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Blogs from: Tanzania

Hakuna Matata – Warthog – Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

 

AV Trip Photo – Hakuna Matata – Warthog – Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Ever since the first time I saw The Lion King (wow, that must have been nearly 20 years ago), I always thought warthogs would be such “nice” animals. But, I also had this feeling that they weren’t and in Disney’s magical way, they had painted this awful looking creature to be the easiest going animal in the entire kingdom! Well, I was right.

The warthog (Pumba!), is an incredibly ugly animal. To top it off, it doesn’t seem that they live by the famous words of “Hakuna Matata” at all. They are extremely skidish and seem to constantly be on edge. As our vehicle approaches even 50 meters from them, they immediately run in the opposite direction. Now in their defense, if I was a lions favorite appetizer, I would probably be running a lot too!

At any rate, here you have it – a raw warthog straight from Tanzania to you. Enjoy … and remember, Hakuna Matata!

Hakuna Matata - Warthog - Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
 

AV Trip Blog – Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania

 

Ngorongoro National Conservation Area, Tanzania

Sunrise above the Crater

The Ngorongoro National Conservation Area is located in Northern Central Tanzania and is contiguous with the Serengeti National Park to it’s West. The area is specifically famous for the Crater which is an ancient volcanic caldera dating back about 2.5 million years ago.

Although we visited some areas of the conservation area outside of the crater, the crater was certainly the highlight. The crater itself is about 610 meters (2000 feet) deep and about 260 square meters (1000 square miles).

The inside of the crater is generally made up of a giant plain that has several lakes in it depending on seasonality. There are very few trees or bush to speak of making for an interesting geography. The crater is a beautiful place as the simplicity of the plains running directly into a steep mountainous wall that runs 360 degrees around you creates a very surreal location.

As for wildlife, there are about 25,000 animals within the crater itself! And without trees or bush, they are all quite visible. The real challenge with the crater is the proximity in which you can get to animals. Although the park is relatively small, there are very few roads that you are able to drive on (off road is not permitted) making it difficult to get very close to animals.

Enough griping for now! We really enjoyed the crater even with the distance from the

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The Scrappy Hyena – Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

 

AV Trip Photo – The Scrappy Hyena – Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Hyena have always given me the impression that they are not the best looking animals. When I finally saw a few of them up close and in person, I more than confirmed my previous thoughts, they are gnarly! I suppose any creature that feasts on previously eaten and potentially rotting flesh from a day or three old dead animal is going to end up like this … nasty.

Regardless of their outside, I did find the Hyena to be quite interesting as they were very hard to find and either incredibly brace or just plain stupid. Hyena are nocturnal by nature and as we weren’t cruising around the wild in the pitch black (unfortunately!), we didn’t see too many of them until we saw an entire pack (10+) of them in the Ngorongoro Crater. It was awesome to watch them finish up on the scraps of some two day old dead wildebeest and even hunt for more!

The Scrappy Hyena - Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
 

AV Trip Blog – Serengeti Migration Visit – AV #4

 

Serengeti Migration Visit, AV #4

Serengeti Traffic Jam

The Serengeti Migration is right up there near the top of the list as the #4 AV in the world. Being our first “Top 10″ of the trip, we were both incredibly anxious and excited to catch a glimpse of the greatest animal spectacle on the planet.

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The Pride of the Serengeti – Serengeti NP, Tanzania

 

AV Trip Photo – The Pride of the Serengeti – Serengeti NP, Tanzania

While driving through the Serengeti we came across a pride of over 25 lions relaxing under the cool morning sun. Seeing this many lions together is an incredibly powerful experience. I’m certain that in a one on one battle a lion would tear me to shreds. Imagine being locked in your bedroom with 25 of these muscular cats. We might control the park they live in, but make no mistake about it, these guys are alone atop the natural food chain.

The Pride of the Serengeti - Serengeti NP, Tanzania
 

AV Trip Blog – Serengeti National Park – Tanzania

 

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park is famous for the annual migration of over one-million animals that mostly takes place within the parks boundaries. Our primary reason for visiting the park was to witness this epic spectacle, as it is AbsoluteVisit #4. However, Serengeti NP is a wonder on its own, even without the great migration passing through it. In this post we are going to show you all of our favorite memories from our visit to the park, not including the migration. That will come in a separate post soon :)

Our visit here was really a continuation of our journey through Masai Mara in Kenya the previous week. The two parks are connected and their dual existence is only because of the political border between Kenya and Tanzania.

The landscapes were certainly different between the two parks, Masai Mara being hilly and the Serengeti being flat, endless plains. Masai Mara felt manageable in size, while the Serengeti seemed to go on forever.

The Serengeti was certainly more crowded and seemingly more developed as a park than Masai Mara (the crowds are possibly related to the migration being south in the Serengeti when we visited).

