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Tanzanian Safari, the Adventure of a Lifetime

It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve been back from Tanzania which means this post is long overdue. It’s just so hard to put into words such an amazing experience and I am still pinching myself in disbelief that I was given the opportunity to explore such a place! Hopefully, between my words and Floyd’s photos, I can share a fraction of the beauty.

I left off last week with our day trip to Zanzibar, and for those like me who are not well versed in African geography, I’ve inserted a map (and who knows, this could help in your next game of Trivial Pursuit)! The morning after our day in Zanzibar, we were picked up at our hotel in Dar es Salaam and took a short flight north to Arusha, a good sized farming and mining town. Already the landscape had drastically changed from a dusty seaside city to lush green pastures.

In Arusha we were picked up by Elias, a gentle soul who would be our driver and guide for the next few days. Elias drove us to our first safari destination, Lake Manyara. All of the safari parks are actually HUGE national parks of conservation land, not unlike our own Yellowstone, where the animals are protected and free to roam. Lake Manyara greeted us with a huge family of baboons upon entering and not long after a giraffe stretched from behind the thick trees. I don’t know about you, but I never imagined some of the African animals living in such a dense jungle. It was amazing. Here in Lake Manyara, we spent the night in a romantic tree house with beds draped in mosquito netting and monkeys swinging from the branches. I thought it was going to be scary, but instead I was in such awe I forgot to even worry about spiders!

From Lake Manyara we drove several hours to Ngorongoro Crater, stopping for pictures of several furry friends along the way! Hippos, gazelles, bison, elephants, and zebra by the dozen all came out to let us gawk at them. I truly became obsessed with watching the little baby monkeys play! Ngorongoro Crater is a magnificent site. Once a volcano that erupted and then collapsed to create the crater, it is over 100 square miles. Our hotel was perched on the crater’s edge providing a spectacular site to wake up and end each day. During the day we drove down with our picnic lunches to explore the bottom where several thousand animals live. We were lucky enough to be on the tail end of rainy season which meant that the flowers were in bloom and it was much greener than the rest of the year.

Leaving Ngorongoro and on our way to the Serengeti, we stopped to visit a Maasai village. The Maasai are a tribe of people who choose to retain their customs and live in the traditional ways of their ancestors. It is estimated that there are 400,000 Maasai living in Tanzania. It was an enlightening experience and we were greeted warmly with a welcome song and dance. But I also found the visit a bit difficult. The beauty of their clothes and spirits shone loud and bright. However, by choosing to live the way they do, which involves building mud huts as their cattle move across the land with no running water, electricity or basic sanitation, means that the children I held and played with all appeared pretty sickly. For me, holding a sick child and not being able to do anything to help is heart wrenching. Not to mention with 10 wives to every man, I had some interesting conversations with the women! I can’t imagine poor Floyd having to put up with 9 more “Megans”! It was definitely an eye-opening experience for us and I’m grateful they were so welcome and open to teaching us about their culture.

Last but certainly not least on our safari adventure was the Serengeti. With grassy plains that stretch as far as the eye could see, lions laying about lazily and wildebeests galore it was seriously a scene right out of The Lion King! I truly enjoyed each unique place Tanzania had to offer. But it was in the Serengeti, standing in the jeep as it flew across the dusty road, looking for “big cats” that I felt my heart was captured by Africa.


Comments

  1. shari @ little blue deer says

    Oh wow, that looks like SUCH an amazing trip! I feel like I was there, and I applaud you for forgetting about your fear of spiders, I'm not at all sure I could pull that off! Great photos, too!

  2. Marian says

    This looks like such an amazing trip!! I've always wanted to go to Tanzania (as well as Botswana). The images are breath-taking

  3. LifestyleBohemia says

    I love the photos! Your trip sounds amazing, and tiring! You must need a vacation now 🙂

  4. Café Bellini - Beauty. Yoga. Kids. Life. says

    What an amazing travel experience. The photos are stunning! Thanks for sharing them with us!

  5. Anna says

    Oh Megan…my goodness…what an adventure..and by the looks of it..a life changing one…amazing images..thanks so much for sharing your trip with us x

  6. Shelby Bukhenik says

    wow that is all truly amazing! I can't imagine going on a trip like this, sounds like it was really quite something!

  7. Channon says

    Thank you for sharing those photos and tidbits with us. Everyone I know who has been to Africa has been truly moved by the experience…

  8. Ms. Givens says

    Amazing! I couldnt have chosen anything better to read first thing this morning.
    Wonderful pictures too!

  9. Erika ~TiptoeButterfly~ says

    *sighhhhh* .. my dream spot – i ALWAYS and mean ALWAYS wanted to go on a safari – i even blogged about a GREAT location – and i'm head-over-heals for elephants! .. i'm dreammmmminggggg

    *Hug*
    Erika
    ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

  10. Sandy a la Mode says

    wow, i am soo utterly jealous!! she got to see soo many cute animals up close and in person!! i totally want to visit there someday!! =)

  11. Maddy says

    Wow! What an experience! Some of those landscape shots are just magnificent!! I'm sure you'll never see the world the same way :o)

  12. Miss Love says

    You definitely paint a picture when sharing your trip with us. I am afraid of animals, but you make me want to go on a safari. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Helena - A Diary of Lovely says

    amazing trip, a safari was never high on my list but I might have to reconsider!! Great photos!!

  14. THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE says

    Now that is an amazing adventure! It's definitely on my dream vacation list. Thanks so much for sharing it with us 🙂

  15. hip hip gin gin says

    Oh my word, that baby monkey just totally killed me he is so cute!! Riding on his mama's back, what a doll! What an amazing trip.

