Posted on Mar 7, 2016 in Alumni News and News
At the conclusion of the Tanzania Migration Safari, our group of eight Flying Jayhawks were unanimous in calling this their trip of a lifetime. The sheer expanse of the landscape was breathtaking, our drive through the middle of the migration surrounded by more than two million animals was unforgettable, and the highlight was our daily encounters with wildebeest, zebra, elephant, antelope, lion, leopard, cheetah, and countless more animals and species of birds.
Upon arrival in East Africa, our safari experience departed from the Lake Duluti Serena Hotel outside the city of Arusha. This departure gave us a glimpse of a fast-growing city of nearly 500,000 people. Our drive introduced us to the first observations of the Maasai Tribe members with their livestock herds. Upon entering Tarangire National Park we were thrilled to have our first sightings of several elephant herds as well as zebra, antelope, and gazelle.
Our guides were the perfect team: Babenga, known as the “wise one” and Emmanuel who quickly took on the nickname of “wise guy.” On that first day we were treated to the unexpected, real safari experience of getting both vehicles stuck in a dry, sandy creek bed! Nonetheless, after being freed from the creek bed we were rewarded with an up-close experience of watching a lioness coax her five cubs to cross the road right in front of us. Emmanuel was quick to point out that getting stuck was perfectly timed to make this sighting possible.
After entering Ngorongoro Conservation area we spent an entire day in the Ngorongoro Crater which is earth’s largest intact volcanic caldera with an unmatched natural wildlife sanctuary. In this setting, we had the special privilege of seeing two black rhinoceros which was a humbling experience given the sad circumstances of their threatened extinction.
Throughout our migration safari were treated to some of the greatest deluxe lodges and tented camps which provided us the opportunity to be surrounded by a landscape of boulders, fig trees, colorful garden settings, and night sounds of the Serengeti wilderness. One of the highlights was staying in the Kirawira luxury tented camp in the western Serengeti. This camp with Victorian-era décor is situated on a hilltop overlooking the vast plains of the Serengeti. And this is where we were treated to a memorable bush dinner under the stars with a roaring bonfire to keep away the hungry hyenas!
During our visit to the Zariki School at the Magu-Mwanza fishing village on Lake Victoria, it was a special treat for our group of Flying Jayhawks to witness the Jayhawk influence in every corner of the globe. One of the seven classrooms at this school is named “Jayhawk” thanks to the generosity of a Kansas family who previously visited the school during their own Flying Jayhawks trip.
Rock Chalk, indeed!
—Dale Seuferling, president of KU Endowment, hosted the Flying Jayhawks trip to Tanzania January 27-February 6, 2016 along with his wife, Marianne. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2016 schedule, or to sign up to receive emails or brochures about future adventures, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.
Watch the slideshow below to see pictures from Tanzania, or view them on Flickr. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks travel programs, visit our travel site or contact Tegan Thornberry at email@example.com or 785.864.4765.