The Big Five, rain and thunder – a marvelous visit to Serengetti and Ngorongoro (part 1 of 2)

masai fabric

When I studied I used to work at the Modern Museum in Stockholm as a guard. As I love art and photography a museum was a perfect place. The work was mostly walking around the museum and watching that everyone behaved, answering questions and pointing out the toilet. Until one day I happened to talk to a person who later became a very good friend. We talked about travel. She asked me about me dream-trip. I said: Africa. Tanzania: safari, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. She laughed and said: Mine too! Let’s do it. And we started to plan.

Let’s skip the planning part. Few months later we were standing with one more co-worker in an aiport in Arusha waiting for someone to pick us up. One of us didn’t get the luggage (it got lost in Amsterdam) and we were all tired. Then we saw a nice-looking guy with a sign with our names. His name was Godfrey and he took us to our hotel.

Masai huts

Masai hut on the way from Arusha

The next day we got up early in the morning and took off. It’s time for adventure. We passed Arusha quite fast heading towards the wilderness. We went by Lake Mnyara that Godfrey just pointed out and we went on. We saw some Masai craftwork on the side of the road, some Masais as well huts, cattle and small villages. One time we had to stop when some animals, that looked like donkeys or zebras without stripes, were crossing the road.


Road block – stripeless zebras, or maybe simply donkeys

Finally we started reaching our final destination. We entered the Ngorongoro National Park on the side, but we didn’t go down to the crater. Not yet. We stopped and watched crater from above wondering what to expect. My idea was that I might see a zebra or maybe two and maybe, maybe an elephant. Or not.


First wild animal, a small cat, a serval

Suddenly I was disturbed in my wonderings by a cat crossing the road and hiding in the bushes. A real wild cat! This was a serval, a small wild cat with big ears. Pretty cool.


A zebra looking at all the other zebras and gnus


Not one, not two, but many, many, very many gnus, or blue wilderbeest


Beautiful savannah, adventure, here we come

Soon we saw more animals starting with two zebras, then more. And some wilderbeest and impalas and suddenly there were animals everywhere. We had lunch out in savanna by a tree watched by some antelopes and ostriches and then we entered the Serengetti National Park for even more animals. We saw baboons and velvet monkeys and a cat. We saw a marabou stork right in the beginning. Soon after that Godfrey got information on his radio about some lion, so we went there. There were a little bit too many safari cars, but the lions were real and cool and didn’t care.


A lizard waiting for a bug


A small impala with big horns

The animals were everywhere: wildebeest and zebras and antelopes and different birds and lizards. Just amazing. We saw impalas fighting, giraffes walking and eating from the top of the trees and elephants with their young.


Giraffes getting a meal from the tree tops


Elephant close up

My camera went: click, click, click, click and Godfrey laughed that it sounds like Chinese. It was the rainy period in Africa, which Godfrey explained: It rains one hour every day or half an hour. I could live with that.


Here comes he rain, it’s rain seasom after all

We saw impala, tapir and even more different antelopes which names are a mystery for me now. It was evening and we were heading to our place for the night, a very nice lodge. On the way there we saw a truck stuck in the mud. The lodge was nice, food was good, but it was poor supply. We learned later that truck in the mud was a food transport to the logde. We saw him the next morning in the same mud.

Stuck in the mud

Stuck in the mud

We saw also two lions sun bathing, pretty cool lizards and more wildebeests. Once again: animals everywhere. We went to a lake to see hippos. They were very many and once again very cool.


Two lionesses laying in the sun

Hippos can be tired too! One of the many hippos we saw, this one was yawning.

We had lunch and we continued. On the way we saw buffalo (two out of the big five). We saw some angry birds, vulture, some very cute warthog an finally a giraffe and then very many giraffes and elephants (three out of five).


We were watching, or rather being watched by this marvelous bufallo


We saw a few warthogs as well


There were more giraffes the second day as well


Akacia seemed to be giraffe’s favourite food. This one was not eaten on at the moment.

In the afternoon it was time for a big rain and for us to se a leopard (four out of five) . The leopard was very far away when we got there, but we saw it quite well with binoculars.


Leopard running from the rain


Heavy rain. At least we saw a leopard before it started.

The next day we saw even more animals of all kinds. And the green of the savanna was amazing as well. Africa is so much more than you can imagine. I love it. We saw more lion, more zebras, more giraffes. Zebras stand and rest two against each other with heads on each other backs, so they can watch if there is any danger behind. Pretty awesome.

Marabou storch

Marabou storch, can’t decide if they are pretty or pretty ugly, but they are pretty big.

Zebras resting

Zebras resting against each others backs.

We saw also a group of hienas laying in a pool of water. It was to cool down their stomachs, our guide explained. They eat rotten meat and the fermentation, that has already started continues in the stomach. To ease the pain and cool down the hiena lays down in the water. Sounds nice.


Hyeana cooling down in the water

We also saw a group of about fifty giraffes. That’s quite a few.


Fifty giraffes, maybe even more.

After Serengetti we went on to the Ngorongoro crater and national park, but that’s the next part.

Serengetti became a world heritage site in 1981. Link to this site: Serengetti.

My grade for this site is five out of five:



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5 thoughts on “The Big Five, rain and thunder – a marvelous visit to Serengetti and Ngorongoro (part 1 of 2)

  1. […] with beautiful doors, narrow streets and Christmas ornaments   I described my trip to Serengetti, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro a while ago. The trip was early in 2007 to Tanzania and we ended it […]

  2. meniez says:

    Hey, this is a good post. First when i saw the maraubstock, and Zebra, i thought i was in Uganda. Thanks for posting and sharing

  3. […] know I wrote about Serengetti once before. I often go back there in my thoughts and remember the wonderful nature there. So I […]

  4. […] The Big Five, rain and thunder – a marvelous visit to Serengetti and Ngorongoro (part 1 of 2) […]

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