August 22, 2011

Off to the Serengeti

Filed under: Trips,Uganda — pearsey @ 7:24 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Awoke today to a great sunrise and plenty of birds on the shores of the lake snapping up the abundance of insects. Packed up our tents and sleeping gear, packed the truck and headed off to take a quick look round Musoma. We didn’t have long, so by the time we found a bank ATM that worked and I had checked up some flights on the slow interent, time was pretty much up. It was already fairly warm, so it didn’t worry me too much that I was in the air conditioned internet cafe for a bit longer than I thought! It was good taking a few moments to sit back and watch the city move by. Had a real quick walk through a market, it was interesting, but hard to look around when all the stall owners are trying to sell you something.
Just on the outskirts of Musoma we stopped at a little shop. Prices were pretty high compared to the rest of the stuff in Tanzania, but good to have some ice cream! The kids saw our truck and just came running, looking for anything we would give them. They loved lollies, but giving lollies to them was bad for them so they missed out!

Finally though, made it to the west Ndabaka gate to enter the Serengeti National Park. Stopped for lunch and took it in turns on monkey watch – scaring the monkeys away from the food and vans because they’d steal anything. If they got too close, the locals would throw rocks at them. Sounds a bit extreme, but it had to be done. They didn’t steal anything from us, but from another truck they did. A quick chase ensured the stolen goods were returned!

As we continued towards our campsite, we kept spotting heaps of animals. We’d get pretty excited and Chris our obliging truck driver would stop when we did. Eventually though our tour leader and Chris got sick of stopping – we’d be setting our tents up in the dark if we kept stopping and besides – these were just the side show, not the main event. Meaning as good as we though it was, there was more and better to come! A few people got excited when they saw some hippos – I’m like hippos… ah, seen heaps of them. Some of our group were going hot air ballooning early next morning and when I heard the time they had to get up, I was ok with not going ballooning.

We did see the river where the wilderbeast cross when the migrate. It was half empty but when the wilderbeast cross it is full and apparently many of them don’t actually make it. There’s also the crocs they have to contend with as well meaning the crossing is fairly dangerous.

The wilderbeast in the serengti at this time of year didn’t make the migration for some reason. They could be the older animals, or could have been too weak to make the trip. Unfortunately for these animals, there is also not alot of food in this area of the Serengeti at this time of year – hence why they migrate. All the ones we saw were in pretty poor condition. In fact, even the lions we saw were all pretty thin as well, not sure why, plenty of wilderbeast to eat! I guess not much meat on them though…

Saw some black giraffes. Didn’t even know there were different types of giraffes, but apparently there are – I saw them with my own eyes!

The elephants below were in a herd. There was one bull and a few older females. Our tour guide Julius was pretty helpful and was telling us all about the animals. The story with these elephants – it was pretty funny… the poor bull had 3 females around him and as the bull walked away unsatisfied, Julius says – “It’s not only us men who have trouble with the women”.

Got to the campsite a bit later than planned, but we were first there so we got the best site and our cook got the best area to cook in. We weren’t allowed to keep any food in our tents because the hyenas would come and attack and if we walked to the shower block at night we were to go in pairs. We were all a bit skeptical, but after a couple of us spotted some hyenas not far from the shower block, we took a bit more notice!


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