A Travellerspoint blog

The lion did not sleep last night

Day 8- Tarangire National Park

I normally start the blog with what happened  at the start of our day but I have to go back to what happened last night right after I posted the last entry.  Background info on the place we're staying; it has 33 "luxury tents" which are basically stand up tents with a bed, shower, bathroom.  The place runs on generators, and the power turns off at 11pm until 6am (and turns off again during the day). So we had a lodge worker walk us to our tent after dinner; I pictured them carrying rifles just in case an animal attacked...but in fact they only held a flashlight.  Anyways, within minutes of getting into bed, we heard a noise from outside the tent..the sound of a lion roaring!!! We were so freaked out, we could hear it breathing here and there and then we heard something scratching at the tent.  We have no doubt the roaring was from a lion, but we can only guess what the scratching was.  Tyler says he wasn't scared, but that's 100% untrue, I could hear his heart running a mile a minute (I told him that and he just smiled).  All throughout the night we could hear animal sounds but that's not the end of it.  At about 4:45 I wake up with a bleeding nose!  Now I get tonnes of bleeding noses so that's not a big deal BUT there were two issues; the first being that  I can't just jump out of bed, turn on the lights and find a Kleenex...there is no power! and I have no idea where I'm going.  The more important issue is that there are lions around!  I kept wondering if they can smell blood, as it fills my hand.  I can't start traipsing around the tent looking for a kleenex spreading the blood everywhere waiting to be eaten.  Seriously, all I could think is that we had gone from being the hunters to the hunted!  I woke Tyler up to help and got it under control but by that time we had 10 minutes before our alarm  went off.
We left at 5:45am for another game drive and when the lodge guy came to our tent to walk us out he says he could see lions tracks!  While all of this was happening throughtout the night I just kept repeating to Tyler "this is crazy, why are we doing this.". We were so tired this morning, all I wanted to do was sleep.  But we set off in the dark (in the jeep) to start looking for animals.  We ended up watching the sunrise; we found our third of the big five- the buffalo and then came back to the lodge for breakfast.  Later on today I told our safari guy what happened (he had also heard the roaring from his bedroom) and I asked, "Lions dont smell blood do they?", and he advised us that yes they do if it is fresh, but won't attack our tent, they will just wait outside for you but not to worry, he wouldn't want to eat me because I'm too small of a portion...awesome.  After breakfast we headed back out for another full day of game drives.  We spotted the same animals as yesterday (giraffe, zebras, elephants, wildabeasts, wart hogs etc.) plus monkeys, and baboons  but found some more rare animals too...the cheetah, hippos, vultures, and lions again (we still haven't seen a male lion though).  We saw some animals fighting (typical guys), two elephants were fighting with each other and two Impalas, cool to see.  By the time we got back to the lodge it was already 6, so no time for a nap.  We had some drinks before dinner, then dinner, now off to bed.  Wish us luck tonight!

Posted by tanyatyler 10:30 Archived in Tanzania Comments (3)

Elephants

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Posted by tanyatyler 19:56 Comments (1)

