Early Morning Hippos
Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
129Trip End Ongoing
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We've had lots of good conversations and laughs with Stanley this week - he has a great sense of humour, but because everything was very quiet on the animal front this morning, we spent most of the time chatting with him, talking about his family and life in Tanzania, and he was asking more about us and living in England.
We went to a pool where there were lots of hippos and watched them for a while, we saw some giraffe mating and various antelopes but mostly I just really enjoyed talking a lot with Stanley. When we got back we went into the lodge to get a cup of coffee - mum and dad were in there having a cup of tea, so we joined them.
We are relaxing now for a few hours, then we are going out again this afternoon. We wander around the grounds taking photos of a brilliant blue lizard, some birds and a couple of day bats that flew into and decided to roost in a tree right next to where we sat having a cup of coffee.
So, we've been out again this afternoon and saw some Eland, and the usual array of animals that surround us daily - we saw a Thompsons Gazelle which was actually born today - they are up on their feet and able to walk and run within a very short time of being born.
As we drive along it starts to rain, we all have our windows open and the jeep is filled with that earthy smell that comes with fresh rain hitting hot dry mud - a lovely smell. The rain brings with it a cooling breeze, which is most welcome. We saw a giant crocodile slip down the bank and into the river - apparently they don't like rain - which is kinda funny since they live in the water!
We go to another hippo pool where we are allowed to get out of the jeep and stand on the rocks above it to take some photographs, now the rain gets harder, mum and dad go back to the jeep, but me and John stay there watching the hippos squabble over space and yawning, they must be tired at this time of night because there is lots of yawning going on. The rain gets harder still - I have a small jacket which I hold over my camera to try and stop it from getting wet, so I'm now standing in the pouring rain trying to take photographs blindly under my jacket. The thunder starts and now we're standing in a storm, getting soaked through watching the hippos, eventually I fear that my camera may get damaged because the rain has pounded through my jacket and my hands are getting wet (along with everything else of course), but I assume as my hands are soaked, my camera must be too - so we hot foot it back to the jeep. Stanley isn't in the vehicle and after looking around we see him sheltering under a thatched picnic table - jokingly we beckon him to come back to the vehicle - he folds his arms and refuses to move - which makes us laugh. Soon the rain eases up enough for him to come back, so we're on the move again.
The zebras, wildebeest and gazelle love the rain, it makes them happy, they are all leaping about and chasing each other - it's because they know it will give them green juicy grass to graze on.
Its time to head back again and on the way back we see some lionesses and lion cubs feeding on a kill. Two of the lion cubs seem to have eaten their fill and are play fighting nearby, so cute, it doesn't seem to matter how many lions we see, I never tire of them - they are quite beautiful.
Tomorrow we move on.