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    The lion, the itch, and the dirt road

    January 19th, 2007 by steve


    We spent two weeks with my mom and brother John on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. We hit all the big parks, Ngorongoro, Maasai Mara, Serengeti and several of the lesser known ones. We saw all the big including lions, leopards, hippos, rhinos, crocodiles, and a cheetah (from far far away). After a while the elephants, giraffes, hyenas, gazelles, impalas, jackals, baboons, wildebeest, and zebras got a little blasé. It’s amazing how close you can get to the animals. In fact we downright hunted them down in our 4x4s, going offroad to loom over lions that were trying to nap and leopards looking for a good tree to climb, at least until the rangers spot us then we had to hide. Yeah, you’re technically not supposed to harass the wildlife, but the drivers get bored and find ways to entertain themselves.
    We got to stay in some cool safari camps where bats lived in our bathroom and rangers armed with bow and arrows escorted us back to our tent to protect us from curious predators. All good fun, but the animals we feared were the biting insects that feasted on us despite the DEET.
    This was supposed to be dry season but all of East Africa had a late and extraordinarily heavy rainy season. The problem with rain is its affect on the otherwise crap dirt roads. Other than the typical spinning out and getting stuck in soggy mud so the Maasai had to push us off their farmland, we also waited 3hrs in a queue 30 cars long to be towed by a tractor across a road turned river where the water actually flowed into the cab when we crossed. That section of road was so notorious that government reps had flown out in helicopters to watch the full extent of carnage. Our night game drive at Serengeti stranded us in the exactly nowhere with nothing in site but the waning moon, lighted only by our headlamps in the pitch dark when our open top truck careened into a mud ditch after 11pm. At Ngorongoro we drove into mud that tilted the car 30 degrees to the left, stopping at the verge of tilting. Steve hopped out and pushed the left side of the LandCruiser up while our driver dared forward. We made it through but another after us actually fell over and had to abandon the vehicle. Good thing we carried a Steve with us.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

    One Response

    1. Dad Says:

      “super steve” to the rescue again.

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