We visited Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Parks in northern Tanzania. I knew we would see a lot of wildlife, but I had no idea how close we would be.
I expected the wild to be just that, but it was surprisingly tranquil. Most of the animals, lions included, were just lazing in the shade or meandering down to the watering hole.
It may just be a consequence of watching too much National Geographic, but the human psychology of the experience surprised me. I was shocked to find myself, the borderline pacifist, the former/still partial vegetarian, wanting to see the lion hunt or the buffalo charge. But they all just lazed in the grass.
Most safaris consist almost entirely of game drives. Game drives are amazing for the quantity of animals that you see in a relatively short period of time. But for us the highlight of the experience was the 2 hour walking safari that we did. We did not see the variety or the quantity of wildlife that we would have from the Jeep. But planting your feet in the rusty earth, feeling the vastness of Africa spread in all directions, with nothing between you and the animals except for the shirt on your back, is an experience I will never forget.