Masai Mara held the unique advantage that the fine in the park for drivers leaving the official roads was much less than in the Serengeti. This turned out to be a big deal and something everyone should consider when booking a safari. In Masai Mara when we spotted a cheetah 100 meters from the road, our drivers would go off the official road and take us within 10 meters of the cheetah. In the Serengeti, if the formal roads don’t take you closer to the animal, you don’t get closer. This of course impacts your ability to see the animals up close. You probably will notice that we don’t have as many closeup photos in the Serengeti as we do in Masai Mara.

The one similarity between the two parks is the unthinkable concentration of incredible animals. While on safari there aren’t any guarantees of what you are going to specifically see, but you are absolutely guaranteed in both of these parks to see loads of animals living naturally in the wild, impressing you deeply with every trivial movement they make.

We’ve compiled our favorite scenes from our time in the Serengeti below. We hope the images help you see just how real the Africa Safari Dream is. It might seem hard to believe, but we promise it will get even better when we share our experience sitting in the middle of the Serengeti Migration with you. Stay tuned!

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AV Trip Video – Elephant Farting – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

 
Sometimes elephants attack your safari truck and other times they are lazy and fart on you from the distance. Both are equally successful at getting you to leave them alone!

Check out this quick video of an elephant farting on us in Serengeti National Park last week in Tanzania.

You can view all of the videos from our travel to the Top 100 Places in the World on the AbsoluteVisit YouTube channel.

 

Wild Dental Visit – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

 

AV Trip Photo – Wild Dental Visit – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

While visiting Serengeti National Park in Tanzania we stopped at this unbelievable small pond filled with over one-hundred hippos. It was incredibly smelly, obnoxious and just flat out gross. The noises coming out of this place put to shame the best fart you’ve ever delt.

In between passing gas and crapping on each other, the hippos would perform these amazing yawns. Here is our favorite view of the inside of one of their mouths. Definitely a dentists worst nightmare :)

Wild Dental Visit - Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
 

Monkeying Around – Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

 

AV Trip Photo – Monkeying Around – Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

On our second week of safari, this time in Tanzania, our first stop was Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is relatively small, but what wasn’t small was its population of monkeys and baboons. After watching the two young baboons go at it for a while, this slightly older baboon came racing in and jumped over both of them with ease while using the closest small baboon as a crutch for his right-hand. This was VERY fun to watch!

Monkeying Around - Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
 
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The Top 100 Places in the World
1 Great Wall of China
2 Pyramids of Egypt
3 Machu Picchu
4 Serengeti Migration
5 Galapagos Islands
6 Grand Canyon
7 Angkor Temples
8 Antarctica Cruise
9 Taj Mahal
10 Iguazu Falls
11 Amazon Rain Forest
12 Great Barrier Reef
13 Bora Bora
14 Victoria Falls
15 Bagan
16 Petra
17 Potala Palace
18 Karnak
19 Mt Everest
20 Cappadocia
21 St Peters Basilica
22 Fjords of Norway
23 Jerusalem Old City
24 Burj Khalifa
25 Borobudur
26 Forbidden City
27 Kashmir Valley
28 Li River Cruise
29 Ladakh
30 Alhambra
31 Louvre Museum
32 Perito Moreno Glac.
33 Banaue Terraces
34 Colosseum of Rome
35 Easter Island
36 Venice Canals/Alleys
37 Kathmandu Valley
38 Wat Phra Kaew
39 Yellowstone NP
40 Pompeii
41 Rio Panoramic View
42 Palace of Versailles
43 Dubrovnik
44 Golden Temple
45 St. Basils Cathedral
46 Vatican Museum
47 Florence Cityscape
48 Acropolis
49 Amalfi Coast Drive
50 Kremlin
51 Hong Kong View
52 TerraCotta Warriors
53 Mezquita Cordoba
54 Chichen Itza
55 Damascus Old City
56 Shwedagon Stupa
57 Sahara Desert
58 Mont St Michel
59 St. Marks Square
60 Egyptian Museum
61 Hagia Sophia
62 Angel Falls
63 Delphi
64 Teotihuacan
65 Baalbek
66 Banff NP
67 Santorini
68 Matterhorn
69 New York Skyline
70 Neuschwanstein
71 Chartres Cathedral
72 British Museum
73 Prague Old Town
74 Burj al Arab
75 Yangtze River Cruise
76 Yosemite NP
77 Hermitage Museum
78 Torres del Paine
79 Chambord Chateau
80 Lijiang
81 Portofino
82 Great Ocean Road
83 Tongariro Alpine
84 Las Vegas Strip
85 Tikal
86 Topkapi Palace
87 Sydney Opera House
88 Eiffel Tower
89 Luxor Temple
90 Kerala Backwaters
91 Golden Gate Bridge
92 Cinque Terre
93 Metropolitan Mus
94 Uffizi Gallery
95 Ayers Rock
96 Cliffs of Moher
97 Pacific Coast Hwy
98 Shanghai Skyline
99 Glacier Bay NP
100 Wulingyuan
Cappadocia  Cappadocia, Turkey
 
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