As Haron promised it was a long day, with an early start.
About an hour or 2 into our journey we stopped at a town. I cannot remember the Swahili name, but the translation was "Mosquito River".
This is a fruit growing area. Haron introduced us to a guide who took us round a small market and then on to a banana plantation. We learnt more about the different types of bananas, such as the green ones for cooking. We were also given a red skinned banana to try, which was very tasty. On the other hand, the banana wine that we were offered, was not tasty, even Haron pulled a face at it.
Walking through the banana plantation
A lovely photo of me eating a red skinned banana....
We were then taken to a workshop were they produce the same style artwork that we had bought in Arusha a few days before. There was also art in a style called Tinga Tinga, which has a features animals and has a slightly cartoonist look to it. They were very beautiful, but we didn't dare buying anymore. We did have a quick chat to a couple of people that did buy art there at "wholesale prices", and discovered that they had paid nearly as much as we had, so including the tour of Arusha that we were given, we were feeling a lot happier about the artwork that we had purchased.
The artwork in the shop
Our art that we bought in Arusha
At lunchtime we had an extortionate amount of food to eat, so a couple of people suggested a plan of gathering the left over food and giving it to any children that we passed.
This is technically illegal in Tanzania, as the government don't want children skipping school to swamp tourists for food.
However, we came across a small group of boys and our driver allowed us to stop.
Unfortunately, the food handout turned violent as there was as a fight broke out between the older boys and the younger ones. The other vehicle that stopped with another group further on had no problems, but this prompted an interesting discussion on how sometimes trying to fix one issue can lead to other issues.
The road was long, bumpy, hot and dusty. We couldn't have the windows open because of the dust, and there was no air-con. After a couple of hours of an African Massage we eventually arrived in the Serengeti.
Unlike the Tarangire National Park which had been quite lush and green, the Serengeti felt more like open dry grasslands. Initially I was a little bit disappointed, we had missed the migration and when looking around all you could see for miles were a few gazelle.
However, pretty soon we came across a large group of vehicles. There was a mother cheetah with 3-4 cubs, she had had a recent kill and now there were a large group of hyenas circling. We couldn't stay long as we were off the main road and pretty soon the rangers would appear.
Further along we did get a shock when a lone hyena ran up to our vehicle, and stood only a meter away staring into the window. Unfortunately it was so unexpected that we were unable to get our camera out before it moved on.
Driving further into the Serengeti, I felt a lot more hopeful. There were pockets teeming with animals, especially nearer the river.
We saw our first Leopard! Very well camouflaged in the tree, it was only at certain ponts that we could spot it.
Were were all very tired, and keen to head to our accommodation. This was a beautiful, luxury tent (it had a full bathroom and lighting again).
The food that evening was incredible, but as it was buffet style brought to the table, we all ate far to much.
One of the girls in our group had her birthday that day. There was a very loud and exuberant Swahili birthday celebration with a cake after the meal. The singing, clapping and dancing was incredible, but so loud that it made your head ring.
Next Time - A Hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti!
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Day 242 - Safari day 4 (Hot air balloon and hippos)
August 29, 2019
Day 241 - Safari day 3 - Drive to Serengetti
August 25, 2019
Day 198-199 - To Townsville
June 24, 2019
Days 195-197 - The Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef