Take a walk on the wildside...

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
Trip End May 01, 2013

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Monday, October 8, 2012

Up at 5.30am (as usual) - most definitely lost all concept of what day of the week it is and, it seems, the ability to sleep in past 6am!

We took tents down and packed up our respective jeeps while the crew prepared a breakfast of pancakes and sausages and then we headed to Ngorongoro crater for a game drive.

We saw; Cory Bastard (Paula was inclined to believe Abdi meant 'Bustard' but he insisted it was 'Bastard') which is the heaviest flying bird in Africa, Grant Gazelle, Female Ostrich which Abdi said was ugly, Jackal, Great Crowned Crane (Vikki's favourite bird so far), Pumba, Wildebeest, Zebra, Sacred Ibis, Male Ostrich which has black feathers and everyone agreed was more handsome than the female, Hyena, Buzzard....and ............LIONS!!!!!!.......

We found them just as they were about to attack a Water Buffalo, they didn't manage to bring it down, so tired and disappointed they came and sought respite from the sun in the shadows of our jeep. Vikki had her window down when a lioness brushed right next to the jeep and lay down on her passenger side, sticking her head out less than one metre away Vikki had her photo taken before anything could be bitten off.

Serengeti means 'Endless Plain' and 'Ngorongoro' is literally the onomatopoeic term for the sound of the Masai cow bells.

Makadi Lake is a sodium lake that draws minerals from the surroundng volcanoes.We saw flamingo, giraffe, camel and a Masai village.

Unfortunately lunchtime proved difficult with a lack of consideration, or shall we say forward thinking, in terms of food consumption by those going up first and taking as much as they wanted, it ended up with a shortage for those going last. Now that there are 24 of us there is a need for a little bit of teamwork and Paula suggested with some annoyance that this should be the case! It is still eary days though and a vast culture shock for many. Our group now consists of us two, the three Kiwi girls, Arris, Kelly, Hannah, Simone and the new arrivals of Tom & Sarah, Bobby & Jen, Brook, Anand, James & Donna, David & Sue, Lucinda & Paul, Steph, Emily and Sarah. 24 truckmates in the Big Brother bus...

We had been pre-warned, but tourists from other companies were not so fortunate, and we laughed as a Black Kite swooped down and stole the packed lunch of an unsuspecting woman sat beneath a tree! We also chuckled at two massive storks, one with what can only be described as a huge ball-sack under his chin! Paula offended the zebras grazing nearby by calling them 'Horses with patterns' and then we rallied all the way to the Serengeti - unflinching as we are fairly used to white knuckle rIdes by now!

On the way we saw Hart Beast, Topi, Secretary Birds, and were given an 'African massage' which is the result of driving along bumpy tracks..........LEOPARD !!!!!!!!!!!!!! argh, amazing, just there sitting in a tree over the way, God knows who spotted it, only Vikki and her x70 optical zoom managed to get it up close on film. That's now the 'Big Five' we've seen (Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Elephant).

Carrying onwards we saw Helmeted Guinea Fowls, Redbuck, Hippo, Grey Heron, Vulture....CHEETAH and two cubs!!!!!!!!  Mummy cheetah (Dumar in Swahili) hunted down a Thomson Gazelle whilst we watched in silence, the single most amazing sight to observe since the Gorilla's, in our opinion. Vikki had no issues watching, 'the circle of life' being a natural occurance and acceptable when compared to the injustice of man's interference.

We drove to the campsite where our tents were already erected to our delight. Whilst dinner was being prepared we went to a local bar where we purchased warm beer (due to another power cut) from the most miserable barmaid in the world and listened to African music in the dark from a ghetto blasta. Even VIkki didn't brave going to toilets as there were lots of dodgy characters hanging about and an unmistakable smell of urine drifting by.

After dinner we went outside to star gaze at the twinkling Serengeti night sky..............right there out of nowhere whoossh... Vikki saw her very first shooting star, perfect!
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annewardell on

's OK Vikki - lions wouldn't eat a vegetarian! What fantastic experiences you're having and what great photos! :-) xxxxx

Tash on

AMAZEBALLS!! That is so cool...! You should be used to aggressive cats after living with yoda! Amazing what you have seen... sink it all in and keep that eating and drinking going!!

Sue on

Fantastic! Superb pics of the lioness!

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