The Tanzanian safari embodies the “safari dream”. With rolling grassy plains, lazy lions on spears, roaming herbivores and luxurious tents, it feels like an African scene. However, there are so many different options when it comes to where to stay on safari, here are some of the highlights of my recent trip that will hopefully take you from home to the heart of Africa. In the current situation we are all in, I hope this will give you all a little adventure in the warmth of your armchair and may even inspire you for future trips, if it is safe.

Highlands and the Ngorongoro crater

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most famous places on the planet, especially for those who want to get into the “Big Five”. Due to the large lion population and the closely guarded black rhinoceros population, it is one of the best places in the world for regular sightings. However, this fame has led to her becoming busier over time, so it is important to choose the time to visit. I was there at the end of May, and even though it wasn’t peak season, there was still a remarkable amount of vehicles passing through the crater floor.

When you visit a crater, you have two options: stay on the edge of the crater or stay nearby. My favorite destination was the Asilia Highlands. This unique lodge consists of several bubble-like rooms located on the slope of the Olmoti volcano overlooking its own magnificent crater.

Despite the fact that it is about half an hour’s drive from the nearest entrance to the crater, the charm of Highland lies in its exclusivity and privacy. The rooms are beautifully decorated, combining luxury with a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The wood-burning fireplace in your room burns until sunrise and keeps your room cozy and warm because it’s cold there! Besides entering the crater, other activities certainly include hiking through the surrounding hilly landscape and visiting local Maasai villages, which will introduce you to one of the most fascinating tribes in the world.

The Great Migration

If there is any phenomenon on Earth that captures the imagination of the world’s population and reflects the true essence of Africa, it is the Great Migration of Wildebeest. Since they had never been to Tanzania before, “millions of wildebeest and zebras” was just a David Attenborough TV show, but nothing can prepare them for the scale of what they are experiencing on these grassy plains. When the plane turned over the Seroner runway in the middle of the Serengeti, thousands of black dots almost disappeared from view-it was a GNU plane.

For many days, spent in various camps in the middle of the Serengei, it was a sensation to see these animals. From mobile camps that monitor migration throughout the year, such as the Serengeti Nomad Safari Camp or the Serengeti under canvas and beyond, to permanent camps such as Dunya d’asilia, the variety of wildlife observations in the Central Serengeti region is simply awesome. The diversity of the habitat, consisting of acacia forests, open meadows and rocky ledges, provides an ideal habitat where you can see all the members of the Big Five who are being sought, and much more.

The visit at the end of May meant that the hike took place only through the central region, either west towards Grumeti or north towards kogatende. Being one of the millions of wildebeest antelopes making this journey is almost impossible to describe, the sounds, sights and smells are impressive, and of course, where there is prey, there are predators. If you want to visit the Serengeti for migration, it is important to know when and where wildebeest will be during the season you want to visit. In short, from July to the end of October, most of the migration takes place in the Kogatende area (north), while antelope antelopes congregate on the Ndutu plains from November to April, and then move to the central and western Grumeti areas in June.

Get to know the big cats better

While the Serengeti is teeming with large (and small) cats, there is a region known for its density of predators. To the east of the National Park there is an area that was opened to visitors only recently. Previously closed for research, the plains in this part have become rich in cheetahs, lions and servals. There is a camp in this region that is an hour and a half drive from any other camp that will give you some of the most dedicated and personal observations of the Serengeti: the Namiri Plains. The newly renovated, spacious, elegant and luxurious camp offers all the amenities you could wish for, and combined with exceptional wildlife viewing, it’s hard to beat.

While there, we started keeping an eye on the cheetah mother and her young teens when a large herd of Thompson Gazelles appeared when they decided to quench their thirst in the morning heat. Using telepathic communication, the cubs sat down on the grass, while their mother bent down and approached the unsuspecting antelopes. She was waiting, and so were we.

Minutes passed, and the Gazelles, having finished their plonk, began to head towards the cheetah. The first ten unconsciously walked beside her, she wrapped her arms around herself, tensing her muscles, ready to jump. In a split second, the goal was achieved, and, exposing her long, slender body, she gave up the chase. It took no more than a split second, but the cheetah’s front paws crashed into the Tommy’s hind legs and sent him into the cart. Grabbing the stunned Gazelle by the throat, it seemed that the cheetah had won Breakfast from her and from himself. However, nature had other ideas. A spotted hyena emerged from the long grass with a bloody mouth and a rounded belly, indicating a successful morning of recovery, but more food was offered here. Then the hyena covered the cheetah. The cat dropped her morning prize and ran to the nearest tree with her cubs. Before the hyena could react, the Gazelle jumped up and ran off to join the rest of its herd. Left without food and without cheetahs, which were now out of reach, the hyena went to roam in the distance.