Our last day in Tanzania was bittersweet – Mike and I had been gone for almost two weeks and we were ready to go home. But the experiences we had were absolutely incredible, once-in-a-lifetime moments. We knew we would miss it. Luckily, we were able to go on one last game drive that morning. And it was amazing!
We caught up with the cheetah mom and her cubs (they were still hanging out right outside our camp).
They also looked hungry so we thought we’d luck out and get to see a hunt! We started following them and got to see an incredible sunrise over the lake:
We followed them for an hour or so and saw the mom take off after something, but she did not have success. The best part was that the boys were very playful and we watched them chase each other and play. Mom was not as enthused as we were with them.
I was able to get a last few pictures before my camera equipment was packed away for the trip home!
Impala, Tanzania, 2018
Higher Ground, Tanzania, 2018
Resting Mom, Tanzania, 2018
After we left the cheetahs, we had to go back to camp and get ready to leave. The plan was to take a small commuter plane from Lake Ndutu to Arusha. From the Arusha airport, we would head to the Arusha Coffee Lodge (where we stayed the first two nights) for the day. We all had rooms for the day, so this gave us a chance to shower, nap, repack bags, or whatever we needed to do.
I’ll be honest – this was the part of the trip I was dreading. I’d never been on a prop plane before and was very nervous about the whole process. Was it going to be a safe plane? Were we going to have a good pilot? Logically, I knew that our group had done these trips so often and nothing ever happened. I knew that there was no way our trip organizer would book something unsafe or unreliable or dangerous, but still. I was nervous.
Luckily, I had absolutely nothing to be nervous about. Our pilot was amazing and she got us from Lake Ndutu to Arusha safely and smoothly!
This was our plane:
Mike and I sat in the front row, so we got prime seating right behind the pilot and co-captain:
We also got to fly over Ngorongoro Crater, which was pretty amazing to see from the sky!
Here are some other shots from our flight:
After we got to the Arusha Coffee Lodge, Mike and I showered and started to repack our bags. We also had some time to just relax, and we were joined by a dik dik right outside our room!
This was the perfect end to our trip – one last animal encounter! Before we knew it, it was time to head to the airport. We were very sad to go but excited to get home.
Overall, this was an unbelievable trip. Mike and I loved meeting all of the tribes and adventuring through rain, floods, and washed out roads. We loved watching the animals in their natural habitat and learning so much about them. We loved driving through Tanzania and seeing just…nothing. Just land and animals. Nothing else.
We’re hoping to get to Kenya in the next 5-10 years for the Great Migration – this trip would be sometime in the summer when all of the animals migrate for the season. We cannot wait to go back to Africa and we hope that it’s sooner rather than later! This picture sums up how we feel until we get to go back!
We hope you enjoyed reading about our Tanzanian adventures as much as we enjoyed experiencing them!