Safari: Day 4 – Off To A Kill

Wed. 10th July 2013

Paws off my mealWe have one last morning game viewing in the Serengeti and hope to see a kill and a male lion. We begin by seeing warthogs and zebras as well as the usual antelopes. However our driver seems to be a man on a mission and not keen on stopping long anywhere. We soon found out why as we see a row of vehicles ahead stopped on the track by a bush. We waited patiently for our turn to see what is in sight. There is a Park Ranger parked close by to ensure the rule of each vehicle moving on after 5 minutes in a prime position is adhered to.

Unsuspecting ZebraOne of the zebras we had seen nearby had not been so lucky and was now being devoured by a male lion. The female lions were close waiting their turn. I am not sure I agree with the lion hierarchy. The females catch the food and let the male have first munch, waiting patiently for their turn to eat. Once the lions have fed it is the turn of the vultures and hyenas. We waited a while once the lions had moved on but no vultures or hyenas turned up so we moved on too.

Cute baby hippoThe hippo pool was our next stop and we knew when we were close because it stank. The were about fifty of the beasts huddled together in the poo infested water. This little baby was not keen on joining the grown ups and stayed on the rocky bank. Just around the corner was a crocodile sunning itself well away from the mass of hippos. There were about a dozen other vehicles and their occupants roaming around. We were allowed out of the vehicles for a short walk around and essential use of the ladies, well some of us gave up queuing and went in the gents which as ever had no queue.

Watchful eyeBefore leaving the park we saw yet more lions including an old fella, so our wish list was complete. We then retraced our steps to the exit of Serengeti and the entrance of Ngorongoro Park where we had lunch and again waited for the paperwork to be completed. I walked up to the viewpoint to pass the time and came down a different route almost getting lost! A cheer went up when the paperwork was confirmed to be in order and we were allowed to go in.

Ready for dinnerThere is only one park owned campsite which is on the rim of the crater and so our crew go ahead to get a good location for our tents and space in the dining area for us to eat later. There was also a rush for the power sockets to recharge cameras, phones and our faithful laptop. It was still hot when we arrived and were not sure why it was so important to get a table inside. Once the sun went down we knew why, as it turned very very cold. OK, so I expect Dave and Steve are colder! We were also grateful for the blankets provided.

Sneaking into campWhilst we waited for dinner news came of an elephant in the camp and it was just behind the dining area but we had been warned not to get too close and to remember that it is not tame. After dinner we sat around a campfire lit by our chef and were the envy of other campers, who tried to gate crash our fire, but with fifteen of us we had it surrounded. It was freezing cold here, so I cannot imagine how cold Dave and Steve were at the higher altitude on Kilimanjaro. Thanks to Ned and Paula we were kept warm with apple brandy and whiskey.

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