A trip to Africa is not complete without a trip to the safari ,specifically, in Tanzania which has some of the best wildlife, second only to Kenya. Initially, I was very disappointed that we were so far away from the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and the other big parks. To make matters worst, the logistics of travel by road is very complicated so a trip to these parts of the country was not possible unless we flew. However, after speaking with the local guide he suggested that we visit Mikumi National Park.
The field intensive ended the day before but myself and a few others opted to stay an extra day and take a late night flight to do some last minute exploration on our own. This worked out great as our schedule was so jam packed that we were unable to do a full day trip anywhere.
Mikumi is the four largest game reserve in Tanzania and is a 4-5 hour drive from Dar es Salaam. Before we even entered the park we saw baboons, giraffes, and zebras along the road. Once inside the park there were water hogs, gazelles, antelopes, zebras, birds, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles. My personal favorites were the giraffes and elephants. Giraffes are the national animal of Tanzania and so happen to be my favorite animal because of their beauty and alertness.
I was very pleased with the experience at the park. Even though the lions did not make an appearance, I was very content with even the elephants, giraffes and other animals. We even witnessed an elephant crossing the road right behind our vehicle, totally awesome! On my next trip I would like to stay overnight at the lodge and enjoy the views of the animals passing by.
As a gift to us, our Tour Guide agreed to escort us to the park and provide us with a tour. This was very convenient as we used our same vehicle to drive through the safari and went straight from the safari to the airport. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my last day in Africa. I am saddened with all the illegal poaching and other activities that are leading to these animals becoming endangered and extinct. Nonetheless, I was very happy to experience the animals in the their natural habitat.