Our last night in Nairobi was also our last night with 7 of the group. We went out for a meal at carnivore’s  restaurant. The restaurant has been voted one of the top 50 in the world. It is famous for serving game meat. After a soup starter, we were served as much chicken, beef, pork, lamb, turkey crocodile and ostrich as we could eat. The meat is served by waiters walking round with skewer from which meat was either carved or slid directly onto our plates. The food was awesome and we had a really great night. Drinks were expensive, but the food cost only $30 each.

The next day we crossed the border to Tanzania which took quite a long time. That night we stayed in the Snake Park campsite near Arusha. The campsite had an area with cages for about 30 different species of snakes along with crocodiles and some birds. Some of the snakes had live chickens inside their enclosures. After a lot of waiting Adrian and I saw a snake catch, constrict and start to swallow one of the chickens.

The next two nights were spent away from the truck. We visited the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, traveling in Landcruisers, each with 7 people plus a driver. It was nice to be away from the truck for a while. Doing game drives in the smaller vehicles was quite a different experience. Being so much smaller, they are more maneuverable, can get closer to the animals and are faster. We were also able to stick our heads out of the roof which meant we got a much better view of the animals.

The Serengeti is vast. The approach to the national park was very flat, and there was just nothing at for miles. Further on it got a bit hillier, which is where we saw most of the animals. There were also some rocky outcrops, one of which, we thought was probably the inspiration for pride rock in The Lion King. While we were there we saw several animals much closer than we had seen before. Our driver, Frank, was very good at getting us up close. We saw a leopard walking within a few meters of the Landcruiser, and a male lion about the same distance away. There were however a lot of other vehicles, and I think this photo demonstrates what the view can be like some of the time.

Serengeti Lion

After 2 game drives and an overnight stay in the Serengeti, we drove back to the Ngorongoro Crater where we camped at the crater ring for the night. We were advised to remove all toothpaste from our tents, because a few nights earlier, 3 tents had been trampled by bush pigs looking for this. That night was very cold, but we had a campfire in the middle of our ring of tents which kept us was in the evening.

For the last few days, another absolute Africa truck had been doing the same route as us and staying at some of the same campsites. They also did the same trip away to Serengeti and it was during the trip that we met most of that group. During the evening at Ngorongoro Crater we let them sit round our campfire, as they had arrived too late to collect wood for their own. Six of these people will be joining our truck after Zanzibar.

On the final day, we drove down into the crater to do a morning game drive before heading back to Arusha to meet the truck. The day started well with my first sighting of a cheetah. Other highlights included a large family of lion, including cubs, two lions stalking a herd of 100s of zebras.

After the game drive, we went back to the campsite to pack up our tents. Just as we were were leaving, an elephant appeared only a few meters away from where our tents were. We got out of the Landcruisers to take photos before leaving. The elephant just stood there.

Last night (Wednesday 20th), we stayed at a campsite called Masai Camp near Arusha. The best part of the campsite was the bar. During the evening we were entertained by some Masai acrobats. They did all sorts of acrobatics, fire tricks and balancing tricks with glass bottles. At the end they took 3 people from the audience to limbo under a flaming bar – I was one of them! Although I can’t limbo at all, it was good to give it a go.

Tonight we are camping at Tembo campsite, part way between Arusha and Dar Es Salaam on the coast. Tomorrow night we will camp on the beach before catching a ferry to Zanzibar where we will spend 4 nights.

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