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Safari Sisters “I do not want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” — Diane Ackerman

Safari sisters 2 - week 2

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 11 October 2018 | Views [235]

Safari sisters part 2 - week 2

So the blog was a good idea in theory but not so practical in reality, with patchy internet access and incredibly limited and unrealisable wifi, it has proven challenging to provide regular updates. At this stage I am guessing that everyone has lost interest or given up - which is understandable. Just in case anyone is still vaguely interested, here is our week two update. After a fantastic week in Rwanda, we boarded our Rwandan Air flight to Tanzania. Turns out Rwandan Air wasn’t as dodgy as we expected and we landed safely at Kilimanjaro airport and after getting photographed and fingerprinted, made it through customs where we caught a taxi in to Arusha.

After checking in to our hotel we ventured out to try and secure a Tanzanian SIM card for our devices. After 3 frustrating hours we left the phone store with only Lala’s phone working, Meki’s and Kepi’s were not....

The following morning we picked up our transport for the next 5 weeks, a Toyota landcruiser who we affectionately named ‘Wilma’. After stocking up on some supplies (mainly alcohol) and handing over a massive wod of cash - 10000 Tanzanian dollars is about 6 bucks - we headed out to our first camp spot at Zion camp in Tarangire National Park where we were greeted by Hilari the acting camp manager. Animal sightings in the park were prevalent including elephant, giraffe, warthog, zebra, klipspringer, ostrich, jackal, kudu, mongoose, turtle, vulture, wilder beast, impala, secretary bird, guinea fowl, bustard....and best of all two female lions, one even climbed a tree just for Meki. After two days in the park we headed on to Lake Manyara. Our accommodation at African Sunrise lodge and campsite had spectacular views overlooking the Rift Valley and we were waited on hand and foot by Melouw, our Masai friend! Game drive in the park included sightings of black giraffes as well as hundreds of baboons, one of which snuck in through the roof of our car and stole our bananas! 

Melouw also escorted us to a local Masai village where unfortunately for us they insisted in dressing us up in traditional Masai attire while we watched them perform local dances, tried their home made brew made from honey and aloe Vera roots (not too bad actually) and then suffered the painful ritual of them trying to sell us trinkets and other assorted items. After de-robing and escaping the village, we attempted to go fishing but were unfortunately accosted by the local wildlife management authority who pointed out we needed a license to fish and also that water buffaloes have taken a likely to tourist meat so probably not the best idea to go out on the water. 

After giving Melouw a lift in to the nearest town - Mtu Wa Mbu - and saying our goodbyes, we finally broke the shopping seal and all made some purchases at the local Masai markets. 

Our next stop was the much anticipated Ngorogoro cater! Once we got to the top of the crater rim we were not disappointed with the most breathtaking views and scenery ever. Our campsite was on the crater rim where we had zebra grazing all around us. If it wasn’t for the very noisy, annoying and messy other tourists it would have perfect. The drive in to the cater the next morning was also spectacular including being greeted by two female lions on entrance. The animal population was amazing with an abundance of various boks, zebra, wilder beast and elephants. We also saw hippo and buffalo and then another lion pride to finish of the day! 

After packing up our campsite the following morning we started making our way to Lake Eyasi. Our demented Nav Man who we have named Annabelle had a different idea though and took us through a obstacle course of hills and barely existent roads where we eventually ended up in someone’s coffee plantation, much to the amusement of the local village people. After retracing our steps and flagging down a local tour guide we were back on the right track and arrived at our destination. As required by the local management group, we were assigned a guide named Georgio who we quickly nicknamed Simba. The main purpose of our visit to Lake Eyasi was to meet the local Hadza or Hadzabe village. Simba met us bright and early the next morning to accompany us on the visit which turned out to be awesome and hilarious at the same time. When we turned up the young males of the tribe were sitting around a small fire and we were invited to join them. At first we thought they were smoking cigarettes but it turned out the were consuming copious amounts of gunja and were high as kits....although we gave them a few of our cigarettes there was no exchange back! After some time and many more joints by the boys we set off on a hunt with three of the young males. The main food source on the menu seemed to be these tiny little birds, probably finch size. We weren’t sure how the five small birds the boys caught were going to feed a village of about 40 people though....there was much excitement however when they came across a civet cat which the did manage to finally shoot after some help from Simba. They then returned triumphantly to the village where they promptly skinned the cat, the shooter adorned is head with its tail skin and the old men cooked and ate the cats gizzards. This time we were quite glad that they didn’t offer to share any with us! After meeting the chief and joining in on some celebratory dancing, Simba escorted us back to our campsite where we had a relaxing afternoon catching up on some washing and general reorganisation. That brings us to the end of week 2 so will sign off for now and attempt to get week 3 posted in the next little while.

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