Serengeti Safari begins

The kids being troopers with all the early starts and we were rewarded this morning. Charles thought he could fit one quick game drive in on our way to the airstrip which is in the National Park.

We saw the standards elephants , zebra and wildebeest but Charles was trying hard to find us some lion cubs…unfortunately not today but as we headed to the airstrip in the middle of an empty plain we found a mating pair of lions, who put on a show twice while we were there! 

Apparently a couple will mate constantly for three to four days forgoing hunting to get the job done and hopefully if the lioness becomes pregnant she will have three to four cubs in around three and a half months gestation.  Then only 60% of the cubs survive! 
Farewells to Charles, who has just been the best! Not only was he incredibly knowledgeable about the Parks and the habits of the animals, it we never got lost on all of these crazy roads.  He definitely has a sixth sense for these things.  We can only hope our next guide is as half as good!

On to the airstrip waiting for our ride to Migora on a Twin Otter aircraft, a short twenty minute flight where we were met to then drive half an hour to the border so we could clear Kenya immigration, then a short walk across No Mans Land to arrive and go through Tanzania immgrstion.  People everywhere and no real order. we made it through to then be driven another 20 minutes to the next airstrip for our two short flights on Cessna Caravan aircraft to the Serengeti.

 Bumping  along grass runways to be rewarded by spectacular views across the lush Farmland to then reach the end of the plateau to drop down into the Serengeti.

Our destination the centre of the Serengeti a park that expands over 1700 square kilometres.  Met on arrival by Abu our new driver and guide for the duration of our stay in Tanzania.

First stop our tented camp in the middle of the park, the Serengeti Heritage Camp. Accommodation not as plush but all tents have bathrooms facilities and the bucket hot water shower that they fill at your request…a new thing for the kids.

A little quiet time before we head for a late afternoon drive….. first impressions, disappointing after where we have been. Few animals around, all the wildebeest are in the north of the park now migrating to Kenya…  we though we had made a massive mistake coming here at this time.  But……. 45 minutes and our opinions quickly changed.

Among herds of elephants and the odd crocodile we stumbled across a lion pride with the two lioness on the hunt while the nine cubs watched their Mums hard as work.  After half an hour of stalking some gazelle, they were unlucky… gave up to sit in the sun as it set.  Amazing to watch such a big pride interact together.  A Serengeti experience we won’t forget! 

Back to the Heritage Camp to relax before dinner… Nathan and Ngaire were coming out of the tent a hyena was spotted 10 meters from our tent…as we looked over Emma was arriving at the tent next door where we yelled at her to quickly get inside. Looking out we spotted another two hyenas so it was time to radio the main tent for a security escort!  Definitely spooked and we won’t be walking alone at night.

Time for bed drifting off to sleep with Serengeti noises loud in our ears.

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