It’s around 5:20 AM. Coffee was brought to me. I hardly had any sleep. My room is all open. There is a view looking at the Rufiji River. The river is full of hippos and crocs. There are no doors to lock and windows to open. The hippos come out of the water at night to forage. Some hippos have been foraging from the river bank up to my terrace and room. They have been grunting all night. Further, the bugs are all over. Some of them have gotten into my mosquito net. When you get out of bed, the bugs are all over everything. I saw a beetle crawling up my power cord to my MacBook Pro. Last night I looked up to the canopy of my bed, with the mosquito net draped around the bed, and saw beetles on the inside part of the canopy. I am so looking forward to feeling the cold and crisp air of NYC, seeing my beautiful wife and sleeping in my own bed. Our morning game drive is at six. If it is like the previous afternoon, we will have had a huge success.
Our morning game drive started at six. The light was a little bit earlier here than up north. We drove and saw a baby giraffe with the umbilical cord still attached. As soon as we pulled up, the mother made sure she was close to her baby. The driver told us the baby was less than two weeks old. We then drove on and came upon a large pond or small lake. There were hippos and birds all over. One of the few places I like taking bird pictures is in Africa. Many of the birds are so unique and colorful. All the hippos were in the water and some of them started to play with each other by opening up theirs mouths and butting heads. There were some dead trees upright in the water. Created some beautiful images of the hippos, birds and barren trees in the water. We also saw some very large crocs and a baby croc. We took pictures of one large croc eating a large fish and some crocs were going into the water. The reflection of crocs with the water was beautiful. There were also quite a few baboons running across the landscape. Some of them were carrying their babies either under them or on top like riding a horse.
We then spotted a family of lions resting in the shade. There were three adult females, three cubs that were around two months old and two older cubs that were were around nine months old. They were just laying around sleeping. We decided to mark their spot and return after breakfast. Our driver set up breakfast. Coffee, cereal, muffins and egg sandwiches were served. As we were eating we saw the group of lions walking. We all stopped eating, grabbed our cameras and boarded the Land Rover. The cubs and other females were following one large female. As they walked, the cubs were playing with each other and the other lions. What a treat to be able to see this in their natural environment. We followed the group for quite some time until they disappeared in shrubs. This Park is different than the others. You are permitted to go off road. We also went off road in the other parks. Our drivers ignored the rules for our enjoyment.
After the experience with the lions, we returned to our breakfast. Fortunately baboons and monkeys had not trashed the place. We then turn towards Camp. I can tell you that it is “Africa Hot”. The late morning and afternoon heat is very intense and humid. Speaking about humidity, Sean told me that if you go to the Congo and wash your clothes, they never fully dry. The other side of Lake Tanganyika is the Congo. I saw it from my view point when we were in Mahale. This morning, when I put on my socks, that were laundered by the Camp, they were damp. The weather creates a three shower day. One after the first game driver, one before the second game drive and one when you return from the second game drive.
We arrived in Camp around 11:30. I was soaked but the soaking was well worth the experience. I met Will at 12:30 for some Lightroom work. Will is so talented. I hope to learn and know as much as him one day. Lunch was served at one. Great salads, breads and meat.
We are all meeting at four for afternoon tea and then it’s off for the afternoon drive. This Park seems to be loaded with wildlife. I have avoided taking a nap. Hopefully I will be able to sleep through the hippo serenade.
Our afternoon drive was the first time I have been disappointed with the African Bush. The beauty and stunning aura of the Bush will never disappoint me. I could drive around for hours without seeing any wildlife. We spotted some zebras,giraffes and buffalo but that’s about it. I guess I am becoming spoiled. Well, that’s nature.
Dinner is at eight and I have decided to take my third shower after dinner.