Since we were in the area already to climb Kilimanjaro, Karolina and I figured that we may as well do a couple of safaris. Because when would we ever be in these parts again?
And the results were amazing! Lions! Elephants! Zebras! Cheetahs! Monkeys! Hyenas! Leopards! And much, much more!
So I decided to do something I had never done on this website before... turn a driving route into a virtual walking route! I’m pretty sure nobody would ever let you walk this particular route legally, but it’s just too amazing not to share.
In real life, we spent four days visiting three primary areas: Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park. I can’t really say that there was a favorite—each location had it’s own flavor and most commonly seen animals. I divided the virtual hike into seven stages, and even rearranged the timeline a bit to make the route more “sensible.”
Stage 1 matches up exactly with our first day of safariing, but on day 2, we drove through Ngorongoro to go directly to the Serengeti before returning to Ngorongoro on our last day. The map of this walking route doesn’t show all this backtracking, and I rearranged the timeline so Ngorongoro is explored before moving on to the Serengeti last.
The photos, however, were all taken in the stages indicated, largely in the order they were taken along that section—even if the stages aren’t in the exact order we did them. Basically, if stage 3 were moved to be the last stage, that would largely be the order the stages were driven in real life. Since we drove through Ngorongoro Conservation Area twice, and we’d need extra “Ngorongoro Entrance/Exit” stages for the drive back as well. Rather than doing that, however, I merged the photos of the two drives into a single drive through the park (stages 2 and 4).
I didn’t really have enough photos for the driving between parks, either, so you’ll find the stages jump from one park to the next, and I added a few representative photos at those points that were actually taken between the two stages. We did not, for instance, go through Lake Manyara like is shown on the map—that’s a straight-line jump from the end of stage 1 to the beginning of stage 2 that will happen instantaneously when you change stages.
None of this is really important, though. Mostly I wanted to explain where the actual route we followed might differ from the virtual walk in case any eagle-eyed people noticed any weird timing discrepancies in the photos. This virtual walk was traced by my GPS, so each stage does cover the real and actual areas we traveled, and the distances within stages are accurate. (The straight lines between stages were not traced, although I do have GPS tracks of the roads we took between the parks. I just don’t have enough photos along them to make them worth adding to the virtual walk.)
Anyhow.... I hope you enjoy your safari! If you ever want to do something like this in real life, we booked our trip through Popote Africa, and they were absolutely awesome and I can’t say enough nice things about them. This is not a paid endorsement—we paid full price for our trip and get nothing for recommending them. We signed up for their 4-day camping safari.
And I do hope some of you get a chance to do an African safari or two. Unlike most of the virtual walks on this website, doing this one in real life doesn’t require camping, walking, and you don’t have to do anything except carry a big camera to take truly spectacular photos along the way!
|1.||Tarangire National Park||38.4||0.0 → 38.4|
|2.||Ngorongoro Entrance||12.2||38.4 → 50.6|
|3.||Ngorongoro Crater Loop||34.5||50.6 → 85.1|
|4.||Ngorongoro Exit||21.4||85.1 → 106.5|
|5.||Serengeti Entrance||48.7||106.5 → 155.2|
|6.||Serengeti Loop||42.0||155.2 → 197.2|
|7.||Serengeti Exit||27.5||197.2 → 224.7|