Safari in Tanzania: The Serengeti Day 1

lions serengeti

Safari in the Serengeti – Lions rest by a tree on Day 1.

I’ve lived out a lot of travel dreams in the past few years or so and haven’t got round to writing them all up, so here’s my report on our amazing safari experience in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. I’ll cover Day 1 first.

On Safari in the Serengeti with Shadows of Africa

On Safari in the Serengeti with Shadows of Africa

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. I was touring with the excellent tour company Shadows of Africa and was accompanied by two cool travel bloggers, Raymond from Man on the Lam and Annette from Bucket List Journey. After waking up in the Osupoku Lodge we got into our jeep with our guide Timo and headed to the Serengeti National Park, to get to it though you have to pass through the Ngorongoro Crater National Park.

At the entrance to Ngorongoro Crater

At the entrance to Ngorongoro Crater

Once inside the Crater it was a misty drive up and then it cleared on the way to the Serengeti. We saw some giraffes on the way and were also given our lunch box for the day. Shadows of Africa packages are excellent – even the lunches are substantial.

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

First giraffe of the day on route to the Serengeti

First giraffe of the day on route to the Serengeti

Excellent lunch from Shadows of Africa

Excellent lunch from Shadows of Africa

We reach the official entrance to the Serengeti National Park. At the entrance there is a small walking trail offering decent views and some introductions to the park. We see some snakes and birds here and get back in the jeep ready for some safari!

Arrival in the Serengeti

Arrival in the Serengeti

Annette, Raymond and I at the entrance to the Serengeti.

Annette, Raymond and I at the entrance to the Serengeti.

After registering our jeep at the entrance, it was time for some animal watching and long before the sun sank, we saw leopards, hyenas and lions.

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

The Serengeti goes on for miles – it’s huge!

The Serengeti is huge. It covers around 15,000 square kilometres. We drive for miles and miles and our driver Timo talks and gives information all the way along. He knows every animal inside out. Timo was a mind of information and we all learnt so much from him. I didn’t even know that a hyena was a scavenger before this trip – I used to think they would hunt down anything. Just as well they are scavengers, as a week later I would be feeding hyenas mouth to mouth in the city of Harar in Ethiopia!

Our jeep in the Serengeti

Our jeep in the Serengeti

I had my notepad at the ready in the jeep, we had a pair of binoculars and between the three of us bloggers, we took a lot of photos and a few videos.

Our first hyena spotting

Our first hyena spotting

My personal highlight from Day 1 in the Serengeti was seeing leopards in a tree with a Thompson’s Gazelle that had hunted down. Sadly it’s survival of the fittest here in the Serengeti. You might have to look closely at the below photo to spot the leopards and the gazelle.

Leopards in a tree

Leopards in a tree, with a dead Thompson’s Gazelle – look closely

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 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??

Safari also was becoming a competitive game of banter between Annette, Raymond and myself. We each wanted to be the first to see a certain animal and I must admit I was by far the worst 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 birds, most of which I cannot remember what types of bird they were.

An ostrich in the Serengeti

An ostrich in the Serengeti

One of many birds from  day 1

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 on 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. You can read about my night in the jungle sleeping in the Serengeti here.

camping in serengeti

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

Here are some videos of my first day in the Serengeti:

* I was on safari in Africa as a guest on a media tour with Shadows of Africa a company which I completely recommend. But as you’ll know on my blog, everything I write on here is my own personal opinion from the heart of a globetrotting Northern Irishman and is not influenced by the fact I was on a media tour.

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