Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Three days of much deserved rest brings us to the eastern shores of Zanzibar to a small 6 room hotel. The water is clear blue and the sun relentless, the white beach sand fine as talc. How can we complain about our sun burn when it was snowing heavily back home. Fish and octopus grace the small menu with only one choice but the food is seemingly prepared by a chef and does not disappoint. Alas , the days pass too quickly and back to the reality of Dar es Salaam we go.
A volcanic crater over 14 km in diameter is the second half of our safari. Descending into the crater, you first see wildebeasts and the excitement begins. We drive thru herds of zebra and wildebeasts with a pack of hyenas in the not so far distance. One still has a large bone with meat as his meal and walks by our truck. Further down, our first lion sighting but they remain hidden in the swamp grass. We continue our drive encountering all the animals until we stop and our guide shows us a sleeping rhino in the distance. Not much to see but on our return trip, he is standing and is quite a sight. Two cheetahs are also seen, as are more ostrich, lots of zebra, water buffalo, flamingoes, wildebeasts, and after a bit, our two lionesses finally come out of hiding and provide us with quite a stunning view. Lunch time has us on the shores of a small lake protecting our food from birds that seem hungrier than us and zebra meandering nearby the parked vehicles. The safari ends too quickly but we leave with lots of pictures and an experience never to be forgotten.
We departed Arusha Saturday morning enroute for the first day of our Safari. Arrival at the main gate less than two hours later and it begins. There is just too much to say but suffice it to say, after 4 hours of driving thru the park, we were up close to many giraffe, elephants, warthogs, and lots of hippos. We also saw wildebeasts and zebras to name but a few. Our safari came to an end at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, our room overlooking the valley below, the infinity pool seemingly dropping off the edge of the earth. The supper with a nice bottle of wine and talking about our experiences capped off a most amazing first day.