On Safari! (Amanda Bondy)

Day 1 — We were up and out by 7:30. There were 4 jeeps and in my Jeep was Megan P, Orianne, Stephanie, Morgan, Sam, Brittany, and Leighanne and our driver was Ayubu.

AB1 We drove for a while and then we passed into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We drove up a mountain that looked like it was straight out of Tarzan. It was incredible. I got to see a baobab tree, which I have read about.

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We stopped at a picnic area to eat lunch and there we saw our first elephant. At first we thought he was a pile of dirt but then it moved. Then we headed out to the Serengeti and there we started to see so many different animals. We saw wildebeest,

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zebra,

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lions,

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(it is kind of hard to see in this picture but there is a lion sleeping on the branch)

giraffe,

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gazelle, monkeys,

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ostriches, elephants,

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hippos,

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impala and so much more. It was incredible. I had a blast talking to the other girls in my car as well as Ayubu. Around 5:30 we got to the Serena Lodge and the staff were waiting there with wet towels and juice for us, it was kind of amazing. We got hooked up to the Wifi, use a real bathroom, and relax for a little bit, and then we went to dinner. Oh god the food, there were so many different things and they were all amazing. Then we got to go back to our rooms, we had to be escorted by a guard though because there are no fences so the animals can just come right up to the huts.

Day 2 — Today was a little tough because it was Mother’s Day and my Dad’s Birthday and I wasn’t there to celebrate with my family. However, I did get to see a ton of Elephants right up close. We got to watch them roll around in the mud. And we got to see a hyena, which is one of the things I really wanted to see. We also saw warthogs,

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a leopard, as well as everything we had seen the previous day. We had the same people in our Jeep but Hamish was our driver.

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We had really good lunches too; they even gave us chocolate (a rarity here). After we got back we got to hang out and swim/sit by the pool a little bit. After that I got to Face Time my family and it was great to see them for the first time since I left. Then we got to go eat a lot of really amazing food before heading back to our rooms to sleep.

Day 3 — We left bright and early today but it was ok because the breakfast food is also amazing. There was this banana bread that was to die for. If only I had an extra zip lock bag I would have taken some for the road.

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Our Jeep was the same people again and we have Maluta (Baba) as a driver.

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Our first stop today was “The Hippo Hole” and here we got to see a lot of hippos lying in the water. They were so massive it was incredible. We rode around the Serengeti for a while and say all the things that we did in the previous days and then headed to the crater. On the way out we say 2 male lions really close to us and that was AWESOME.

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After that we got to stop and go to the bathroom and realized that no one else had seen the lions so that was cool. We headed out of the Serengeti and had to stop because one of the jeeps got a flat tire. Then after a long drive we go to the Serena Lodge Part II. Once there we got to see how incredible the view was. That night before dinner there was traditional Maasai dancing which was very interesting to watch. The boys basically just jumped up and down and the girls raised their shoulders up and down to make their beaded collars jingle. It was great because some of the people in our group even got up and tried. Dinner was very fancy; we ordered our own salad, soup, main dish, and dessert. Then it was off to bed because we had another early morning the next day.

Day 4 — Today we had to be up early again and we headed out into the crater. Our Jeep was a little different today we had Kiley, Myra, Mira, Morgan, Sam, Brittany, and Leighann, with Ayubu as our driver. We rode around the crater for a while and got to see more elephants, lion, hyena, gazelle, AND 2 RHINOS. I’m not sure the first one really counted because it was so far away but then we saw one up close and that was great. They weren’t sure that we were going to get to see one so that was great because we got to see almost everything we wanted to see (expect a cheetah). We also got to see the weird birds that have the afros, they are the national birds of Kenya and I can’t decide if they are beautiful or ugly. We stopped for lunch pretty early and then headed back out of the crater. On our way up we saw 2 male lions right next to the road (again it was incredible). That makes our male lion count 7, which I think is pretty awesome. After that we headed out of the park and back to the outpost. It was a rather long drive but we all ended up napping at some point. It was nice to get back to the Outpost; it was almost like coming home.

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