Tanzania Day 15

Hi Everyone

Finally got a half way decent nights sleep. After dinner, I went back to my room, took a nice cold shower, moved my fan to inside the mosquito net and turned own my iPad to read myself to sleep. The light from the iPad started to attract small bugs that I did not notice nor see in the bed and mosquito net. Eventually it became annoying. What I did was to read a while, turn off the light from the iPad, then wait awhile, then turn the light back on. I consistently did this to avoid the build up of bugs. Needless to say, after a few times, I fell asleep.

Was, of course, woken up at five with my hot Tanzanian coffee. Always pressed. We all met in the reception and dining area at six and boarded our three boats. The boats were motorized and each had three rows of two seats each. Off we went down the Rufiji River. There were hippos going into the water. Hippos are quite defenseless when they get out of the water to forage at night. They are slow and have a limited means to defend themselves. When hippos go under water, they come up for air and the first thing they do is spray out the water that collected in their lungs. We tried to time the hippos surfacing and then taking pictures of the spray. A hard shot to take and deliver. We then drove down the Rufiji and saw more hippos, beautiful birds and a croc sliding and crawling into the water. Sean, who was the captain of my boat, pulled over to some rocks, tied the boat up and we all got out to stretch our legs and use the Bush bathroom. He gave a fishing rod to one of the women and she caught a big tiger fish. Has lots of large and sharp teeth. Sean had ideas for this fish. We then traveled further down stream and saw a grassy sand bar. The three boats stopped there and we all disembarked. Will pulled out some tall grass and Sean made a float with the long grass and attached it to the dead fish. We saw a beautiful eagle sitting on a long branch watching us. The idea is to put the fish in the river and entice the eagle to fly down and pick the fish up and fly back. We tried this maneuver numerous times floating the fish past the eagle, but the eagle would not budge. Will said these eagles have great vision and it appeared he or she was watching us. Shortly thereafter, another eagle arrived and perched next to the first eagle. Will then picked up the fish and put it on a large rock on the same side of the river that the eagles were on. The second eagle jumped down and flew to a closer tree. The first eagle followed and then one of the eagles jumped to a still closer branch. Then it happened. The closer eagle flew and landed on the fish. The eagle started to eat the fish but did not try to pick it up and fly with it. Our three boats were all around this scene clicking away. Eventually, the eagle took off without the fish. We made our way to a rocky outcropping to have breakfast. Our usual choices were spread out on the rocks and we were served hot coffee. The temperature was rising and my clothing was getting soaked. After breakfast we drove back to our Camp. The high speed breeze was so refreshing.

Of course I immediately took my first cold shower of the day and then walked over to the main area for lunch. Before lunch I took a nice cool swim in the pool. Got my core body temperature temporarily down. Lunch was a delicious mix of salads. I scheduled a Lightroom session with Sean at four. My photography has gotten better and better as the days have worn on. I have concentrated on my composition and image composure. Sean and Will are great wildlife photographers and I have learned so much from them and their perspective. I love and enjoy all aspects of photography but my favorite is becoming wildlife photography.

At 4:30 we left for our afternoon drive. Will was in my vehicle leading the way. Of course we spotted some giraffes. This Park has such beautiful and majestic giraffes.

We then spotted some beautiful guinea hens and birds. It was then onto a small lake where crocs, hippos and birds were plentiful. We stayed at the lake to watch the sunset and the colors change. The sky turned orange and red as we composed some beautiful images. Will spotted the skull of a croc and we took some unique pictures of the skull with the colors reflecting through. We eventually began our drive back to Camp in darkness. Will stood up with a flashlight looking for wildlife as we drove back in the darkness. We spotted a huge hippo grazing and there were so many fireflies. He then stopped the vehicle right before Camp, got out and came back with a huge branch from a bush. On the bush was the biggest chameleon I have ever seen. The chameleon was almost the same color as the leaves and was the size of a small marine iguana. This drive is just one example of why I love the African Bush so much. My mind empties whenever I am here. I absorb the beauty of what is around me

Tomorrow is our last full day at this our final Camp. Our morning drive, like always, starts at six and we have an afternoon boat ride to see the sunset on the water.

The bugs are out in force tonight. I turned my computer on to download pictures and had to shut it off since the light was attracting so many bugs. I just sprayed myself with bug repellent and my iPad as well as my bed. Wish me luck sleeping tonight