Tanzania – Last Day of Safari and Coming Home

Photos by Mrs. Strobel and Jason

Unfortunately, Sunday was our last day on safari. On Sunday, we were at Ngorongoro Crater park; in order to see the best animals, we had to wake up at 4:45 to get to the park before sunrise!

While driving down to the crater, my safari vehicle, the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, listened to Regan’s Lion King music to pump ourselves us. Our driver, Ollie or Babakuku (Grandpa Chicken) told us that Pumba means “foolish one” in Swahili, and we already knew that simba means lion. We were so excited as we headed into the crater while watching the sunrise.

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Sunrise at Ngorongoro Crater

The first animals we saw in the crater were different types of birds, from guinea fowl to an awesome secretary bird posing on a tree. We also saw some warthogs, wildebeest, impala, zebras, and more early in the morning. Unfortunately, we also saw a hyena that was sick and struggling to move. We really hope that the hyena did not have to suffer much longer. Luckily, we did see some healthy hyenas.

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Some zebras and wildebeest grazing on the vegetation
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A great capture of a hippo opening its mouth!

We were so excited to see some elephants on Saturday, and today we saw even more! Regan counted 42 elephants.

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A herd of elephants in the distance

One of goals for Sunday was to see cats, and we were so lucky to see approximately 19 lions!

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We were lucky to see a male lion so close to the vehicle!

One of the highlights of the day was seeing 4 black rhinos! Black rhinos are critically endangered animals, and many tourists don’t have the opportunity to see any black rhinos, so we are incredibly lucky to have seen four. Unfortunately, black rhinos are also victims of poaching, so we chose not to post photos to protect them from poaching.

We also had some emergency bathroom issues while in the crater. Also, when we stopped for lunch, a huge bird swooped by and took Ophelia’s chicken!

We are so fortunate to have been able to experience these three amazing days on safari; it was absolutely unreal.

After departing from Ngorongoro Crater, we headed to the Smith Campus of the School of St. Jude, which is the secondary school campus. We stayed there for the night and enjoyed our last dinner cooked by Peter–delicious beef and pasta and veggies.

On Monday, we spent the morning at Cultural Heritage, which includes cultural art exhibitions, shops, and cafes.

The Cultural Heritage Gallery

Our facilitator and one of the interns at the school, Wens (Wenseslaus), wrote us an amazing card that we got to read on the way back from Cultural Heritage. We miss Wens and all of the other St. Jude Staff a lot and are so grateful for how hard they worked and how much they helped us throughout our stay at the school. Our 10 days in Tanzania were a life-changing experience and it is, in a huge part, thanks to everyone we met in Tanzania. We’ll be thinking about all of you. Thank you!

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The card from Wens – thank you so much!

When we got back, we had lunch and then went on a tour of the Smith Campus with Wens and Innocent.

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Group photo with Peter, our chef, and Wens and Innocent, the interns
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Group photo in front of the school with Wens and Innocent, the interns, who took us on a tour of the campus

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No girl allowed in the boys dorms!
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No boy allowed in the girls dorms!

After that, we had a couple hours to pack or socialize before heading to the airport. No one wanted to leave Tanzania, and we were even joking about “accidentally” dropping our passports out the window.

All jokes aside, our journey was very successful; we got through each flight and customs without a problem and arrived at Culver at around 6 PM.

Thank you so much to everyone who followed our blog in the last few days! Also, thank you to everyone who made this trip possible and to everyone that allowed us to go on the trip!

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