With mixed emotions, we departed this afternoon on our final "game walk" of the 2-day Serengeti walking safari.
We really enjoyed the camp on the Orangi River and seeing the Serengeti on foot, but were also eager to see some big game up close -- which doesn't really happen while hiking.
We would make this walk with only two of our three guides. Prim (our leader) had a bit of a headache, so Park Ranger Daniel and Guide-in-Training Mark led the way. Mark suggested that we head into an area of denser kopjes, because leopards live there and might start to become active this time of day.
It would be a longshot to see a leopard on foot, because they don't want to be seen and sense us from far away.
But were were rewarded right away with some spectacular storm clouds and kopjes:
This had some of the most up & down walking we experienced, over rolling rocky hills with scattered trees:
That's Mark and Frau A in the above photo. Below, Daniel forges his own way across the landscape:
On occasion, one of the guides would go ahead to check an area, then we would follow behind:
We strode up a long slope...
... and came to a great viewpoint looking over a broad plain dense with acacia trees:
Just down the hill was a river of stones. The storm clouds would darken and lighten as winds changed:
Mark, ever the budding photographer, offered to take our photo with the "endless plain" in the background:
From here we started circling back towards camp. We should be there just before sundown.
We hadn't seen a leopard, but we were still all smiles as the countryside is lovely and (ironically) peaceful:
We stayed quiet on the way back, giving us the best chance to spot a leopard...
...but did interrupt the silence with shutter clicks once in a while:
We left the hilly area and said goodbye to the kopjes here (and their unfortunately hidden inhabitants).
So no leopard or any big cat spotted on our walks, but that was expected. The walking safari was GREAT.
As we arrived back at camp, the sun was sinking lower in the sky - a beautiful scene...
...that ended with a beautiful sunset:
After dinner we crashed in our tent, and started looking forward to the drive to our next camp tomorrow,
where we would have three days (!) of game drives with Prim... and celebrate Christmas Eve & Christmas too.
After the sun had slipped under the horizon, the rains came and put us to sleep:
And finally... this was our honeymoon. For the wedding, instead of registering for physical gifts (e.g., china, silverware, etc.), we registered different parts of this Tanzanian safari. For this blog post, we wish to heartfully thank all our family and friends who generously helped us realize our dream of walking in the Serengeti!