  16. hip hip gin gin says

    Oh my word, that baby monkey just totally killed me he is so cute!! Riding on his mama's back, what a doll! What an amazing trip.

  17. MCW says

    Stunning. Simply amazing. I can imagine seeing and talking to those women and children must have been hard. But, the nomadic way of life is thousands of years old…should they change this and an ancient culture would be obsolete??? I honestly have NO idea?

  18. Salt says

    Those photos are AMAZING. This truly is the experience of a lifetime. I can't believe you got to sleep in a treehouse!

    (When I was little, I used to want to be a part of Swiss Family Robinson and that's the first thing I thought of…hee hee.)

  19. Danielle says

    What an incredible opportunity and adventure! The pictures are amazing and seem to be just as I expect that area to look. Sounds like you had an amazing trip but I'm glad you're home safe and sound!

  20. melifaif says

    The photos you captured are truly breathtaking…I can only imagine how it was first hand. Thanks for sharing your piece of majestic beauty.

  21. Christine Vi says

    You took incredible photos and I'm happy you had a fantastic time. Truly an experience we should all have.

  22. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks says

    Your photos are gorgeous and probably don't do justice to your trip. What an opportunity – so glad you took advantage!

  23. passport in my pocket says

    what a fabulous post and GORGEOUS pictures. sounds like an amazing time – I hope to visit Africa myself one day soon!

  24. Jaime @ La vie...J'aime says

    Wow I want to do this even more now!! Great photos..what a thrill. The elephant photo is my fave.

  25. Dancing Branflake says

    Amazing! How wonderful that they greeted you with song and dance. That just makes me so happy. Great photography. Absolutely stunning.

  26. cabin + cub says

    oh wow.. what an amazing trip to take! I am getting a real itch to travel just looking at your pics!!!

  27. carma says

    10 wives?? no way my husband would be even remotely interested in signing up for that – unless they were pushovers I guess 😀

    Lovely pics!

  28. CDS says

    You hear this a lot I am sure…but what an amazing trip! Your pictures are stunning. friends of mine were just there.

  29. {Cara} says

    Oh my gosh! To see all this in person, ou must have felt like you were in a dream! My aunt and uncle traveled all over the world, and they always say that their favorite place that made the most impact was on the Afrian Safari trip they took…I would love love love to go!

  30. Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com says

    WOW, Megan that looks a memorable journey! What an adventure!
    Your photos are great!
    Fantastic review !
    Happy Tuesday
    B xx

  31. Cafe Fashionista says

    You are so incredibly lucky to be a part of such an amazing trip. Oh, I would give anything to experience something like this. So glad that you're having a wonderful time, my love!! 🙂

  32. Sweet Southern Prep says

    Oh my goodness! What a fun trip! Look at all the animals and the children too! Lucky lucky girl! 🙂

  33. Amanda @ Serenity Now says

    Talk about a trip of a lifetime. I can see why you would feel frustrated by the trip to the village. 🙁 So glad you have some happy memories from your trip!

  34. Stephanie says

    Sounds like you had an amazing time..the photos are breathtaking, I've always loved wildlife!

    Kisses,
    Stephanie

  35. Jen says

    It seems so unreal, Megan! I think I would be pinching myself the entire time because I would never believe I could be in such a place experiencing such incredible things that most people only read about!

  36. Sherin says

    Wow, sounds like one hell of a trip, and it must have been a afantastic experience. I'm loving the pictures of the animals!

  37. Emma says

    Sounds and looks like the most amazing holiday. Not sure what I'm the most jealous of…..you meeting the maasai or seeing the Lions in the Serengeti???? Sounds like you have some beautiful memories to treasure for your lifetime xx

  38. Padgett Hoke says

    oh, my. amazing – we took a trip to africa about two years ago, and I think about it almost daily, still. it is hard to put into words how amazing that continent is, it seems to draw you back the longer you are away…

    anyway, fantastic photos and a wonderful recap!

  39. one sydney road says

    I think the only thing I can say is WOW! What an amazing trip – I feel like I'm living vicariously through you. Your photos are breathtaking.

  40. sosexy says

    Imma say nnot the whole of Africa is this primitive.. I'm an African to the core.. It pains me when it is portrayed as a never never land.

  41. Tiffanie says

    Looks like you had a fabulous time! I think trips like this change you forever. I still remember every detail of my trip to Cambodia, Thailand & Laos. All the children I worked with in the orphanages…everything! I would love nothing more than to take my children & husband back with me some day! Beautiful pictures!

  42. anotherfishinthesea says

    This looks absolutely amazing, a trip like this is definitely on my bucket list!!
    And the photos are breathtaking!

  43. J. says

    Wow, so amazing, so beautiful, you're such a lucky girl! Thanks for sharing, I love seeing vacation photos! (Living vicariously, I guess!)

  44. Gracie says

    Oh my goodness! It looks like the most amazing adventure trip. It's a dream for me to go there. The pictures are absolutely amazing!

  45. martinealison says

    Merci pour ces superbes photos… J'aurais bien aimé être une petite mouche près de vous…
    Bonne journée.

  46. kristiyana shinta says

    fabulous,,,
    i wish someday i'll hve an amazing trip like what you did,,
    you're awesome 🙂

    -loovveecuuppss
    shinta

  47. chelsea rebecca says

    oh wow!!
    this sounds like SUCH AN INCREDIBLE TRIP!
    glad you had such a wonderful experience!!

  48. Jenn says

    wow, what an amazing trip!!! seriously, looks like the trip of a lifetime. Your pics are great! I hope I can do something like this one day 🙂

  49. mina says

    how fantastic! we're posting about of african safari this week as well (but ours was in south africa…) i can't wait to visit tanzania, it sounds lovely.

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