We had our first 3 day weekend off this week. I went to Ngoro Ngoro crater and the Serengeti for the most amazing safari trip one could ever ask for.
First ingredient: the best safari mates. My roommates and fellow volunteers, 5 of us in all, animals lovers and adventure seekers, campers and PB and J eaters.
Second ingredient: the best tour guide in all of Africa, our friend and coworker, Rasta Reggie, funny, loving, dedicated, knowledgeable, and already a good friend of ours.
Third ingredient: our own OHS safari land rover with a pop-up roof in order to stand our our chairs and have an unobstructed view of the landscape and wildlife.
Fourth ingredient: DYI PBnJ's and spaghetti and tons of matunda (fruit).
Fifth ingredient: awesome OHS tents--what i like to call "veritable palaces"
Last ingredient: 2 reggae CD's played on repeat for 48 hours, courtesy of Rasta Reggie
Loaded up and ready to go we set off for Ngoro Ngoro, a massive crater made thousands and thousands of years ago which is home to 3 kinds of life: the Masai people, the Masai livestock, and the wild animals (all sorts except for giraffes which cannot survive at the low altitude of the crater on account of their oversized hearts). The crater introduced us to tons of hungry hyenas which we watched rounding up herds of zebras and wildebeasts. Unfortunately we missed the take-down of one unfortunate wildebeast by the pack of hyenas. We came up close and personal with 3 baby jackals that suprisingly tried to climb into our car. Reggie said in all his safari trips he's never seen any animals get that close to the car. But the most exciting up-close encounter happened, of course, when we stopped the car for me to go use the choo. As Crystal and I were in the choo, reggie and the other girls walked over to a beautiful old tree right next to a hippo pond. (The bathroom was one of the areas where you were actually allowed out of the car.) As they walked over, they heard a weird growling sound. Reggie looked up and immediately shouted, "F***!!! it's a lion!!" A large female lion had been in the tree the whole time and as they got closer, she got ready to attack. She jumped out of the tree in Reggie's direction and landed only 2 feet away from him. He fell down on a tree root in fear and thought he was dead as the lion hovered above his face and growled at him. One of the girls ran, one froze, and the other probably saved his life by shrieking "REGGIE!!!" The lion turned and ran in fear as i walked out of the bathroom to a very rattled group of safari mates.
I was very sad not to have seen it first hand but very glad that Reggie and the rest were still alive.
My time is up so i must finish this post later.