a good idea to bring a disposable urine pack, so we could use right in the tent 🙂
Then in the early morning we continued with safari in the northern part of the park till lunch time. And afterwards we proceeded to the Central Serengeti. It takes about 2-3 hours to get there, but since it’s inside the park you still can see lots of animals on the way, so it may take a bit longer.
1. An Agama lizard right at the entrance.
2. Baby Coke’s hartebeest was just lying at the road.
3. A Black-backed jackal at the dawn.
This post will be the last one about lake Natron. I’ll show you some photos of Maasai people. I’m not going to tell you about them, there is lots of info available. I just say that they are very very different from all the people I’ve ever met in their way of thinking and mentality. They are really very proud and have their dignity. They don’t try to please you as a visitor or whatever. But if they sort of like you 🙂 they treat you with an extra respect and curiosity 🙂 Again, I loved being there and if you have a chance to stay at lake Natron for a few days to get this amazing atmosphere, do this!
Since they live very poorly, it would be nice if you bring something for the kids like sweets, cookies, pens, pencils, copybooks and some clothes would work as well. Honestly, it’s a bit hard to do, when you travel. But try at least to bring a little bit of presents 🙂 They’ll be happy about it! Don’t give them dollars or euros, they won’t have any chance to change it to their schillings.
They all have two names: “western” (or Christian-like) for tourists and their own Maasai name. It was always interesting to know their beautiful true names.
1. This young Maasai man Bronson (western names, of course) was our guide.
2. Every man wears weapon and some decoration. Well, they all wear decoration made from glass beads. Before, they wore some decoration made from seeds.
3. For their culture it’s quite unusual to smile at you. But since we became very friendly to each other, Bronson is smiling here 🙂
Continuing with Lake Natron, you can find there one of the most beautiful creatures – flamingos. After I saw these amazing pictures by photographer Nick Brandt, I so badly wanted to go there and just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere. Lots of flamingos around you, beautiful landscape, what else one would need?
The reality turned to be a bit different, though as always 🙂 Flamingos are very shy birds. So as long as you try to sneak around, they’re slowly moving away from you or simply fly away! They’re very hard to photograph… On top of that, they basically stay in a very muddy area, which is very wet and slippery. So be prepared to get really dirty 🙂 Anyway, they are truly beautiful creatures and I really enjoyed walking around. Hope, you’ll like some of my photos.
0. If you want to see these “frozen” dead birds, like Nick Brandt did, you should go there in April. We were there in September, so I found only a baby bird.