Looking for the “Big Five”. Serengeti. Tanzania

There are so many places on this planet where You can observe wildlife. One of the best spots to do so is certainly Tanzania in Africa. With a GDP of just 1,000.- USD per capita, it is one of the poorest countries on the UN list. However, with a land area of France and Germany combined, it boasts some of the most amazing wildlife habitats on the globe. Come and join me on an adventure tour.

The world reknown Serengeti National Park with an area of around 15,000 km2 is located in the north west of Tanzania bordering Kenya to the north. It is the place to visit for authentic wildlife safari.

Exploring nature in a Jeep with your own private guide is the ultimate way to to on a (photo) hunt. Not cheap, but definitely worth it. It gives you so much more flexitility, opportunities and memorable situations.

On the way to Serengeti, Manyara National Park is the first stopover. This Pavian family looks cute: Daddy bored, mum attentative, kiddy playful.

This fellow really looks at us like saying “OK guys, now what do You want?”

This spot in the middle of the savanna is regarded as the “cradle of mankind”. Here, the oldest humanoid remains have been excavated. They date back an astonishing 1.84 million years.

I love the scenery of the wide savanna with the lake and mountain range as a backdrop.

Giraffes are amongst the most impressive inhabitants of the savanna. Ableit they get up to 6ft tall, they have as few cervical vertebrae as us humans: seven.

“Road to nowhere”. What strikes me most here are these endless plains without any man made traces. “Serengeti” comes from Maasai language meaning “endless plains”.

Zebras from the family of horses are amongst the most intelligent animals of the savanna.

Lion King. Male lions have three purposes in life: eating, sleeping, having sex. The rest is done by the females.

Buffalos have a strict vegetarian diet. Still they have probably the most frightening appearance of the “Big Five”.

Elefants mostly live in pairs. In this case, a baby elefant complements the family.

Giraffes also live in small herds. Like horses, they sleep standing in order to avoid any dangers during the night.

Female lions love to sit enthroned on warm rocks on the lookout for prey.

As we have learnt at school, cheetahs are the fastest land bound animals (top speed up to 130kph). Their perfect camouflage in the high grass of the savanna is obviously not to protect them, but to stay unnoticed while hunting.

To spot a female cheetah with its baby is an extreme rare event. I felt so lucky to share this magic moment.

Leopards are the hardest to find of the “Big Five”. They are shy and mostly hide from the sun during the day. Only during nights they go for a hung.

For me personally, the leopard is the king of animal kingdom. He is such a beautiful and graceful creature.

Yet he looks so sweet and innocent when asleep. The pattern of the fur could be drawn by an artist.

The Maasai are the indigenious people in Eastern Africa. There are more than 200 different tribes in Tanzania alone.

It is interesting to participate in various rites of their welcome ceremony in their local village.

Maasai live in an in our view archaic way: neither electricity nor running water, no money exchange, no healthcare system. Children get basic school education.

The Hippopotamus is an impressive and at the same time funny looking animal.

They love to bathe in the “Hippo Pool”. Albeit vegetarians, they live in peace together and share the same habitat as alligators.

Mum hippo and baby go for a swim in the pond.

Flamingos sleep standing on one of their tall feet. This is to save energy and not to loose body heat via their feet to the water.

The most spectacular thing to watch is the “Big Migration”, when during our northern hemispheric summer…

…hundreds of thousands of predominantly Zebras, Gnus, Antelopes start marching hundreds of kilometres north looking for fertile soil.

The seemingly endless plains are stunning and struck me as much as the amazing fauna.

I am time and again stunned what brilliant colour combinations nature has in its spectrum.

These vultures on deadwood could come out of a classic Western movie.

Zebras on the move out of the water.

Most accomodation on a safari is quite basic but still comfortable. I found the “bush shower” most interesting.

After a long day in the savanna You get a 20 litre bucket of solar heated water to dust off Your body. That’s how You learn to save water, energy and live truly sustainable.

At the end of my amazing week a bit of luxury: infinity pool into the endless savanna of the Serengeti. An unforgettable adventure.