Thursday, November 21, 2019

2019 06 Tanzania Day Twelve

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Our group was eager and early risers once again so we are up at 4:45 a.m., drinking tea at 5:15 a.m. and at the jeep to greet Festo at 6:00 a.m.

We were cold every morning on the ride out

We have a mission today: he has been told of a three day old elephant kill by a pride of lions. We want to find that spot.

Here is what we saw:

After our morning game drive, we arrive back to the lodge for cold towels and juice refreshers. Then it is time to clean up and get ready for our 1:00 p.m. lunch.

After lunch we all retreated to our cabins to do the packing we need to do for tomorrow’s departure. I had time to read a book before heading down to the lodge for our last evening game drive.

We were out on the range with Festo by 6:00 p.m.

Here is what we saw:

Nothing made me feel more like I was in the bush than the Baobab trees, some of which can be a 1,000 years old.

We found these cool birds nests...

...which Butati was willing to model.

Tonight was a night for elephants. Our first find was a family group feeding past our Land Rover.

Then we come across a very shy little deer.

We came upon a herd of elephant in a river bed that was split into three groups. The group on the far side of the river never really cared that we were there. Two female elephants in the group in the middle of the river bed eventually gave up rooting for water because we were there.

The third group had a female who decided to mock charge the Land Rover. This attack was from such a distance and never really had much ferocity to it but it was still upsetting to all of us. Up till now we thought we had all got along so it was disturbing to be the cause of elephant anxiety.

As we drove on down the elephant forest we came down a small incline to where the path veered to the left and to our right was a small herd feeding on a fruit tree. As we understood it later, the alpha female wanted us to go away so they could feed. She would not retreat. We could not retreat back up the hill especially when Festo shut off the engine. It led to a rather ferocious series of mock charges that climaxed with a charge that brought the elephant with 10 feet of the Land Rover.

Here are the videos from Butati's cell phone.

That was the end. She backed up. We went forward. She did not chase us. Nobody was happy.

After the pissed off elephants, it was nice to find some of the quieter residents of the bush.

We met Becky’s safari and Instagram friends Ian and Shannon who are staying at a different lodge and just got in on this day. While we were sharing stories, the sunset was spectacular.

Because we were all drinking drinks and talking so much, we were late in starting the drive home. We arrived back at 7:20 p.m. where we were greeted with a warm towel and some Bailey’s.

After a quick clean up, we all headed up to the Lodge for drinks and dinner which was the usual elegant supper provided by the Lodge’s great chef.

Tonight we want to go to bed early again as we have one last game drive in the morning.

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