Safari!!

Trip Start Jul 25, 2006
1
33
165
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Michelle finished her work last week, and on Thursday we left on safari with George and Sil.  There were some cock-ups (our "fixer" Bruno's fault) and we didn't see everything in quite the numbers we had hoped (except thousands and thousands of zebras and antelopes which we took to calling "little bastards" when ever we saw one and thought it might be a lion until getting closer and realizing our mistake.  I was hoping for some Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom lion on Thompson gazelle savagery, but no such luck.)  Overall, however, it was incredible.
 
On our first day we drove to Ngororo Crater where the animal life is very concentrated due to the confinement of the crater walls.  Our first animal sightings were baboons at the park entrance.  We got out to take some pictures (this was at the park office), and you guessed it, one took a swipe at me.  I had taken a photo, was walking back to the car, and heard Michelle yell "DJ!"  I jumped forward quickly and the baboon behind me swiped at the space where my leg had been a moment before.  Baboons - cool, funny, weird asses, but don't turn your back on them.  I'm beginning to empathize with Charlton Heston (bonus points if you get the reference.)  Shortly after entering the park I spotted a leopard crossing the road in front of us into the bushes.  I ended up becoming a pretty decent spotter for animals.
 
I suppose if anything should provoke hyperbole it would be a safari, but frankly, when talking about animals in the wild, I find it difficult.  Look at the photos, maybe they will do more justice than my words can.  Ngororo was amazing, as was the Serengeti.  I had another of those travel moments while driving across the Serengeti Plains.  One of those moments when where you are, what you are doing, and how amazing it is hits you out of the blue.  For me, it was driving across the plains, standing halfway out of the truck through the sunroof, the sky incredibly vast above.
 
Here is a list of some of the animals we saw: zebras (hundreds easily), Thomson gazelles (little bastards), dik-diks, topis, baboons, a leopard, elephants (two far too close, but so cool), wildebeests (thousands), bat faced foxes, hippos, monkeys, giraffes, warthogs, ostriches, and lions (four females, and one big ass, full maned majestic beast - not a slight against the women of course).
 
After a night in Ngororo, and a night in the Serengeti, we had a crazy cross country ride to get to Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano we planned to climb at night.  As you do.
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