Tanzania, Part 3: Southern Serengeti & the Massai

After the crater we hit the road once again to head to the Serengeti!

Giraffe crossing

On our way we visited a traditional Massai village.  The Massai raise cattle and live in small huts and the herdsmen are called Massai Warriors.  The village was very interesting, they have huts made from dried cow dung and twigs and each family lives in a separate hut.

inside the hut, our Massai guide wearing Dana’s sunglasses

They herd their cattle, make jewelry, and live a relatively simple life.  They performed the traditional Massai dance for us, which consists of a lot of hooting, yelling, and jumping.

The dance is also a bit of a courting ritual, the women tend to judge the men on how high they can jump.  After our tour of the huts, we (exited to the gift shop) were encouraged to contribute to their villages economy by buying jewelry.  Which of course we all did, cause who doesn’t love shopping?  Note* you CAN and SHOULD bargain when shopping.  Dana and i got a little overwhelmed and separated from the group and did not bargain. Then we were kicking ourselves when we found out everyone else did….lesson learned.  All in all an interesting experience, but probably one i only need to do once.

Next stop: Oldupai Gorge

Oldupai Gorge

This is the place where the Leakeys’ discovered the first Homonid and manmade tools.  It is also known as the cradle of mankind.

Back on the road to the Southern Serengeti.  We passed through the migratory corridor, and managed to see part of the Great Migration!

literally wildebeests, zebras and gazelles from right next to the jeep to as far as you could see on the horizon. it was insane.

2 million wildebeest, 1 million zebra, and about 900,000 gazelle migrate every year, they migrate together because each animal possesses a distinct defensive trait that helps the other species. Plus they are all grazers and thus must continuously move to have ample food since their herds are so large.

lions chillin on a rock on the way to the hotel

rushing to beat the rain to the hotel… or rushing into the rain…

Harmonious living

learned that Zebra like to face opposite directions so they can see prey coming

Checked into the Four Seasons for the night and went right to bed since we had a 4AM wake up call the next morning for:

Hot Air Ballooning!

blowing up the balloon

Sunrise on the Serengeti

off we go!

level with the birds

up, up, and away!

Traditional Champagne toast, post ballooning

They told us that Champagne Toasts are traditional after Hot Air Ballooning.  When the Hot Air Balloon was first invented in France, the first people to ride in one were almost killed by the peasants when they landed, because the peasants thought they were sent from the sky by the devil.  In order to keep this from happening to the great inventors, the King of France decreed that each balloon should carry a bottle of Champagne with the seal of the King on it, to show peasants that they were men, not demons.  True story.

Loo with a view

Whenever we had a bathroom break or a stop, our guides would classify the bathrooms for us: Highly Recommended, Recommended, With a View, or Average.  Helpful, and generally spot on. The Average by the way, was a hole in the ground. Otherwise known as “Not Recommended”.

elephant butts

After that delight we headed back to the hotel to have lunch and had the whole afternoon off!  Which we spent by the pool, of course.

did i mention there were elephants there too?

The End.

Of part 3….the final part 4 (with 100% more leopards!), coming soon…

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