Camping with the Animals

Trip Start Aug 31, 2009
Trip End Feb 14, 2010

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Where I stayed
Bush Camp No1

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wow what a contrast, lush green around Mt Kilimangaro has turned into a dry dusty barren landscape begging for rain. Even the Massi doods seem disheartened. Earlier we meet some SAfricans who were returning from the area we are now in. They indicated the Taragiri NP had a high concentration of animals around what is left of the Tarangire River (end of the dry season). So again off we went with no real idea of what to expect.. enough time had lapsed from our last bush camping experiences so that Lisa's memory of being in the tent had faded. We paid the entry fees and headed in for an afternoon safari drive, sure enough there are heaps of animals here, Elephants, Giraffe & Ostraiges. Come 6pm when we are no longer permitted to drive we headed to the campsite to find a few buildings and the place deserted.  Hmmm!!  Oh well we cant drive anywhere so we throw caution to the wind and set up camp and cook dinner wondering how it is we have got ourselves into this situation again.   It is worth a mention, at this stage it is a dark moon so there is absolutely no light outside of our camp fluro.  It was about this time that a fellow steps out of the shadows, wearing army fatigues, black beanie and carrying a serious rifle.  Crap, this is not good.  Fortunately he politely introduces himself, saying 'you are here!’ like he was looking for us. He informs us there is an unusually high concentration of animals around the camp at the moment and he has been sent to secure us for the night, he would be with us until morning.  Well things just started to look up.  Nothing like a friendly gun for hire when surrounded by lions and leopards.  He gave us a safety briefing and proceeded to wander around the camp in the shadows.  Not surprisingly we are in the tent early tonight writing this blog.

The Leopards came into camp over night, we could hear their strange growl. I think the guard chap chased them off so we awoke with a full head count. The funny thing is we heard a story the next day that a Dutch lad had been eaten by a Leopard recently. Basically the family had left out some bones to bring the cat in and the lad ran towards the toilets, the Leopard thought he was food on the run and dragged him away into the river bed and ate him.. hence this would explain the gun for hire turning up at camp.
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