On our final day in the Serengeti we had an early start and returned for breakfast at 8:45. This was the morning that we saw the large group of Lions fighting. After having breakfast back at the camp, we were on the road before 10 to meander our way to the gate of Serengeti for before 1. There was another very long process exit. After the gate we saw two groups of Lions next to the road.
We were heading back to the crater. We stopped at a view point on the rim to take in a spectacular view. The scenery is really amazing and so very different from the endless dry earth we had been seeing in the Serengeti. We arrived at our final camp at just before 5, so had plenty of time to just relax on our final night. The dinner at our new camp was once again excellent.
We were up early for a hot breakfast at 6 before heading into the crater for or game drive (we had to actually quickly head back to ensure we had filled out yet more paper work). It was really cold so we all had about 5 layers on! The crater was not what I was expecting and probably was a little disappointing as II had been told it was amazing by so many people. I think we had seen so much over the past few week that this was almost inevitable. The crater is a World Heritage site and is easily protected as there are only two roads into to the crater.
We saw a small pride of adult Lion’s next to the road, something we had not seen before as there were no juveniles there. There was a large herd of Wildebeest, nearly 100, very close to them and we hoped they were going to make a kill but unfortunately not… As we drove to the small forest we saw several HUGE herds of Wildebeest and Buffalo, many over 100 and one closer to 300! We also saw some Golden Jackals, another thing we had not seen before.
The forrest is home to some huge bull Elephants, the gene for these large Elephants is almost extinct due to poaching in the rest of Tanzania. We managed to see one large bull in the trees. One of the main attractions of the crater is the Black Rhino. There are just over 40 in the crater & the Serengeti combined! Rangers are constantly watching them to protect them and they don’t come out in the wind. So we were unlucky and didn’t see them to complete our Big 5. This was a shame but we had seen so much on our safari that it was only a tiny disappointment.
We had to be out of the crater area at the same time we left the Serengeti so after another looped we headed along the rim to the gate. There are many Masi farmers that herd their cattle and goats along this road.
After exiting Frank recommended a low-key roadside tourist shop to stop at. Dad and I had to negotiate furiously to get a half decent price for some Masi blankets and a drum for Ewan. Our lunch stop was just along the road at a fancy shop, that was inevitably ran by Indians. It also had an incredible amount stuffed into its 4 walls, but in a far more organised fashion than the local shop.
The journey back took another 4 hours. Poor Frank was stopped twice by the police and had to give them a small ‘token’ for us to move on quickly. This really wound him up, which was totally against his character. Apart from that the journey back passed quickly.
It was nice to have another amazing meal that Sandra cooked and a final proper hot shower. I took various things that Ewan, Mum and Dad didn’t need at home. It was sad to say goodbye to them but I was looking forward to getting back to the kids. I tried to not build up the welcome I would receive in my head. I quickly dropped by bags at the house and headed over. As the gate was open I was mobbed by nearly 15 of the kids. This was exactly what I needed and it felt great to be back.
I had a fantastic time on Safari with my family. I wouldn’t have been on such a long and fancy safari without them. But sharing it with them was more important than this.