We traveled to Tanzania over the September Eid holiday to visit the Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks. M.E. was off from work this week. We wanted to go on one last trip.There would be no time to travel once the plant started up in late November. And in the Serengeti, it just so happens to be the season when the wildebeest migrate from the north to the south of the park. Putting it on the map.
From Bahrain we flew to Doha the capital of Qatar to pick up a direct flight to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. We then took an hour car drive to Arusha, a mid size city where we stayed overnight in a B&B. The next morning we took an early flight to Serengeti National Park. (Pictures of Arusha in another post)
We arrived at the Arusha airport which had been pieced together over the years. As the tourist industry developed so did the airport. All the airplanes where prop planes with the largest having a seating capacity of 16 people. There was easily 18 planes waiting to shuttle people off to the many national game parks throughout Tanzania. On our flight we were getting off at the fourth stop. We were the only two for the first leg, picking up people as we went. The plane makes a loop dropping off, picking up and dropping off again the folks traveling between the different game parks. The runways at these airstrips are mostly gravel. I have to admit I was a little nerves on the first landing on gravel but no worries, this has been going on for years. Putting it on the map, Serengeti National Park.
We were picked up at our stop by our guide, Edgar in an open Land Rover. It was an hour drive to the camp but it ended up taking over two hours. We went on a mini “drive” stopping to look at animals along the way and getting a background on their habitat. Within those first two hours we were blown away at the animals we saw. I will have several posts featuring the many animals we saw and learned about.
The camp named Kimando, meaning shooting star, sat on the edge of one of those expansive plains, a savannah. It went on forever. Here is a link of pictures to Kimando Camp. Kimando is a mobile camp, it moves with the migration of the animals spending 5 months in the north of the Serengeti and 5 months in the south. The camp is eco friendly powered by solar energy cells. There are eight guest tents with a dining and lounge tent in the center. Breakfast was always packed, to eat out in the bush mid morning. Lunch was set up just outside the dining tent at camp with wonderful views of the plain, and dinner was in the dining tent at 8 o’clock sharp. We went on two “drives” each day. Every morning we met at 6am just at the first light of day to start the first drive. This is when the animals are most active. We would drive roughly 22 miles on each drive stopping mid morning for breakfast and returning to camp by 12:30-1 o’clock. Ate lunch, took a short nap and met again at 4 to go on the second “drive” until dusk around 6:30.
We returned each evening to a camp fire set up in the center of the camp over looking the plain. The manager called it bush TV, we all sat around with drinks, meeting new guests and exchanging stories of what we saw that day. Dinner which was good, nothing exotic, started at 8 pm.
The pictures below are from the flights to the park, and of the camp. I have a lot more pictures of the animals and the parks. Stay tuned!