We’re singing in the rain …

Everyone was up and raring to go smack on time … breakfast was excellent … and then we were off in four landrovers. The morning was cool and fresh … my landrover sang happy birthday to Barney as we set out and then suddenly there was a hippo in a pool on one side, a giraffe on the other … and we hadn’t even got to the gate into the park … and then … LIONS!!

Two lions lounging not far from the road to our amazement … and then from the bushes came another, with two cubs! We spent quite some time sitting, watching them and taking loads of pictures … we could almost have come home then and I would have been happy. However, I am glad we didn’t …

Everyone was really excited and buoyed by seeing the lions so early …

At the park gate I had to write out a long form, with names and passport numbers for everyone … and by the time I was through the rain had started! We saw quite a few animals and then the rain was too hard so we retreated to some cover. It abated a little so we set out again and had the most amazing elephant experiences … we encountered five family groups during the morning and at one point we were parked within a few metres of the group featured in the photo … so close that one unfurled it’s trunk at one point and we thought it was going to come inside the landrover … to hear them communicate with a low rumble that you could feel, not just hear from a few metres away was one that live with me for a long time … you can make out the rain on the photos but it was well worth getting soaked for … magical experience …

All of this was in the rain which just wouldn’t relent … and it got heavy again so we returned to the cover … half an hour later it was still coming down so we decided an early lunch might give it time to brighten up. We stopped in a nice covered area and ate with impala, giraffe and elephant not too far away.

We visited a Baobab tree that is well over 200 years old which led to lots of students climbing it … to let you into a secret, there was a ladder up to the first level …

After lunch it started to warm up and by half way they the afternoon we had to don the sun cream and sat there steaming our wet clothes … a great afternoon with loads more animals, and even three more lions! Two lazing in a tree with the third on the ground only half a kilometre from their last kill that we had passed smothered with a horde of vultures … Another great spot was a family group of hippo in a large pool … we spent some time just watching them eat, and play … and fight.

Looking across the pool at two of the jeeps with two hippo heads in the water

On route in the jeeps … Patrick is the company owner providing the safari

We saw lots of zebra as well as impala, wildebeast, buffalo etc

just had to include this next one as it really sets the scene for our afternoon … and the following one is just great (Miss Barnes photographic credit)

I could include loads more of animals, but that’s probably enough for now … the game drive ended after nearly 12 hours, sunny and warm … but with worn out students, and staff!

And then we had an additional surprise … as I’ve already said it’s Barneys birthday today and Patrick, the safari company owner, a really genuine nice guy (I have his card if you want to book a safari anywhere in Tanzania at any point) had arranged for a cake for Barney … Barney kept Patrick and his drivers entertained on the drive yesterday as he has tried to learn as much Swahili as possible and today he continued the same … tending to gravitate to the adults, including Fred and myself when we took a break and his interest in the tribal system in Tanzania and his engaging manner led them to want to celebrate … so at dinner tonight we had another cake … and Barney was very pleased … he ate a lot of pieces of cake so I am hoping he will be ok during the night.

Tonight we have decided that it will be ‘own rooms’ at 9.30 lights out at 10.00 because tomorrow we start for the Masai village at 06.15, returning for breakfast at 8 and then in the road to Dar at 9am … it doesn’t seem long in the village … so I will evaluate the expense etc for 2021 as it’s the first time I will have had the experience … we are told we have a chance to milk a cow and drink fresh milk … we’ll have to see what the students think afterwards …

Right I’m hoping to get the photos uploaded for you as early as possible as I feel like I could do with about a weeks sleep … night all …

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