Even though today I flew to Hong Kong on route to Jamaica for my 4th Amizade adventure, I have yet to tell about my days on the safari through Tanzania.
The above photos were taken in Serengeti National Park and are just a few of the thousand pictures I snapped. I had amazing good fortune on this trip, being the only passenger in a 12 person off-road vehicle and having an incredibly experienced guide who put up with me. He had to admit that I was the first tourist he had shuttled who forwent all the elaborate, expensive prepaid tourist accomodations and stayed and dined with him in tiny villages along the way. We established a close relationship and therefore he went the "extra mile" so to speak. (Actually we drove almost 1400 miles much on jeep track to find some of the more unusual animals.)
I am not sure exactly why I have chosen the above pictures. When I look at them now I ask myself what story do they tell. The top photo of the family of giraffes shows something of the immensity of the Serengeti, which means "endless plain" in Masai. This park is 14,000 sq. km or about 300 miles square and along with its neighbor the Ngorogoro Forest Preserve contains most of the remaining population of animals in East Africa.
I chose the second photo to show the diversity of the landscape. It is not all grassland but is dotted with swamp especially this time of year. This is the beginning of the rainy season and many animals use such spots to drink and cool down from the searing heat. By the way, it is not allowed to hike nor is it safe in most places to leave your car. Strange big things often are lurking in the grass! You wouldn't want to swim there either. What appears to be a log at the back of the pond are actually two hippos. ( I have hippo pictures from so close you can count teeth!)
The third photo of a baboon and baby reminded me how much fun it was to watch these families sometimes containing as many as 50 members. They provided comic relief on the long journey and bother everything that comes in their path. Most important for me though was feeling the freedom of these and all the animals of this wonderful park. In Swaheli it is called Uhuru and I will never forget it in their eyes.