Into the Wild

Here's making up for the last month of no photos!

After joining our African overland group in Nairobi we drove across the border to Tanzania where we would spend the next few days searching for the "Big 5" (lion, leopard, black rhino, cape buffalo & African elephant). We joined a large group of over 20 people and quickly got acquainted with the group and our new home for the month, the overland truck. We spent our first night in a campsite outside of Arusha, Tanzania and early the next day we drove a few hours to a campsite not far from the gates of the Ngorongoro Crater, the area of our first game drive. We went to bed with a light drizzle and hoped it would clear in time for our drive. Unfortunately we woke to the same drab rain showers and heavy fog. Driving up to the top of the ring of the crater the fog was so thick that we couldn't see more than a few feet outside of the jeep, needless to say we were a little concerned it would ruin our animal sightings.

Ngorongoro Gates


Thankfully as the sun continued to rise the fog cleared and we were left with a clear day. The Ngorongoro Crater is a large volcanic crater and filled with about 25,000 large animals. There was no shortage of grazing zebras and wildebeests, both seemingly enjoying each others company.

Moving Through

Morning Grazing


The hyena was quite a sight, with its ragged coat and sloping posture, it really is a scary looking animal.

Drink Up Dirty Hyena

We were even lucky enough to spot two black rhinos through the distant haze. The lions were always tough to see, they typically stayed away from road and were usually laying down below the grass but our safari guide, DC, always managed to eye them.

Rhinos in the Mist

Relaxing in the Grass

The sheer number and variety of animals was the most interesting part of the drive, from several types of antelopes to warthogs to jackals. Everywhere you turned there was something new to see.


Lone Gazelle


Ngorongoro Safari

Family Trip

Lion and Lioness

Zebra Herd

I was also able to geek-out with all the massive pieces of glass (camera lenses) that would pop out of the safari jeeps. Animal photography can definitely be an expensive hobby and was the first time I really wished I had a faster and longer lens.


One of the highlights of the crater was watching a cheetah stalk its prey. The cheetah was a good distance away, but it was awesome watching it tracking for a kill. Regrettably it wasn't in the cards to see an actual chase, but it was still a great sight.


On the Move

After game driving until early afternoon we left the crater and headed toward the Serengeti. On the way into the park we paid a visit to a Masai village and were given a tour of their huts, their small school and little bit of their general way of life, including practicing our jumping skills.

Masai Jewlery


Marching Masai

Lack of Vertical


Jumping Ladies


Land of the Masai

From there we entered the Serengeti and set up camp, spending the night surrounded by the sounds of the wildlife, there was even a rumor of a hyena spotting near the tents. We woke before sunrise again and headed out to see some more animals. Just after sunrise we watched a hippo streaking, very quickly considering their size, through the grass. It was quite a contrast to only seeing their eyes and ears in the water (where they spend most of their time during the heat of the day).


Our next spotting was the prize of the safari. We spent a good part of the morning watching a female leopard and her two cubs. The cubs spent their time playing in the tall grass and climbing a tree all amongst a large group of elephants, always under the watchful eye of their mother. It was an amazing sight and even more exciting that we were so close.


9 Lives

Leopard with Cub

Big and Fierce

Ready to Leap

Continuing through the Serengeti we got up close to giraffe and elephants. For the most part the animals completely ignored the people and vehicles, but as some people in our group found out elephants will charge when you get too close. Luckily no one was hurt and it was just an exciting story to tell! Between our British mates and Aussie ladies we had a great safari group and had each other laughing the whole way, it was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Elephants on the Move

Walking Through

Elephants on Parade

African Elephant

These two days on safari were amazing and we got very lucky with all of our sightings which included the "Big 5".

Ngorongoro Trees


  1. Once again pictures and your explanations a feast for the curious mind. Did your Mom's arrive OK? Did upgrades work and help? I will be daydreaming about the week you will all share. Much love to you. Barbie

  2. Thank you for the kind words.

    The moms have arrived, safe and sound.

  3. Oh my goodness...the picture of the little kids...good Lord that is adorable. Really, all the pictures are amazing, as usual! Thank you so much for sharing them and the stories.

    Have fun with your moms!