The Nine-Hour Game Drive

On our first full day in the Serengeti, we were woken with a gentle “Hello, good morning!” and a tray of hot coffee. After a made-to-order breakfast we climbed into the Land Cruiser and began our day-long game drive. My guess would be that Silva felt bad about our late start the previous day and he was going to do his best to make sure we got as much as possible out of our only other day. Why else a grueling nine hours bouncing around the bush? Well, we certainly saw everything there was to see! Herds of wildebeasts and zebra, the migration that the mobile camps are relocated to follow, thundered past us. Cheetah gamboled under our car. We caught a glimpse of the shy serval cat, plenty of giraffe, warthogs, a few lazy lions, elephant and one particularly impressive dung beetle. In the midst of it all, Silva selected a shady spot and set up a picnic for us, with a yummy spread of pastas and salads.

Probably the biggest treat was witnessing a mother cheetah teaching her four cubs to hunt as they chased and killed a baby gazelle — an apparently rare and lucky occurrence! In another grim example of nature, we watched as three different types of vultures feasted on a zebra carcass.

And finally, during the last and almost unbearable hour, we saw a few hippos. But by that point we were beyond exhausted and all we wanted was a beer! Silva relented and we went back to camp for “Bush TV” and a Kilamanjaro. Aaahhh.

Dinner was shared with the same two Aussies, one half of the German couple and a new pair from Hong Kong and the US. It was slightly less raucous and I was slightly less drunk but it was equally enjoyable and incredibly delicious! The ginger carrot soup was especially unexpected! We trundled off to bed after supper, totally spent after our long day of game drive. The extra touch of a hot water bottle down inside our beds to warm our feet was wonderful. Aahhh!

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