At the park entrance
Our ranger, Sara, me, Rita
With the usual 24-hour entry rule we planned for a game drive in the early morning and a second one in the late afternoon. With the camp only 10min from the gate, we didn’t have far to go to get started. But our joyful mood was dented, when we bumped into Katie and Kenny, who were scanning the forest with other people for dead animals - it turned out the monkeys we saw the previous evening weren’t drunk, they had been poisoned! We offered to help them search, but Katie assured us, they had enough people, so we were not needed.
With the huge size of Selous in mind and a friend from work telling me of people getting lost, we hired a guide to come in the car with us. After endless paperwork and formularities like payment and finding change, we headed off into the park and after half an hours drive off the main road on some small tracks to a couple of lakes. The scenery was beautiful and we saw a variety of wildlife around them. After this our guide spotted a female lion under a bush, that we would not have seen and not far from it
a whole family under another group of bushes. They were just dozing, so we just stood and watched (certainly not getting out of the car).
Very pleased with our sighting and tired from the late morning heat, we headed back to the camp. Our guide said we should get back to the gate for 2pm, but we thought it was just too hot for this to make sense. Ellen and Sara didn’t want to go out again at all, so it was just Rita and me, who went back there an hour later. This time we drove a lot further into the park. It was still very hot, so we stopped on a high up plateau with a few big trees for a little break. There were many giraffes, zebras and impalas around and after checking us out, they didn’t seem too bothered with our presence. We asked our guide, if it is okay to get out of the car and he said it was fine. - It was amazing, there we stood, surrounded by all these animals, they just kept on grazing as if we were not there.
Then our guide asked, what else we wanted to see and
Rita said ‘elephants’, so he said, we shouldn’t worry, we’ll make sure, we get to see some later. So we continued to another lake, saw some pretty big birds (sorry can’t remember what they were) and then slowly headed back towards the gate, as it was past 5pm and the gate closes at 6pm. I didn’t think about the elephants and we were only a few minutes from the gate, when three elephants appeared on the right and slowly made their way to cross the track in front of us - all in the beautiful red-golden evening light. This was truly a great finish and Rita and I were very pleased, we gathered the energy to go for the afternoon drive.
After cooking and eating dinner, supplemented with two extra courses by the lovely chef from a Safari company who was cooking for a couple of German tourists and couldn’t be deterred to give us a little taster of his creations, we all were tired rather early. You wouldn’t expect game drives are that tiring, just sitting in the car and looking out, but they are.
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