Zebras grazing at our doorstep each morning, sun warming our tent, long golden grasses gracefully bowing in the breeze, sky changing color as dusk approaches, lions roaring during the night – this is camp life while on safari. We loved every minute of it!
The tents were comfortable, and we liked the fact that the camps were eco-friendly. That means the safari camps were gentle on the environment.
kerosene lantern was placed outside each tent at night so the guests could find their way to their nyumba (Swahili word for home) from the dining tent.There were solar panels for a small amount of lighting in the tents. The panels absorbed the heat from the sun and turned it into electricity. There was just enough for a few lights, but there were no electrical outlets to plug in a hairdryer or computer. A
decompose). It was not clean enough to drink. The guests had to drink bottled water. The bottles were taken back to town for recycling. Other trash was burned so it wouldn't attract animals. There was no running water in the camps. The workers had to drive a truck several miles to fill barrels with water. But this water was just for washing (with soap that would
Some think people shouldn't be allowed in the Serengeti area at all for fear of disturbing this animal habitat. The advantage of having the safaris is twofold: 1) People become educated about the animals and what's needed to protect them; 2) Tanzania is a very poor country and needs the money that tourists bring. Some of this money is used to hire the guides and camp workers, giving jobs to local people. That way they have money to buy food, rather than killing the animals for food. Some of the money also pays the National Park Service to protect the land and the wild animals.
Robert was our safari guide. He's a Tanzanian who grew up in the area. He's VERY knowledgeable about the animals. He went to a special school to learn about the animals and the local ecosystem. He told us lots of interesting information about their social groups and how the different animal species think.
He's worried about the climate changing, as well as people taking more and more land for buildings. He works hard to educate people about the animals and what they need so they won't become extinct. Robert was also fun-loving and had a good sense of humor. We were very glad to be in his group.
We spent all day, every day, in the safari truck looking for animals. It's too dangerous to walk around because you never know when a hippo or buffalo, or some other animal might come along. If it's scared, or angry, or protecting its young, it might charge you.
The safari truck had a top that could open up so we could look out the top. By afternoon we had all of the windows open as well because it was so hot. There's no air conditioning in safari trucks!
At lunch we were driven to special picnic areas patrolled by rangers where we could get out of the truck to walk around a bit.
By early evening we were all tired, very dusty, and ready to head back to camp. For the guests to take a shower, the camp workers heated water over a fire, poured it into buckets, and then attached each bucket to a tube. When the bucket's empty your shower's over! Watch this video to see this clever system.
It was a very relaxing couple of weeks, with no work, no responsibilities, and incredible sights to see every day. I hope you get to experience it one day.
Do you think YOU would like to go on safari? What do you see as the pros and cons?