The Lions

We are back in Moshi after the safari and internet is available.  It wasn’t for the four days we spent in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater.  It was as far away from all I have known before as it gets. To get into the bowl of the Ngorongoro crater you take a harrowing switchback dirt road down the side of the mountain.  There are no paved roads in either the Ngorongoro conservation area or the Serengeti.  You have to know where you are and find your way on dirt paths, animal tracks or sometime gravel paths.  There are no road signs.  The Ndutu Safari lodge where we stayed collects rain water, boils and filters it for drinking.  The electricity shuts off from 11PM to 5:15 in the mornings.  No hair dryers are allowed because it blow the fuses on the very limited electricity.  But on the other hand you get to sit on the porch of your room and see a hyena meander by; or a dik dik; or watch a bunch of fisher’s love birds check you out and see if you have some cashews for them.  And you hear the roar of the lion every night.

Just about everyone goes to Tanzania’s National Parks to see the lions.  And so did we.  We were twice lucky in that adventure.  The first day at the crater we saw a pride of lions take down a buffalo right in front of us.  I didn’t know whether to look or turn my head away.  Thankfully, the buffalo died quickly and lunch was served to a whole bunch of lions.  Then, in the Serengeti, we saw a big herd of mama elephants roust a pride of lions from their den.  Lions will not mess with elephants.  They quickly move out of the way and did.  In this case mama lion retrieved her cubs and moved them from the den to the otherside of the mud puddle in which the elephants meant to take a bath.  What a sight.  And we got the pictures.  It was marvelous.

Yes I really took that photo with my camera.

Yes I really took that photo with my camera.

A big thank you goes to our driver Jessie who always knew where we were and where we were going.  He also had an amazing spotter instinct to point the animals out to us.  Now we are back in Moshi and can communicate with the world beyond the Serengeti which by the way means “endless plain.”  It is.  And also endless wonder and beauty.

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