Tanzania Safari – Day 5 – The Serengeti

October 17, 2017


We woke up early, ate the buffet breakfast, packed our picnic lunch, and headed out for the day. The night before, I had a long conversation with our driver about our priorities for today. Our goal was a simple one – see as many different types of animals as possible.

The safari guides and drivers all make use of radios to communicate with each other about the latest animal sightings. Unfortunately, our radio was damaged on the rough road into the park the day before. How would Rashidi cope with this situation? Would we miss out on seeing something amazing because he had no way to communicate with the other drivers? I quickly found out I had no need to worry. Our guide took every opportunity to talk to the other guides whenever they were nearby and he had an amazing knowledge of where the animals might be found. Every time we expressed an interest in something we found ourselves looking at it a few minutes later.


Our first sighting was a giraffe striding across the plain. Unlike the giraffes in Lake Manyara and Arusha National Park, the ones we saw in the Serengeti were always alone.

Giraffe Serengeti National Park
Giraffe in Serengeti National Park

A short while later we came across a herd of water buffalo in the tall grass. The light pattern on their faces remind me of Venetian masks. This one attempted to stare us down, never looking away even when we changed locations.

Water Buffalo Serengeti National Park
Water Buffalo The Serengeti

We saw this ostrich several times during the day. .

Ostrich Serengeti National Park
An ostrich wandering the plains of the Serengeti

Zebras were a common sight, generally huddled under trees like the group below.

Zebras Serengeti National Park
Zebras in The Serengeti

We saw several lions throughout the day. Mostly young males or small groups of females. It was fairly warm, so the lions were most frequently seen near outcroppings of trees.

Lion Serengeti National Park
Lion in The Serengeti
Lion Serengeti National Park
Yawning lion in the Serengeti

Shortly before lunch we saw a large herd of elephants in the distance. This particular group headed our way and eventually passed directly in front of our vehicle.

Elephants Serengeti National Park
Large family of elephants in the Serengeti
Elephant and baby Serengeti National Park
Elephant mother and baby in the Serengeti

Another lion seen after lunch was lounging under a tree right next to us. Time and time again we were able to get so close to the animals!

Lion Serengeti National Park
Lion in The Serengeti

We saw many different types of antelopes throughout the day. This one, called a dik-dik, is one of the smallest antelopes in the Serengeti.

Dik-Dik Antelope Serengeti National Park
Dik-Dik Antelope Serengeti

In the evening, near our tented camp, there was a family of Velvet monkeys resting and grooming each other.

Vervet Monkeys Serengeti National Park
Velvet monkeys in the Serengeti

Just before mid-day, near a mostly dried up riverbed, we spotted a lone hippo. Hippos were on my list of ‘must-see’ animals. I was so excited! Our guide looked at me, said ‘Oh! You want to see hippos.’, and then started driving. We drove for about twenty minutes before pulling into a picnic area. I could not believe what I saw!

A gigantic pool filled with hippos spread out before us. The air filled with the sounds of snorting and splashing. Truly amazing!

Hippo Pool Serengeti National Park
Large hippo pool in the Serengeti
Hippo Serengeti National Park
Hippo at the hippo pool in The Serengeti

Several hours after lunch, we found ourselves at a watering hole. A herd of zebra and their adopted wildebeest initially ran off when we approached and I managed to get this photo.

Watering Hole Serengeti National Park
Zebras and Wildebeest at a watering hole in the Serengeti

After a long day on safari we headed back to our tented camp for a rest.

    1. Truly amazing pictures! Your informative article makes a person want to these animals personally.

    1. It is amazing that you were able to get so close to these animals. I realize you probably use telephoto lens but still wonderful pictures. We’re you able to count, or guesstimate, the number of hypos were in the water hole?

      1. Actually that is what was so wonderful about the safari, we didn’t need a telephoto lens – the animals were that close!

    1. It must be incredible to see all this wildlife in its natural habitat. It’s amazing how close you came – or did you blow up your pix that much (I’m obviously very naive).

      1. We were able to get super close to the animals! I didn’t have to enlarge the pictures at all 🙂

    1. I especially like the picture of the hippos all lying in the water. This must be an amazing experience and I can’t wait do do this myself next year.

    1. Africa is such an awesome destination , I have not visited the safari though I have been to cape Town , which is the best safari option according to you ? I loved the Hippoo Pictures , I have never seen them yet !

    1. Awesome pics! Can’t wait to visit the mighty Serengeti. I did a safari in South Africa and plan to do many more throughout the continent!

    1. Super cool pictures! Looks like an amazing experience being so close to the wildlife. Your pictures inspire me to go for a safari adventure. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post! 🙂

    1. This is such a wonderful experience. I lived in Tanzania for three years and was lucky enough to travel there three times. You certainly saw some wonderful animals there, including a great photo of a yawning lion – wow!

    1. Wow! What an amazing experience to see all the wildlife in the Serengeti! I’m so jealous! This is on my bucket list to do! So many hippos in the pool! Fantastic pics!

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