So we as a group wanted to blog about our special safari experience in Ruaha National Park about two weeks ago, so here goes!
As we were driving from Iringa Town to Ruaha (a two hour drive on an open safari truck) we could feel the staggering heat cloud down upon us. We drove along a long, bumpy, dirt road with the dust billowing behind us for about an hour and a half until we finally arrived in Ruaha. A green sign popped up that said Ruaha National Park! So we drove down that road and before we even officially entered we saw a few huge elephants along the side of the road. Finally we came to the main entrance and pulled in to the rest area, while our guide, Nolasko, talked to the gate guard and paid the fees for us to enter the vast reserve. Within five minutes we were seeing the amazing, gorgeous, sleek, and powerful animals in their natural habitat. We first came across some gazelle in the park and then moved along to a dried up river bed that still had a large pool of water and even larger inhabitants, a bunch of hippos! We saw these huge animals and crocs up close and then proceeded on our safari. The very first day we saw elephants, lions, crocs, hippos, zebras, gazelles, giraffes, and so many other animals. Finally after a long but awesome first day we made it to our camp where we would spend the next two nights. As soon as we walked into camp we were warned about the animals that frequent through the camp and are very deadly, then sure enough, BAM! We saw an elephant about twenty feet away just chilling in the camp grounds. We had an awesome dinner at a restaurant on an overlook of the park and proceeded to go to bed (escorted by an armed guard of course) full, happy and amazed before we would get up around 5am to prepare for our next safari day. Sure enough, we woke up right around 5am and were up getting ready for the day before the sun woke up itself. We got in our safari truck at 6 and began our awesome full day safari! It started off with a beautiful sunset peaking out over the hills, only making the experience more surreal. Five minutes after seeing the sunrise we came across a jackal and a group of hyaenas soaking up the sun before they would begin to sleep during the day. We proceeded on our safari and covered a large amount of ground in the park and saw some amazing animals. We even got to see a few male lions eating a kill! In the afternoon we traveled to “The Little Serengeti” and saw ostriches, a cheetah, giraffes, lions, elephants, a leopard in the middle of the day, and so many other rare sights! Our day was jam-packed with amazing views of the scenery and the animals Ruaha had to offer us. At the end of the day we returned to the restaurant, had an amazing dinner, and then proceeded to our camp ground, which had hippos wandering through it this time, and went to sleep early to prepare for another 5am wake-up. On the third day we started our work before the sun again and went on a morning safari. We covered a lot of ground again and came about 15 feet away from a small bull elephant and a little herd he was with. After another fantastic morning of seeing Africa’s amazing animals we proceeded back to Iringa Town on the hot, dry, and dusty drive. It was saddening to leave the park, but it was an experience we all will never forget! Hope all is well back home.