Maarten Schäfer

We are on our way to Serengeti National Park via Lake Manyara, a shallow lake situated in the most spectacular part of the Great Rift Valley. It is one of the largest waterholes in the area, attracting all sorts of wildlife including hippos, impalas, buffaloes and elephants. Our guide from Savannah Tours, Cliff, explains that the elephant population sharply declined from the 1960s onwards – from 640 to just 160 animals – but is today slowly recovering. He says that if we are lucky, we may see whole families of elephants today as the females have just given birth.

As soon as we enter the park, we drive into a thick forest. We see warthogs, antelopes and dozens of baboons, but no elephants. “Be patient,” Cliff says as he points at a pile of droppings in the middle of the road. “They’re here alright.” Just as I want to tell…

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