6:45am Tanzania time
First night sleeping in a tent over here and gosh it was an experience. I woke up after sleeping only about 1.5 hours, busting to go to the loo but could hear something brushing up against the tent.
Of course my mind went straight to hyaena which terrified me, even though the guides say we’re safe in the tents. As I kept listening though, I worked out it was a zebra eating grass going by the vocalisations it made, and then it did a wee outside the tent. It didn’t seem too fussed by the lions roaring in the distance so I figured that was good enough for me too. So I went and did a wee too!
I also woke up later seeing two buffalo walking past my tent eating grass. I’d left the main tent flap open so I could see outside. They were so close I could hear them chew and swallow!
I could also hear lions roaring on and off all night, I still can actually. And there were zebra and hyaena carrying on like pork chops all night as well.
2:27pm Tanzania time
Breakfast wasn’t too bad. I had a small bowl of cereal followed by some veggies, baked beans and toast.
The morning’s drive wasn’t too bad. We left the Serengeti Central Wilderness Camp to make our way to the Ndutu Wilderness Camp.
We saw more zebra, wildebeest and lots of Thompson’s gazelle. Lots of bustards too which was cool, they are so huge!
We had to make a couple of stops along the way to see if anyone had a doctor available who could attend one of the ladies. She may have a UTI the poor thing, that would be awful having that and going for long drives a couple of times a day.
We just had our lunch break which was pretty good. We’re at the Ndutu Wilderness Camp now and I had potatoes, carrots, salad and a slice of vegetarian pizza which was yummy. I followed it up with a cup of tea, they only had powdered milk which I was a bit dubious about but wasn’t actually all that bad.
Now I’m just having a bit of a rest. We head out again at 4pm for another drive for a couple of hours.
I forgot to mention, the highlight from this morning, we were driving through a dried up lake, I can’t remember it’s name, and saw 4 young male lions, probably brothers, just chilling having a nap under a small tree. Plus there was also a dead animal, a hippo I think, and there were a couple of vultures having a go at it and then having a fight. That was pretty cool to see, although sad about the dead animal. And there were baby gazelle, maybe a week old. It was so tiny and cute, just like a little fluff ball with legs, and skinny little legs at that!
The other thing I noticed today is how warm it was, how hot the sun was on the skin. I didn’t have sunscreen on. I put it on but only after I’d been out in the sun for quite a while and it was starting to feel like the burning South Australia heat. I was thinking I’d be quite sunburnt but so far it doesn’t look like it touched me. We’ll see how it progresses through the night and in the morning.
Another observation. All the workers at the camps and all the drivers of every safari vehicle I’ve seen, have all been male. In the hotels there were a couple of females, but not here. Very interesting. I wonder what the females do, if it’s like our old days back home where they’re mostly housewives or something.
9:04pm Tanzania time
My watch died this afternoon so I was nearly late for the afternoon safari.
It was so good. We saw giraffe, wildebeest and a few others that are becoming almost standard sightings these days!
“These days” – it’s only the beginning!
Anyway, the best thing this afternoon was the lioness with her five cubs under a tree. They were just laying there napping. Then woke up and she started grooming them and they were yawning and stretching and it was just so gorgeous. George reckoned the cubs would have been about 2 weeks old and probably wouldn’t have even opened their eyes yet.
The lioness left her cubs which was interested. Normally a lioness wouldn’t do that because it leaves them very vulnerable to predation. George said the only time she’d normally leave them is if she was injured and went to get the father lion. So what I find interesting is that she much have had some idea about humans and their intentions, because she did leave them alone while heaps of humans were around. Either that or she was confident that her visibility, scent, whatever, was good enough that she’d spot a predator before they could kill her cubs.
Another thing I saw which I hadn’t seen yet was a snake. It was a python in a tree. Very hard to spot, but very cool.
There were a few rain clouds coming over in the afternoon and I also reckon I may have gotten a few good landscape shots. The land is amazing. It’s practically barren in one part, lush marsh grass in another, trees elsewhere and bush next. It’s just amazing.
There was also rain at the camp. Quite a lot but fortunately not enough that we got drowned. It was still rather nice, a bit of a cool change after such a warm, sunny day.
Speaking of, there are a couple of places where I’m mildly pink but it doesn’t look too bad. So hopefully it’ll tan easily. Fingers crossed.
Dinner tonight was lovely. There was some potato and onion dish with ginger veg, mushroom sauce and salad. The starter was a celery soup which I was a bit dubious about at first but it was really nasty. That was followed up with an orange cake with chocolate sauce.
All up a very good day indeed.