Always read the label before use

Day 7- Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Day 7

I clearly did not say enough prayers last night; our plane to Arusha was a small plane that only fit fifteen people.  The check in process was quite sketchy, there were sheets of paper on a counter and you signed a clipboard with your name on it.  I was so scared and to top it off Tyler and I were the last on the plane and sat separate from each other.  I was closer to the front and he doesn't know (until now) that I shed a few tears.  But to be honest, the flight wasn't awful and one thing good came out of it...we flew right beside the top of mount kilominjaro above the clouds which was really cool to see (Tyler slept through this and I was too far from him to wake him up). I wanted a picture but Tyler had the camera so I had an internal struggle between turning my phone on and possibly interfering with the plane equipment (I figured a plane this small might be vulnerable), and getting the picture but I took the chance, turned my phone on and got the pic with my phone camera..and rubbed it in Tyler's face when we landed.  We were picked up by our safari guide whom will be with us for the next 6.5 days, and off we went in a massive safari jeep for just the two of us.  The roof lifts up so you can stand and look out the roof, it's really cool.  For the next two days we will be in the Tarangire National Park.  Within minutes of entering we saw herds of elephants and zebras, wildabeasts, and giraffes.  Throughout the rest of the afternoon we saw ostriches, antelope, wart hogs, annnnnddd we saw a family of lions!!!  And all the animals (except the lions) we saw up close, like crossing right in front of our jeep..they aren't just lying there like at the zoo.  The lions were far and and were better seen with binoculars so we hope we get to see them closer up in the upcoming days.  There is something called the "big five" on safaris which i guess is a list of the most covetted animals to see.  They are: lions, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo.  We've already seen two of those, and we're competing on who can find the other ones.  Other than the animals, the landscape is incredible, with those huge umbrella trees and Baobab trees (tree of life from lion king).  It seriously looks like a scene out of the lion king.   We got to our camp at around 5 and it's pretty cool.  We are in a pretty nice tent with a king sized bed, and bathroom/shower.  There is a main building where they have a huge balcony looking over the wilderness and we sat there sipping drinks and taking in the scenery (and spotting more animals).  The camp isnt closed in our anything so we hope animals don't stroll through tonight and we actually have to be escorted to our tent at night by the workers so we don't get eaten (lol that's a bit of an exaggeration...I think).  We are off for another "game drive" in the am at 6!  (our guide Hassim is intense, not sure if we can keep up).  Just a quick ending, funniest part of my day was seeing a small little monkey trying to attack Tyler (he didn't) lol but Tyler was pretty scared.  In retaliation, Tyler is going to make me tell you something stupid I did.  The tent had a can of what appeared to be bug spray so I covered myself in it (including my face).  Only seconds after I did that did I notice that it was in fact not bug spray for your skin but something to shoot directly at the bugs to kill them; there was a warning about getting an "excessive amount" on your skin so I ran immediately into the tent and took a shower to get everything off (in cold water, there is no hot water I guess).

Posted by tanyatyler 11:10 Archived in Tanzania Comments (5)

Body Odour Airways

Day 6: Travel Day

Day 6 - Travel Day

We left Cape Town this am but not before one more early am stop.  There was one site that our guide missed and I insisted we do  it this am prior to going to the airport. At 8am we made our way to a part of the city called Bo Kaap.  Ok here is some background info.  When the dutch colonized Cape Town they brought along people from Singapore/Malaysia to be their slaves.  When Britain defeated the Dutch, they abolished slavery and the Dutch abandoned their nice houses and moved inland.  The slaves moved right into these houses and to celebrate they painted their houses bright colours!  And to this day there are a few blocks of houses painted bright vibrant colours like neon green and orange, and it is mostly a Muslim community.  It's very cool to see, would have liked to have more time but thats ok.  We then boarded a plane to Johannesburg and  then another 3.5 hour flight to Dar es Salam which is the capital of Tanzania.  We got here at about 8pm  so there won't be any touring of this city.  We've only driven to the hotel but all I can say is that there aren't any Mercedes driving around like in Cape Town,  and people dont speak Enlgish, they speak Swahili, 
I feel like now we're in Africa.  We leave early in the am to take one more flight to Arusha which is also in Tanzania and the start of the safari!  I have my first safari outfit picked out and am just praying that it's not a small plane in the am.

Here's just a list of a few more things that we learned while in South Africa that I haven't mentioned yet
1) they call traffic lights "robots"
2) they employ people to do what machines do in Canada - for example someone stands at the side of the street in place of a parking meter.
They have a person that lifts the gate when you leave or enter a parking garage.
3) Gay men are fairly well accepted but lesbians are not...awful
4) I had already mentioned that there was a high unemployment rate, but they do have a good economy, the issue is that they have no new jobs (but those with jobs are fairly secure)

Posted by tanyatyler 12:10 Comments (1)

Wine lands

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