From the moment you step onto the Kogatende airstrip and onto the land that is known as the Serengeti, you know that you have arrived at a very special place. From your aircraft you might have seen the towering Mount Kilimanjaro, the incredible Ngorongoro Crater and possibly flown over Ol Doinyo Lengai (“The mountain of God” in Maasai) that is an active volcano that towers almost 3000 meters above sea level and last erupted in 2007. Or maybe the vast Lake Manyara with its thousands of flamingos, shimmering pink in the distance… or the varying sized circular shapes, dotted on the landscape that are Maasai boma. The Lamai Wedge is a wilderness area, within the Serengeti National Park and it is here, upon a ridge, overlooking the vast endless stretches of the Serengeti long grass plains towards the east, and with the Isuria escarpment to the west, that is home to AfrikaAfrika’s “Serengeti Mara Camp”. It is from here the magic of the Lamai will be presented to you in all its remarkable beauty and natural synchrony.
In my 23 plus years of guiding, living and working in Africa’s remote places the Lamai Wedge must certainly be one of the last vestiges of a truly wild unspoilt Africa. On your way to our camp, after crossing the Mara River, you break over the first ridge and are awarded with a vista, coupled with hundreds of thousands of animals that I continue to marvel at and our guests have never really experienced before. In this place it seems that time and space have come together, where it is difficult to determine whether you are truly there, or merely an insignificant time warp of a beautiful giant painting stretched out across the horizon. I like to call it “big sky country”.
Every morning apart from those synonymous African sounds of the Nubian Woodpecker, Rufous Naped Lark, or the early morning whoop of the hyena that complete the symphony of the African dawn, the gnuing of hundreds of thousands wildebeest around the camp herald the dawning of a new day. On our game drives and walks the sights and sounds of 1.7 million animals, wildebeest, zebra, elephant, Thompson’s gazelle, topi and even the collection of birds, vultures and hyena’s surely make this place a wildlife paradise that stuns and overloads all the senses. Loud vocal and tense Mara River crossings, an endless sea of wildebeest crossing the Lamai plains, predator sightings or just a quiet golden glow sundowner overlooking the Maasai Mara are hardly interrupted with the sight or sound of another vehicle or human….! It is all quite incredible and often our guests have commented on this remarkable phenomenon. Just to experience this truly amazing natural event is certainly enough, but having for your self is even more amazing.
Africa’s wildlife will take your breath away, but so will the people. Tanzania is made up of an amazing colourful and friendly collection of cultures, tribes and languages. On the borders of the Lamai Wedge AfrikaAfrika has made some very important inroads to working with the Gibaso Village community who consist primarily of the Wogakuria people. We at AfrikaAfrika are dedicated to helping this small community to acknowledge and reap some of the benefits of what we have to offer in the Lamai Wedge to our guests. As they live right next door to one of the worlds most amazing wildlife spectacles we feel that they too should take some part in experiencing this with us. AfrikaAfrika believes that through education and employment these people can also enjoy the fruits of a resource that is their constant neighbor and heritage. Furthermore we greatly encourage our guests to be involved in community projects whether it is through manual labour, teaching, donation, or even merely a visit to the Gibaso Village.
The “Serengeti migration” in such an impeccable setting as the “Lamai Wedge” our small private and camp is something I would recommend anyone from whatever walk of life to witness, at least once in his or her lifetime. I believe it is here that if we are seeking to be at one with nature, we shall certainly catch a glimpse of something of what we are missing in our often-fast paced and hurried lives…
Pen de Vries, professional guide