Thomson staffer Annifreed Sinjour traveled from the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro directly to the warm hills of the Serengeti on her latest adventure.
We caught up with her after the trip to ask about her favorite memories and experiences.
Q: What is your most vivid safari memory?
A: I would have to say my most vivid memory of Tanzania was my arrival at Gibb’s Farm. The property is absolutely stunning with its sprawling plants and sweeping views that look out over its expansive coffee farm.
When I was first greeted by the Gibb’s Farm staff, I got slightly choked up because they were so friendly, welcoming, and genuinely happy to see me. That kind of kindness and warmth can’t be fabricated.
Q: What animals did you see? Your favorite experience while wildlife viewing?
A: In the eastern part of the Serengeti I saw wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles, ostriches, giraffes, zebras, impalas, warthogs, and elands.
As we moved into the central Serengeti, we continued to see the same animals in addition to lions, African buffalo, Tobi, elephants, hippos, dik diks, vervet monkeys, hyenas, baboons, jackals, a leopard, and a cheetah. In the Ngorongoro Crater I saw a black rhino and was lucky enough to spot the rare serval cat – what a beautiful creature!
Q: What was it like to descend Kili and go straight into the Serengeti?
A: For starters, that shower in my hotel after coming from Kilimanjaro was one of the best showers of my life! There definitely was a bit of a mental transition from the mountain to the savanna, so it took me a day or two to fully switch into safari mode.
The safari was the perfect way to unwind and enjoy Tanzania in a different way than I had been experiencing it on the mountain. I am so grateful that I was able to go on safari after my trek because I was not ready to leave Tanzania yet once we descended from the mountain.
Q: Could you tell us some stories from interacting with the people?
I had a few interactions with some of the women of the local Maasai tribe in the eastern Serengeti and what impacted me the most about these interactions was the fact that neither of us could speak the same language but we always managed to end up laughing at something together. I have never seen a stronger example of the language of laughter.
As an African American, I had some really interesting interactions with the general people of Tanzania. Everyone who I crossed paths with who didn’t work for Thomson assumed I was Tanzanian. Tanzania is made up of so many different tribes so there isn’t really one specific “look” to a Tanzanian, making it very plausible I could have easily been Tanzanian! I thought for sure my clothes, my mannerisms, and my lack of Swahili would be a dead giveaway I was American but that was not the case at all! Overall, everyone was really pleasant and open with me and the other guests in my group.
Q: How many pictures did you take? The best one?
A: I probably took about 350-400 photos on safari and my favorite one was of two giraffes walking in a single file line with the dark sky threatening to rain in the background.
Q: The Goat Tower – the greatest structure in Tanzania or the greatest in the world?
A: The goat tower is the G.O.A.T. I got the opportunity to actually climb the goat tower – not many people can say they’ve done that! It’s a fantastic addition to Gibb’s Farm.