After what was an incredible and eye-opening experience with some of the most hospitable and friendly people I’ve ever been fortunate enough to meet on my travels, I didn’t think anything could top off that day.
But on the drive back to Hostel Hoff (an organisation that you need to check out if you ever think of volunteering in Tanzania) we had a very unexpected encounter that took us all by complete surprise…
As we drove down the bumpy dirt track roads of Tanzania, jovially chatting and reminiscing over our experience at the Maasai village, we noticed what looked like some kind of African wildlife quite far away in the distance.
Merely a speck against the vast landscape, it took some squinting and long stares before we could make out the tall, elegant shapes of the animals.
Sure enough, it was a herd of giraffes that appeared to be moving at quite a fast pace.
Without a word, our driver suddenly put his foot down and before we knew it we were being thrown from side to side of the van as he drove at speed down the roads.
Confused by what was going on, we continued to try and hold our gaze on the giraffes, but as he took different twists and turns down various tracks, it was difficult to keep them in sight.
I remember us all excitedly screaming at each other, “is he going to find them” – but none of us had a clue.
And just as we thought we had lost them…this happened…
Suddenly we were heading down one long stretch of road, and we caught a glimpse of them further down.
As our driver sped up, within moments we were only a few metres away from maybe 10 giraffes as they elegantly galloped at speed right beside us.
And as you can tell in the video, we were all completely blown away by what we were seeing, staring in complete amazement as we continued to drive alongside these gentle giants for only a few precious minutes.
I remember thinking to myself, THIS is the stuff that nature documentaries are made of. THIS is the kind of thing you only expect to see on BBC’s Planet Earth.
I kept thinking that David Attenborough and his camera crew were going to pop out at any second as I was in such disbelief that we could have been so lucky to randomly witness this on our way back to the hostel.
But Tanzania is a country full of surprises and moments that leave you speechless. And nothing quite beats an unexpected African wildlife encounter on the roadside. Hands down, it was one of the best travel moments of my life!
If you are looking to visit a country that is guaranteed to give you memories that will last a lifetime, then I urge you to give this amazing country a try. And if this video hasn’t convinced you, then maybe my post Five Reasons You Should Visit Tanzania will make you reconsider!
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