Ever 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 and Lake Manyara National Park and experienced nature in its raw form.
Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its inhabitant flamingos and more than 400 species of birds and animals. As we drove through Serengeti, we came across a place where we could see millions of zebras. 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. We also saw a number of other animals including elephants, hyenas, lions, wild buffaloes, antelopes, gazelles, wildebeests, giraffes, hippos, baboons and a few rhinos.
It was surprising to find out that lions usually sleep around 18-22 hours per day and lionesses go for hunting and gathering food. The lions only jump in if they really have to get involved in taking down a prey. Otherwise, all the lions literally live like the kings of the jungle. We were able to see a few of lionesses ambush a zebra for an afternoon meal.
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 while camping in the open fields of Ngorongoro. Knowing that a lion or a cheetah could be just a few kilometres away from the campsite and being able to listen to the sounds of animals nearby while going to bed was an exceptional experience.