Fear and wonder
Shit just got real people!! I usually write the blog in the order things happen but this time, I have to start with our night instead of our day. Tonight Wilfred joins us for dinner looking a bit nervous and figidy then told us how he went to take a shower 20 minutes after we got back from our safari day. The staff tents do not have a shower in them so he went to the staff "shower" with his bucket. Once he unzipped the tent to get out of the shower he came face to face with a lion. He said it was less than 10 feet from him!!!!! Poor Wilfred froze in fear, than threw the bucket of water and ran as fast as he could to his tent. Once at his tent he looked back at the lion who crouched and kept staring back at him. The poor guy was still shaking telling us his story. Wilfred has been a guide for years, he's seen those killing machines taking down 200lbs wildebeest without breaking a sweat. He's also seen thousands of lions but never from outside of his steel armory on wheels.
That's not it...but here's a small interlude to remind you of how easy it would be for one of those beasts to tear you appart in seconds...
Around dessert time we started hearing weird throaty animal sounds. The same kind of sounds we had heard the night before without knowing what it was. You guessed it, they we lion talks. After a while, all 24 guests went silent. There were more than 1 lion talking, all pretty close to us and we were all in the big dinner tent with the sides lifted.
(Here's what it looks like during the day)
At night, the rule is to have one of the staff accompany you back to your tent so they can chase wild animals away if you meet any. One of the couples go back on their merry way to their tent with one of the staff. That's until a bunch of other guys started yelling to the guy in Swahili NOT to come back. Standing between 2 oil lamps on our tents' path was the king of the jungle himself. (Whaaaat?!?!?). That's maybe 100 feet away from the dinner tent and also about 100 feet away from our own little tent. A couple of guides went to get their jeeps to try to scare him away. But this one is a younger lion. Not easily scared and doesnt want to go anywhere. After a while he finally moved a bit further but since lions cannot be trusted, the guides escorted each one of us to our tent by jeep. As I'm writting this, we keep hearing lions around the camp. We're safe in the tent but it's still very unnerving. Especially that the staff told us this had never happened before. I wonder how much damage that little multi-tool we have next to our bed would do to a big ass lion? Don't think any of us will sleep very soundly tonight.
Ok... Now that that's out of the way, let's go back to the fun, less scary part of the day...
Everytime we swear that it will de impossible to top the last day, Tanzania makes us into big fat liars. 3 words: The great wildebeest migration. This should be called the "greatest most incredible migration of millions of animals that will make you doubt your sanity & vision and definitely blow your mind" I'm not even exagerating here.
We based our itinerary on being able to witness this event. Did we have any idea what we were in for? Not a damn clue!! The Great wildebeest migration is the seasonal movement of all wildebeests and zebras from Tanzania to Kenya, then back as they are following the rain/food/water. I dont think our imagination had clued in on the immensity of this spectacle. We thought we'd see maybe 5,000, maybe 10,000 wildebeests and zebras. Imagine our surprise when 5,000 soon became 100's and 100's of THOUSANDS!!!!
Everywhere we looked, there were animals on their way to Kenya. Look right, look left, the horizon is peppered with beasts. Nothing we could have imagined came any close to the reality. It's so hard to quantify how many we've seen in 2 days. Wilfred said between 1 and 2 millions... We're going to stay conservative with 1 million. Pictures don't do it justice but this will give you a bit of an idea.
The award for cutest animal of the day goes to a young elephant walking along side of his mom and baby brother but kept running after a bird and shooing him away with his trump. "Biwd! I's alweady told you dis is my gwass. Shoo cwazy biwd!!" (Yes, we make them talk too...). I will upload the video later today.
And the award for most disgusting moment goes to the lioness chewing away on a dead wildebeest and then dragging it to the shade. I wish I had a scratch and snif app to make you live the whole experience the way we did. Oooor maybe not. That'd pretty mean of me!
(The nice piece of jewelry she is sporting is a tracker)
That's it for now. Time for another game drive!