The hype and awe of the Mara River crossing
was matched with the peaceful paradise we arrived in, our favorite stay of the trip, the completely serene world of Serengeti Bushtops. Not only were the tents like Scandinavian design had met the wild, but the service of Pantaleo and his team was completely flawless. From their welcome and introduction to our final goodbye, there was nothing outside their kindness, from gluten free cookies in our room at night to zipping up our tents for the evening.
This was our tent!
After a quiet tent massage, I looked up to see a crowd of zebras grazing their way right past the tent. I wrote in my journal "The sun is setting over the Serengeti and it is all layers of greens and blues." It was the most peaceful place we may ever have been.
Pre four-course dinner (in the middle of nowhere!), we had drinks around the campfire with Maasai guards in the distant wilderness.
Next morning, we were off on the game drives again. This time, spotting elands (kindof like African moose; they are massive)
and a very rare sighting of rhino.
Rhinoceroses are so rare that there are only about 20-40 left in the whole Serengeti, which is about the same size as Connecticut. And somehow, Ellison found two of them before breakfast,
a momma and her baby.
Seeing them in person was surreal because they looked prehistoric, with their dual tusks.
There is nothing better than a fresh breakfast after a few hours of animal spotting, the air warming and still. In this area right alongside Kenya known as the Lamai Triangle, the ground was flat like I'd imagined the Serengeti, the grasses short enough to see far into the distance, and great for animal spotting. I won't belabor it, but here are a few more sightings. Baby zebra, one of the smallest we saw (and we didn't see many because most of the zebra were still pregnant and headed south to deliver),
young male lions,
lazy, crazy hippos,
baby (teenage?) giraffe,
and . . . a turtle!
And the guy responsible for each and every sighting was our amazing guide, Ellison. So grateful for all he showed us.
The northern Serengeti astounded us with its size, solitude (we saw only a few cars!), and wild.
We headed toward the Central Serengeti, our final destination on safari.