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Published: September 17th 2018
Tanzania day 7
Safari so goody in the Serengeti, Tanzania, Africa
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re camping in the middle of the Serengeti and there are loads of strange animal noises outside your tent. And it’s 4am and you need a wee. And the toilets are quite a walk away and you’ve been told not to go on your own.
And then there’s a lion in the toilets. And then Prince Harry turns up at breakfast.
Well up until the last two parts, that was actually true last night and the last two bits were probably brought on by the stress and pain of needing a wee in this situation. When I finally got to go it was amazing. And then you look round and there’s a herd of over 100 zebra nearby and you realise how lucky you are and that you will treasure this memory forever. Not the bit about the wee. Or dreaming there’s a lion in the loo. Which there wasn’t in case you were wondering.
Breakfast was fruit, pancakes, toast and omelette and there was plenty of it. No eggy bread thankfully.
By 8:30 we were ready
for the off. Our chef Maurice was running around like a nutter all morning and preparing lunch for us to take with us on our full day’s game drive. The ice cold shower in cooler temperatures wasn’t that welcome but woke me up that’s for sure!
We drove a little while and then another driver told ours there were some lions...near our camp... And there were! About 200 metres away sat a male-less pride. Yes that’s about 200m from our tent with no fences round it....
We have spent the whole day on safari and what a day!! We saw all the same animals as yesterday plus some elephants and a topi...we think that’s what it was called anyway. Oh and we saw half a dik dik as well....our first dik dik and half of it had already been consumed by a marsh eagle; poor dik dik!
We also drove through a fire, as you do. This controlled burning of the dry grasslands doesn’t seem very controlled to be honest but I’m sure they know what they’re doing. Driving through some of the flames warmed us up somewhat.
Rudy asked about seeing the migration but that is in the
north of the Serengeti at the moment, possibly in the Masai Mara in Kenya. He seemed and still seems disappointed. Not long after there were a few hundred zebra and wildebeest hanging out together and Bori said they were part of the migration. I think he was trying to appease Rudy because anyone who has seen the migration will know that a few hundred or even a few thousand animals doesn’t even come close.
So, leopards, still distant, still disguised as branches; so much so that some branches disguised as leopards fooled Bori our driver for quite a while.
Now cheetahs, more of an effort today and gradually improving as time went by. The first one was a long way away and barely raising its head; the second adopted a glorious pose standing on a rock but again was a long way away. The third one had just had some of his dinner stolen by some vultures and was pacing up and down looking rather annoyed....as you would. But filled the frame he (or she) did and looked majestic while doing it. Brilliant.
At Lake Manyara the hippo pool was a pool without hippos so just ‘pool’ really. We have
seen other hippos but then we stopped at a hippo pool today and walked over to it going yeah yeah whatever....and then there they were, over 100 hippos!! All were in the water, some were farting nearly as loudly as Claire and one even yawned while I was pointing my camera at it!
There are a lot of exclamation marks in this blog....apologies if you have something against them. They say they don’t like you either.
And so to lions, or back to lions as that’s where we started, who have excelled today. One large male posed by a tree for us and....shhh....don’t tell anyone but Bori drove closer than he should have done so we could get better shots. We didn’t disturb the lion and I do like how jeeps stick to the roads....but this was awesome.
Later we saw a lion stalking her prey of a hartebeest but the hartebeest was on to the lion and stayed at a safe distance knowing it could get away. A fascinating thing to watch anyway.
And then to finish....back to the lions who started the day who were/ are close to our camp....but had moved closer to the road and were
right by it in fact, TWELVE of them!! They were all lying around but would occasionally lift their heads to pose and a couple even had a little wander round, right by us. Just incredible. I think Claire rather enjoyed it....
Again I’m kind of glad I can’t upload my blog tonight despite what an amazing day it’s been as I can’t imagine my Mum sleeping with the thought of me here with a dozen lions in the vicinity. They haven’t lost a tourist yet apparently....
Dinner was really good and I can tell that Maurice (or it might be Molist) is a chef rather than a cook. Considering he has no electricity and no means of refrigeration he still manages to conjure up creative meals. Tonight’s butternut and garlic soup in particular was exceptional and would go down well in any restaurant.
After dinner we all sat around a camp fire listening to the sounds of hyenas and barking zebras amongst other sounds of the Serengeti. Can’t beat that!
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