Our group of eager and early risers were 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. The plan is to get Butati to the airport for his 8:00 a.m. flight back home.
We have time to take a short game drive around the airport area before his flight out. Festo, our outstanding guide, stopped at one point and said something is up. He noticed that the giraffes were not looking at us. They were looking at a greater danger. We waited...and here is what we saw:
This leopard had dreams of bringing down the giraffe. When he disappeared in the grass, Festo drove around and headed him off and sure enough...the leopard popped out of the bush again.
When we got to the Karibu Msembe Airstrip, I had some time to do some "on the ground" photos.
Now it was time to say good bye to our new friend Butati.
Photo on Denice's cell taken by a kind stranger at the airport
Becky, Butati, Don, Denice, Marijeanne, Chris, Me, Festo
Because our plane was going out after Butati's flight, we had time for a very short game drive around the airport. Note in these photos that you can see the airport housing behind the herd.
The last photo of the wonderful animals of Tanzania
We took off on the Auric Air flight to Dar es Salaam and as we lifted at the end of the airstrip we had to bank left in order to avoid the giraffe standing on the airstrip. That seemed like a fitting reminder of who actually owns the territory in the bush.
For our return flight, we flew to Iringa again but this time we were prepared to go through security in order to use the restrooms. Our next stop was in a small village that I did not get the name of...but the pilot had to taxi down the runway to scare off the animals before we could go back and lift off.
By noon we were in Dar es Salaam. On Emirates flight to Dubai did not leave until 4:45 p.m. After 5 and 1/2 hours we were in Dubai and off to the Emirates hotel for our layover.
Friday, June 28, 2019
Our Emirates flight from Dubai departed at 9:40 a.m. Sixteen hours later we were in Chicago's O'Hare Airport were we caught the Coach USA bus back to Milwaukee. A short taxi ride later and we were home to pet our cats...not quite the beasts of the bush but at least they can be petted.
Denice and I want to thank Rebecca (Becky) Ney for leading us on this trip to the bush of Tanzania. Thanks go to Ernest and Festo, our amazing guides and the staff at both lodges we stayed in on this trip. We also want to thank Chis, Marijeanne and Don for being great travel companions on this amazing adventure.
I am pretty sure Denice and I may have had the most extraordinary adventure of our life on this trip.