Thursday, 30 June 2016

Day 15: Safari!

Leaving behind the friends we made in the village was hard. But the distraction of looking forward to safari made it a little easier. 

Two hour's drive took us to Tarangire National Park. The first few animals we encountered were feathered. These included an eagle and, less appealingly, a large number of watchful vultures. But, before long, we came across a small herd of impala, half a dozen languid giraffes, and a watering hole for wildebeests and zebras. They seemed confident that no predators were nearby and were completely at ease while waiting and drinking. 

Then we went looking for the elephants, for which Tarangire is famous; but, before we found any, we came across a sleeping boa constrictor bloated by the meal that it was still digesting. 

Although we were hungry for lunch by this time, our next encounter with wildlife made lunch worth waiting for. We parked our safari vehicles within a few metres of a herd of elephants, including a calf still not competent at pulling plants out of the ground but very good at nursing and stealing plants from the grasp of its mother's trunk. 

During our late lunch, we took care not to allow the monkeys to steal any of our food and noticed that some of the other safari groups were less fortunate. 

Afternoon sightings included a kingfisher bird and two enormous monitor lizards. We left Tarangire early enough to allow time to shop at the Masai market before going onto our lodge. 

Marianne is an experienced bargainer, but newcomer Frankie Song's coldblooded ruthlessness also won admiration. 

At the Twiga Lodge, some of us enjoyed hot showers; and we all enjoyed dinner and the thought of a second day of safari tomorrow in the legendary Ngorongoro Crater.

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