Hung like an elephant

Trip Start Apr 10, 2013
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's a primordial fear dating back to the caveman era.  You will know what I mean when you feel it, said Achmed. Around 4 am this morning we did.  

That's when a lion decided to wander into our camp and let out a roar from a distance close enough to vibrate our entire tent.  It wasn't the roar that you hear on the MGM splash screen before a movie starts.  It was a territorial call that sounds more like the Trex in Jurassic Park.  Either way, Indira clinched onto me for the reminder of the night and there was no more sleep to be had.  Welcome to your safari is what I believe the lion might've been saying.  Maybe it was lost in translation but it came out somewhat more scary.  Primordial scary.

The three hour drive from Arusha to Tarangire left us shaken, not stirred.  There was some blacktop, but for the most part the Landcruiser suspension, and our internals got a hell of a workout.  The roads took us through some amazing African landscape consisting of a dusty Savannah dotted with Masai villages.  Large herds of goats and cows were herded around by kids in full tribal gear.  Women walked around with various bags, baskets and buckets perfectly balanced on their heads.  Visuals straight out of National Geographic.  As we passed through the Tarangire gates, both the flora and fauna changed and our game drive began.

The first big difference was the appearance of the baobab tree.  These giants definitely dominate the scenery here.  The second change was the replacement of giant herds of domesticated animals with wild game.  Wildebeest, warthogs, impalas, zebras, elephants, baboons were the most interactive while giraffes and ostriches made an appearance in the distance.

 We also went out for a night drive last night and a morning bush walk early today.  Nothing crazy to report on either one, but it was fun.  One thing I learned so far is that tracking animals in the bush requires playing with a lot of poop.
 
Some other random things one can pick up on a safari:

- Zebras are often standing paired up back to front resting their heads on each others back.  This is actually a very strategic stance as they are effectively watching each others back in this position.
- Tse Tse flies are a bitch.  They are particularly attracted to black and blue colors.  I had to make some adjustments to the wardrobe after learning that as their bites suck.  No sleeping sickness to report so far though, so I guess that's a good thing.
- Apparently whoever came up with the phrase "hung like a horse" had never seen an excited elephant before.


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