25 October 2014

Tanzania: On Safari

Who doesn’t dream of seeing lionesses and their cubs slumbering under a shady tree? Of a leopard climbing the tree where its earlier kill – a bloody gazelle – awaits its razor-sharp teeth? Of packs of hyenas scuttling shiftily past in the evening light? Of watching the huge bubbles of hippo farts rising up from shit-coloured waterholes? Okay, maybe that last one is the stuff of nightmares not dreams, but you get the picture.

After days of volunteering our photography skills with a local NGO, then spending time in a remote Maasai village, our Giving Lens photography workshop ended with three days on safari, two in the Serengeti and one in Ngorongoro crater. It was magical!

Our team of photographers (Photo: Kate Siobhan Mulligan)

I think a list of the animals we saw (and this doesn’t include birds or reptiles) and lots of photos will be enough to convince even the most cynical that a safari is a must-do, a bucket-list item, an at-least-once-in-a-lifetime holiday essential. And if you are considering Tanzania as a destination, I cannot recommend highly enough the safari packages offered by local NGO Art in Tanzania. These are not your typical rich-folks safaris – you stay in budget accommodation – but the skills of their local guides will ensure you see the full range of amazing African animals and your dollars will help fund the incredible work AIT does to assist and support the impoverished people of Tanzania. Everyone wins!

Our sightings included: zebra and wildebeests in the thousands, impala, giraffe, topi, warthog, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, spotted hyena, hippo, crocodile, lion, cheetah, leopard, dik dik, rhino, waterbuck, red buck and bush buck, Cape eland, Cooke’s hartbeest, baboon, velvet monkey, rock hyrax, buffalo, forest and savannah elephants, black-backed and side-striped jackal. Oh, and camel – domesticated, but still a surprise.

Tempted? Just do it!