Katherine Chen ’15 describes her experience in the Serengeti:
After waking up at 5:15 am, Lucy Lytle and I walked out of our tent-like hotel rooms and into the still dark morning. We were in the middle of the Serengeti, a savannah in Tanzania with an area of 14,765 km2. We were escorted by one of the hotel staff down the hill and to our safari vans, on the way seeing a giraffe only a few feet away from the rooms we were staying in. We met up with the rest of the group, then packed the three vans, and headed into the second day of our safari.
As we drove along the endless plains, dotted with trees and the occasional herd of impala or wildebeest, the blue shades of sky gradually grew lighter and lighter. In a span of 20 minutes the sky had transformed from a vast darkness into a visible light blue. The clouds were strewn thinly across the sky, and the land stretch so far, giving the impression that they were somehow on the same level as us. We stopped the van in the middle of the road, on top of a hill; to our left side the sky was dark and to our right the sky had already started to transform as the sun rose. The rays of the incoming sun reflected a golden yellow lining onto the clouds, and a blend of orange and pink stained the rim of the horizon. Soon the entire sky was alight and a new day had begun.
On our safari today we had many close-up encounters with African animals. At one point we had a lone elephant walk right past our van, and at another time a group of baboons crossed the road in front of us. After lunch at a small park atop a hill, we continued our journey around the Serengeti. The most exciting part of the afternoon was seeing two leopards in a tree very close to us, and at another point we saw two lions quite far away. Other animals we saw on the safari were grey-crowned cranes, water bucks, hyenas, zebras, topi and wild boar. However, it was not only the animals that made the Serengeti such an amazing experience; it was also the view of endless plains and green hills matched with the blue sky.