Friday, 12 March 2010

Safari - Day three ....

19th February ... little, large and all sizes inbetween!

Woke to heavy rain following a night of it with thunder and lightening. Not sure we would be going anywhere because of weather and we were awake before our 5:30am call however, call came and we duly made our way to our vehicle at appointed time. Matt and Anie had decided to stay behind and have a relaxing morning so it was just me, Jackie and Salum. First problem hit us immediately - lol! Vehicle didn't want to start. It didn't like the damp or the cold and yes, it was cold ... ish! Salum decided it needed a push so big, tough Jackie offers help! Now, you've seen the size of the vehicle and it was parked on a slope, facing downhill with a bit of a drop over an edge! There's Jackie, stood in front of vehicle and Salum at the side, both trying to push this blooming thing - uphill - to get it started. There's me, not quite believing what I'm seeing and killing myself laughing until vehicle starts rolling forward and threatening to flatten Jackie and push her over the edge with vehicle following close behind ... ooops! Fortunately Salum managed to put brake on before disaster hit and decided to go find some of his colleagues to give a push. 15 minutes and 3 strong guys later we had the vehicle fired up and away we went.

Didn't get very far before Salum was whooping, punching his fists in the air and telling us we were 'very lucky ladies'! No idea what he was on about as we'd only got to bottom of camp road in the area of Terminal 5 and the usual occupants of the airstrip - impala and one solitary wildebeest.

Then we saw them!

Wild dogs!
It was only the previous evening that Salum had told us we would be lucky if we saw any as they were now an endangered species and here was a pack of 13 - adults and pups, stalking the impala on the airstrip. The next half hour was spent with us stalking the dogs, stalking the impala, which ran towards the camp, until zebra, with young, turned the tables and started to chase the dogs. Amazing sight all told and right on the camp doorstep!

Wrapping ourselves up in Masai Shuka, to protect against the cold, we continued with the drive. 

We hadn't gone far when the vehicle stopped again but this time it was for an army!  Can't remember what kind of ant they are but the Tanzanian army was named after them because of their ferocity ... and they were very large - a good ½ inch long!    Every one of them was carrying a termite and Salum told us that if you came upon an army like this then it should be allowed to pass and we'd have luck!  Just how much luck we were to have we were to find out very soon ... and will be the subject of the next post!

I loved the shape of this tree.  Salum did say what it was but I've forgotten and didn't have my notebook with me - doh!

Another rare sighting that made Salum a happy man ... side-striped jackal.  A small family pack of half a dozen.

A better part of a track that had become a victim of the overnight and morning rain.  As we approached eagle-eyed Salum spotted something (that man had eyes in back of proverbial) and stopped dead!

Just as well he did otherwise this little fellow wouldn't have survived to tell the tale .... a terrapin!  He came out of a mud pool that had accumulated in a tyre track.

I loved the views this particular morning.  The rains were still around and cloud was low but here it was starting to lift and I loved the way the Beho Beho Hills started to poke through.

A termite mound. 
These mounds were huge and some were built next to trees and the tops intertwined with lower branches.  This one must have been in the region of 10 foot (3m) tall.

Nearly ran over this little fellow on the camp road.

... and a squirrel!  Not quite as we know them but these were in the camp and there were several building nests in the roof.  We'd been warned not to leave things laying around in the bathroom (like our toiletries) but to put them in wooden boxes supplied 'cos the squirrels came in and ate them - lol!!

We had a brilliant morning and the drive was as good as any funfair ride, fording rivers, mudslides and even having to divert because of impassable tracks - a proper 4-wheel driving experience.  However that was nothing to what we found halfway through the drive .....

Thanks for dropping by .....


My'scardcorner said...

Fantastic pics Pam

Sue said...

Great keep it comming.

bettyl said...

Those are some terrific shots! Looks like you had a wonderful time!