For some bizarre reason when we arrived in Tanzania we were camping in a snake park that is home to many of Africa’s deadliest and most dangerous snakes including a real Black Mamba, rock python and more varieties of Cobra than you could spit at.
The Park was also home to a couple of dangerously low fenced crocodile enclosures with only waist height walls.
After an early night (relatively) we woke early to hitch a ride in our land cruiser to the Serengeti. Our driver shared his name with the king of the jungle; hopefully Simba would prove to bring us some good luck in our pursuit of the big 5.
Our first day was pretty disappointing, aside from a couple of Cheetah spotted at some distance the Cats were illusive and morale was as low as the storm clouds that hung overhead.
We awoke early on day 2 keen to make amends for yesterdays poor display and despite missing a lions pride laze under a tree we were not disappointed. By 10:00am we had seen more than 20 female lions and cubs at close range, a leopard cruising the road so close I could have touched it (amazing), elephants, Zebras, wildebeest on migration, vultures, hyenas and more birds than I could ever possibly name.
The scenery of the Serengeti is unlike my imaging- the plains are wheat coloured, dry and mostly flat with no dense cover for the animals to hide. The sunrises and sunsets of the Serengeti are magic and the sheer concentration of animals made me question why anyone would EVER game drive anywhere else.
Next stop was the phenomenal Ngorongoro crater, heaven on earth. Neighbouring the Serengeti it is the most stunning place I have ever been privileged enough to see. The crater measures approximately 20 kilometres in diameter and is greener than a Christmas tree plantation. It is also home to more animals than one would think possible and by being there we wee able to get close and I mean within centimetres of some male lions strutting there stuff walking down the road, so majestic was the sight I felt my heart miss a beat. The adult male lion is breathtaking and clearly the king of the jungle. We were also able to get within inches of a female lion and her playful cubs who posed for pictures, spitting distance from a heard of elephants and we were also able to see 6 black rhino (One of the worlds most endangered species) which completed our pursuit of the BIG 5.
After a couple of magic days in the Serengeti we headed back to the Masi Camp in Arusha. It was Lily and Aziz’s last night and the first time that the ladies had a dance on the trip. Together (with An) we busted our favourite moves and even invented some new ones. Whilst we shake out tale feathers the boys played pool and drank the bar dry.
During the night I came to logger heads with one of the girls (the one I have mentioned previously) who like a lot of girls on the trip like getting physical with the boys in an attention grabbing way they slap, punch, pinch and play with them at any opportunity and as long as they leave Dave along I have no qualms with it… on this occasion though the girl thought it fun to hit Julius our Ugandan team leader across the face. Aside from thinking that this act was immature it was also disrespectful, culturally insensitive and just not cricket! I made my feelings very clear on this (as I will on any subject after a few vinos) as no one else dare spoke… group mentality sux sometimes.
Subsequently, I have received some dirty looks and despite An and Dave trying to mollify me with talk of jealously (on the other individuals behalf) I don’t buy it and just feel that it is not nice to be disliked.
In the morning I said goodbye to Lily and Aziz and Lily was so sad o be leaving that she cried…. I will definitely miss her.