Since I was a little kid, I always wanted to go on an adventurous African safari and watch the epic migration of millions of animals. After completing my engineering, I decided to take a gap year to explore the world and to find a deeper meaning in life. While volunteering in Arusha, Tanzania, we planned a Safari tour through Ngorongoro, Serengeti & Lake Manyara National Park and experienced nature in its raw form.
Lake Manyara National Park is situated at the lowest part of the River Valley Escarpment in Arusha and Manyara region of Tanzania. This Park is famous for its inhabitant flamingos and more than 400 species of birds and animals. We were able to see millions of wildebeests and zebras as well as thousands of other animals and birds gathered in one place.
It was a magnificent sight. As far as we could see, we could only see black and white stripes till they simply became countless dots on the flat plains of Serengeti. It was surprising to find out that lions sleep around 18-22 hours per day and usually all the lionesses go hunting for food. The lions only jump in if they really have to get involved in taking down a prey. Otherwise, all the lions simply live like the kings of the jungle. We were able to see a number of lionesses ambush a zebra for an afternoon meal. Our tour guide said it’s a very rare sight to catch them in action.
Some tourists who preferred to enjoy a bird eye view of the majestic migration, could also take a hot air balloon ride. It was a slightly more expensive tour than what we were all looking for as volunteers especially on student budgets.
Other than seeing all the animals up close and in person and feeling like being a part of the real life Lion King movie, we also enjoyed amazing views of sunsets and sunrises. Camping in the open fields of Ngorongoro was a unique experience on its own. Knowing that a lion or a cheetah could be just a few miles away from the campsite and actually being able to listen to a number animal while going to bed was an exceptional experience.