3:15pm Tanzania time
I finally made it to the Serengeti. Right now I’m sitting outside my tent, looking out over the Serengeti as I write this.
This morning was another early one. I managed to do the timezone conversion on my phone and set the alarm for 5am.
I called Dad about 10 minutes after waking up; I figured it would be the only chance I got to speak to him for nearly a week. So that was good. Not that I really had much to report at that point. But it was still good to check in.
Breakfast at the hotel was lovely, though a bit rushed as we had to get a bus to the Arusha airport. There was nothing really unusual at breakfast, though there was a “morning chocolate” that I tried and that was ok. It was like some sort of odd cake-like substance coated in a thin layer of chocolate.
The plane we got was a 12 seater Cessna type plane, and we took off from the Arusha airport, went somewhere to pick up two people and then drop them off elsewhere, then finally landed in Seronera. With the exception of Arusha, all airports had dirt, or a stone/gravel runway which made for interesting take off and landing!
I did better than I thought I would in the little plane. The height gave me the willies a bit, but it was actually quite stable so I felt pretty comfy in it after a bit. Landing was an experience. It was like a sharp turn and dive to the runway. And it was so fast! You don’t get that kind of an impression from the big planes at all.
Anyway, then we met up with our drivers, who will be the same guys for the whole time we’re in the Serengeti which is nice.
We did a game drive before heading to the campsite. It was just absolutely incredible. The number of animals there were just blew my mind. Wildebeest everywhere, giraffe, zebra, gazelles, elephants, even a leopard in a tree. My camera battery ran out and I’ve taken nearly 1GB of pictures and video since arriving already.
8:59pm Tanzania time
And so now I only have room for about 10 more pictures on my 1GB memory card. That’s after I downgraded the pictures and video quality. I’ll still be able to print pictures up to A3 size and the videos are HD so that should still be ok.
The first drive we did before lunch, I think my favourite part was the elephants having a mud bath. It was so amazing to see, and to be so close!
Lunch wasn’t too bad, there was a vegetarian soup – gazpacho – and I had that with a slice of bread that was almost what I would call a cinnamon scroll. That was quite tasty.
The second drive we did, the animals weren’t quite so prolific but we did get to see a lioness up close. She walked right in front of the car which was just magic. We also saw more wildebeest and zebra, plus elephants and giraffe. But we actually started noticing more of the birds, and some of them are pretty cool.
I had my first bush shower when we got back. I was a bit concerned if the water would last long enough but Carole advised me to turn it on, get all wet, turn it off and lather up with soap and then turn it on again to rinse off. It seemed to work well, I’m still mildly concerned about how well I’ll be able to wash my hair but I suppose that’s all part of the experience.
For dinner we had a three course meal. Veg soup, followed by a curry chicken, rice and veg meal and then some kind of mousse dessert thing. I’m not really sure what it was. It was all yummy though. The meat in the curry, the chicken, it also included the feet and I got one of those… It was fine, just not much meat on it.
Some observations I’ve made so far. I haven’t seen any Asians yet. Apparently they do come over, but in late November or something. Also I really want to touch George’s hair, he’s our guide, to see what it feels like. Weird, I know.