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Arrival in Tanzania

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Today was a bittersweet day. We woke up early this morning, packed everything up, and, for the last time, got into the Travel Connections van for one last game drive with John.

We started off by seeing a baby cape buffalo and her mother.... The baby was only hours old... You could tell that the mother had just given birth! Then we went on to see tons of zebras, elephants, and lions! The only thing we had left to see with John was a big male lion with a huge mane... Just as we were about to head for the airport (which wasn't really an airport at all... More on that later), John heard something of interest on the radio, then we raced to the scene. And there we found our Kenyan safari complete. That was it. No more new animals for us to see. John had accomplished his mission and we couldn't have been more grateful! We saw a huge grandpa lion with a mane that looked like Scar's from The Lion King- the Disney movie. He was relaxing under a bush with his 3 grandsons!!

Now, I've probably got you wondering about the "airport". To be honest with you, it was really just an airstrip that was basically made of dirt and gravel. Those of you that know my mother, know that she was definitely not happy at all.... My dad wasn't her favorite person at this moment! Two planes later, our AirKenya plane had arrived- 45 minutes late, mind you! John helped load our bags into the front and back of the twin-otter plane that seated about 14 people- with 33lbs per person for luggage. Then, being the sap that I am, I started to tear up as I said goodbye to John. I told him that I really hope that I'll see him again someday and he said, "Mountains never will meet. But people, people will meet again someday. I'll be seeing you, Lizzy." that really got me. When our plane took off, I started to almost bawl. John was an AMAZING person!! He was so personable and nice and really cared about making us happy. He was always excited- even if we stopped to look at yet another herd of impalas. Even though he has been doing this for 10 years, he still got so excited when we saw a cheetah or leopard! Okay, writing this is making me tear up because our guide-Tyson- absolutely PALES in comparison to John and I wish I had John back. Anyway, after two 1 hour plane rides and a very nice chat with Felix in Nairobi, we made it to Tanzania.... FINALLY! Tyson met us at the airport and we were on our way to Lake Manyara National Park and the Lake Manyara Serena lodge. So far, Tanzania is not half as good as Kenya was... But maybe I'm just bitter about leaving John. And besides, we haven't even gone on a game drive yet! I guess I'll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings!    

PS-I made a terrible mistake! the auto correct wouldn't let me spell WILDEBEEST correctly when I was writing about them yesterday!! It kept changing it to wildabeast- which isn't right at all!! It is WILDEBEEST!!


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African Safari 2011

Kenya, Tanzania