12:32pm Tanzania time
It feels like all of the days are melting into each other now. I’ve been to so many places and seen so many animals it’s hard to remember what I saw and when. If it was today or yesterday.
What I did see today was more cheetah, three this time. A mother and her two cubs, though the cubs were so big they looked nearly full grown. There was a gazelle nearby and it looked like the mother was stalking it but right when she went to strike it saw her and she backed off.
I saw the lioness with her cubs again, still under the same bush. More elephants, a few golden jackals, some buffalo. Another giraffe family – mum, dad and baby. Plus several other giraffe and zebra, they’re everywhere!
Last night I was woken up by lions calling, mostly grunting to each other which was quite cool. Then today I saw two males whom George said would have been the ones we heard during the night. I also heard snuffling of some other animal around the tent but I’m not sure what.
There’s been talk last night and today about going to the Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow. It’d basically be going to see the crater itself, plus the animals of course. The only different ones you may see are flamingo and rhino. I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to go but it’s $291USD per car, so maybe about $60USD each. To get there would be about a 3 hour drive, then you can only stay for so long because we’d have to be back at the camp by 6:30pm at the absolute latest.
So I’m kind of thinking the money, plus the travel time, plus the limited time to be there… I might give it a miss and maybe next time it can be included in the travel plans with enough time to actually enjoy it.
A couple of interesting facts that George told us today. If you’re walking around and see a buffalo, drop to the ground and lay down because they won’t hurt you or stomp on you or anything that way, and then just roll away. If you come across a lion, you look it right in the eyes and slowly back away, about 10 metres and then run away as fast as you can. The Maasai used to carry a blanket and so what they would do is throw it on the ground and while the lion is checking that out, leg it in the other direction.
Another interesting thing is how accustomed all the animals are to vehicles. Lions, cheetah, they have no qualms about being close to a car. I saw some people having a bush breakfast and wondered whether they were ever attacked by animals. According to George, they’re not. The animals, though used to cars, aren’t so much used to people and willing fact run away from them (generally speaking, I suppose).
9:00pm Tanzania time
Well an interesting talk was had at lunch about going to the Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow. There were 8 who wanted to go but only 7 can fit in the biggest car. Kevin was very diplomatic about it and tried to suggest we somehow work that out, like maybe someone who had been before, maybe didn’t need to go again. But the three who had been stubbornly said they definitely wanted to go and Jenny (who had been in the small car) and hasn’t been before, by default got left out from the trip. I piped up and said that’s a shame because she’s never been and it didn’t seem fair that she should miss out when there were others who had been before.
Anyway, it didn’t seem to make a different. I think one lady felt bad. She kept making comments like “she could sit on the car fridge for the trip”, and “well if everyone went we wouldn’t be having this problem”. Shows a great level of maturity there, but what can you do. Group dynamics are interesting…
For our group who are staying behind I suggested maybe we do something a bit special too like have a bush breakfast. So that’s what we’re going to do. We’ll have an early start with an early game drive at about 6am, then stop about 8am for breakfast which should be lovely.
Back to this afternoon, there was another storm and some heavy rain which made the game drive this afternoon a bit of fun, slipping and sliding on all the mud.
We saw heaps and heaps of dik-diks, they are such cute little things! Plus a few jackals, lovebirds, Egyptian geese, hippos and I’m sure lots more that I can’t remember.