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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 take two - week 4

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 22 October 2018 | Views [107]

Safari sisters 2 - week 4

So after surviving the sandstorm (barely) we made our way to find some solace at a resort on the shores of Lake Malawi at Kandee Bay. Not able to stay in our tents - as Lala no longer had one - we splurged on a beach Banda for the three of us. Lovely spot and the water looked amazing although none of us were game to dip even our toes in the water due to fear of the infamous Biharzia worms - microscopic worms that are in the water and burrow under your skin and make you very ill! Although seeing most of the shower water in Malawi is pumped from the lake we all probably have it anyway. The menu at the place was quite extensive and we lashed out and shared some pizzas....although Lala’s didn’t stay down for very long and she spent the night throwing up! The next day we ventured out for some shopping at the local markets, bartering our way through some choice purchases. We even commissioned a self designed Safari Sisters T-shirt each from Donald the local T-shirt man (who is also studying to be an accountant). Meki and Kepi enjoyed another fine night of dinner in the restaurant while Lala resigned herself to two minute noodles which she brought along from Oz just in case. After a good nights sleep we attempted to pay our bill via EFTPOS...which, after a walk along the beach to apparently get better reception, we were informed it wasn’t working, probably as the power was out! We then picked up Donald from the front gate, made our way to his place and picked up our designer T-shirts - which actually weren’t that bad, ignoring the spelling mistakes! After driving to the nearest big town to pay our bill at the local bank and to pick up some Biharzia medication from the chemist just in case - we headed started to make our way back towards Tanzania! Drove as far as we could and stayed at a hotel near the border in the same town as last time when we crossed over. Couldn’t get I. To the same place as last time, from what we could tell they couldn’t be bothered cleaning the rooms for us, so checked in to another place down the road which turned out to be the local sports bar as well. After another lost in translation meal of dried goat scraps and crucified fish , we tried to get some sleep, which was basically impossible with all the noise from the bar. Next morning it was off to do our border crossing back in to Tanzania, which was much easier this time round and only took about 45mins and back to Kisalanza lodge for a night of luxury at ‘The Stables’ before heading back in to Iringa to pick up a replacement tent for Lala and then making the trek to Ruhua National Park for some more animal sittings and fingers crossed a leopard! 

So after arriving at the park and sorting out our entrance fees we arrived at our campsite happy to find we had it all to ourselves. After setting up and starting a fire we enjoyed a couple of cold beverages while watching elephants graze in the creek in front of our tents! After cooking ourselves some dinner and a few more drinks we headed to bed early ready for an early morning game drive tomorrow.

We awoke bright and early and headed out in search of animals in particular our elusive leopard! After getting up close and personal with a number of animals including elephants, buffalo, hippo, kudu, impala, zebra and giraffe we were just about to call it quits and head back to the camp for lunch when we ran in to another safari truck who told us about a leopard sitting and asked if we wanted to follow him. Of course we accepted and sped off after him. After quite a drive, we arrived to see a impala hanging from the branches of a tree. We followed the vehicle a small way off the road and came across a beautiful leopard sitting at the base of the tree recovering from its kill. What an amazingly beautiful creature it was. We sat and watched her for a while and then attempted to follow the other vehicle to get a little closer...not the best plan as our car wasn’t quite as big as there’s and we ended up bottoming out in a river bed and nearly rolling the car on top of the leopard. Luckily none of us fell out although Lala did lose her hat out the window! After a pretty hairy 5 mins when we thought we were stuck indefinitely we managed to get ourselves out although the leopard had walked of in disgust at this point. Lala did seriously consider for jumping out of the car to retrieve her hat but common sense prevailed and she let it go. With adrenaline levels still high we returned to camp for some lunch and to calm down before heading back out later in the afternoon. When arriving back at camp there was the cutest giraffe hanging out right beside our toilet block which was pretty amazing. He kept looking at us like ‘what are you doing at my campsite’....was pretty special. The afternoon game drive was good but couldn’t quite live up to the mornings excitement with the leopard. We did come across a hyena on the drive in to our campsite which was pretty cool though! After another very nice camp dinner we were joined at our camp fire by a family who were doing a self drive holiday through Africa with their two kids. I think the Dad - who was from Australia but lived in Zambia now - was a bit starved for conversation as he hung out this us till midnight when we eventually had to tell him to leave as we needed to go to bed. 

We awoke the next day reading to head out on what would likely be our last game drive for this trip only to discover our trusty vehicle ‘Wilma’ had a flat battery. After calling the hire company and a local guy from the National Park turning up to jump start us, we were on our way. The highlight of this drive had to be the lion pride with baby cubs that we came across - after again getting some assistance from one of the other professional game drivers. The spot was conveniently marked by some toilet paper hanging from a tree. It was an incredible way to finish our stay in the park and we felt so privileged to get so close to these amazing animals. Really wanted to take one of the babies home with us they were just so cute! That brings us to the end of week 4 with two more weeks to go on the big adventure!

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