Last Friday (May 21, 2021) was a travel day. From the rainforest in northeast Rwanda, we travelled to the northern Serengeti in Tanzania for a more traditional safari experience.
The following maps show an overview of Tanzania and a close-up of our first stay at Klein’s camp.
There is quite a difference between the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Northwest Rwanda, and Klein’s Camp in northern Tanzania. For example, our elevation dropped from 8,600 feet to approximately 5,000 feet (much easier to breathe!) Many of the trees and flowers are different, as are many of the animals. I expected a much dryer environment, but it was amazingly green because they have had some rain recently.
We left the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda and were driven back into the big city of Kigali for an international flight to Arusha, where we caught a bush plane to Lobo Air Strip.
In case you haven’t been on a bush flight, let me tell you it is very small! We were a group of 12, and these photos show us boarding and then how tight the quarters are inside. But it was a smooth and short flight.
It was a pleasant flight, and we were able to fly over an “active” volcano crater where the most recent center eruption was frozen! When we landed, our new guides met us with our safari vehicles – but first they fed us a nice bush snack.
Then we were divided up 6 to a vehicle and started what could probably be an hour drive to Klein’s camp, but we kept running into attractive animals:
When we finally got to camp, the whole staff met us, singing and dancing!
Here’s our home for the next 3 nights plus the view from our wonderful veranda.
We’re having a wonderful time, but a safari vacation is not a piece of cake. The schedule at this point is a wake-up call at 6 or 6:30 am, breakfast — then on the road by 7 or 7:30. We bump over rugged dirt roads until about 1 or 2 pm and have lunch as soon as we get back. This meal takes about 2 hours, so we don’t have much time to clean up or rest before the next game drive starts at 4 pm. We get “home” in time for dinner about 7:30 and if we’re lucky we get to bed about 11 pm.
Although the Lobo Air Strip is in the Serengeti National Park, our camp is just outside of the Park. The land is leased from the Masai lords and many of the camp employees are Masai. Therefore, we don’t have the same restrictions as in the Park: we can drive off road and we can drive at night, when the animals are most active.
Serious game drives will start in the next blog. In the meantime, here’s a dwarf mongoose and family who visited just outside our veranda.
Stay tuned for highlights of our game drives in coming blogs!