I had been feeling a little flu like , with a slight temprature on the way to the airport and while we drove up the escarpment my left arm had lost alot of motion and felt limp with no power , so while waiting for the plane I got google up and my malaria test kit out to try and figure out what was going on .
The test proved negative and after much prodding and poking , I figured that I might have pinched a nerve , so the anti inflammatory’s would be the answer while on safari . The caravan touched down spot on target and time and within minutes I found myself and fellow passenger’s been dragged through the air by this single prop plane .
The flight is only around 40 minuets and takes you over the Ngorongoro crater and the wide open plains of the Serengeti to land at the Seronera airstrip to start what was to be an experience beyond all expectation.
I was collected by Zephania my safari guide in the national car of Tanzania , the land cruiser and off we set straight into the rain for our game drive before we set course for camp.
Zeph was very excited by the rain as this is what brings the migration . All that is required by the Wildebeest and Zebra to pick up and move are the rains and the promise of fresh , crisp new grass , so Zeph was hoping we would get the big herds into the central Serengeti by morning or the day after , I could not believe my luck , the only person in the camp and the possibility of witnessing a wonder of the wildlife world .
We drove in the rain for a short while and then the sun returned , I settled in , to enjoy the drive along the river and what a drive it was , the Serengeti leaves you speechless from the get go and keeps you that way for your entire stay.
The game came thick and fast Giraffe , gazelle , elephants , impala , hippo’s and all looking so healthy , coats gleaming , belly’s bulging , we were driving through the land of plenty , every turn of the head found something wild .
The sun was setting and so we decided to make our way back to camp , we travelled for a short distance and about 15 kilometres from camp we started seeing the herds of Wildebeest scatterd over the plains and the closer to home we got the deeper we drove into the herd , until all around us the sight and sounds of Wildebeest as far as the eye could see , I was totally amazed , the sheer number , the noise of the males herding their females and trying desperately to steal females from other males when they roamed a little way out of the circle of love. So we sat in wonder , Zeph informing me that this was just the beginging . I could not believe my eyes.
We drove into camp where I was welcomed by Cliff , Husein , Peter and Julias , a hot shower was prepared for me so that I could be fresh and settled to enjoy the sunset before dinner.
From the second one lands on those plains you feel the magic of the Serengeti , You feel you have entered the birthplace of the wild , it took my African soul and my eyes and filled them both with a sense of wonder and serenity . Surprisingly it is not the game that does this , it is the landscape , the sheer beauty and power of the land gets you first , the game just a additional spectacle to marvel. The rain came and went so Husein set up dinner in a tent mess and so I sat down to a meal with Cliff surrounded by only darkness and natures surround sound my music , I took a deep breath to settle my excitement , enjoyed dinner and waited for Zeph to pop down so we could plan our first full day out.
We had finished dinner , Zeph and I in agreement about our next days activities , so off to bed it was , Cliff offered to walk me to the tent , we stood up , I was about to say don’t worry , and in an instant the tourch light found a lion and lioness in the grass not 30 m away , all I recall was the roar of the male , my dive into the tent and Zeph in unison with Cliff shouting Michael don’t run , just like that it was over the lions moved off , my heart returned to its rightful place in my chest , and I gladly accepted the protective detail back to the tent.
Cliff was instructing me as we walked , Michael don’t leave your tent at night and various other warnings and bush survival techniques , all I held in my mind was the sound that male made and those huge shiny golden eyes . Cliff was safe in the fact that I would not leave the tent even in a veld fire or any other major catastrophe . Further discussion revealed that two males , brothers and a female had taken up residence in the camp and on most nights slept but a few meters from Cliff’s tent , they seemed to have a reciprocal relationship , one of Cliff does not bother them and they don’t bother Cliff.
So began my first night in the Serengeti , sleep not immediate but once my mind settled and the lions roars wondered off into the distance my eyes closed only to be stirred now and again by animals grazing outside my tent or the odd hippo whispering by.
After breakfast our lunches packed we set off for a day filled with sighting after sighting that just got better with every hour , six lion sightings in total , elephant , buffalo , hyena and more and more plains game arriving to graze on the crisp fresh grass . A total gluttony of game on the Serengeti a never ending feast for all both human , predator and prey .
It wold take the pen of Shakespeare to do justice to the magnitude and magnificence of this place , some sights so beautiful you don’t pick up the camera because the distraction is just to much , your mind is capable of only processing the assurance that reminds your eyes that what you see is real and true . Just speechless.
Sunset slipped in and I sat trying to put to pen what I had experienced , felt and had seen that day , after much thought the keyboard untouched I sat and waited for the darkness and the stars to arrive , could they help ? Did it take the moon , the night and the stars to find the words.
So Zeph and I had dinner , waited for Cliff’s lions to make their presence known and just as the previous night , as we finished dinner they roared into camp. I hope to find the words while I dream.
Until we meet again