A Time in Africa – Part two #travel #memoir #africa

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In part one we were in Tanzania and we had had a wonderful time; our guide, Moses took us to the Kenya border to meet our Kenyan guide. Once again I’m not sure I remember his name correctly but it was something like Joshua or Completely-Miserable-Sod-for-Two-Days-and-Then-Fine.

First though we had to cross the border which involved a palaver and some Shillings passing in Masonic handshake ways. When in Rome and all that…

Once across, the roads, which up to that point had been baked and rutted mud and which, Moses informed us, were only comfortable if we travelled at 57 miles an hour – he was right – became the smoothest of tarmac… for ten miles. Once away from the border and the chance of a bit of National Braggadocio, it reverted to the packed red dirt that was ubiquitous in this part of the world.

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It took a day to find out why Joshua had the grumps. He thought we were all related to royalty and had been gifted the wealth needed to visit Kenya. We dissembled which made it worse. In the end we accepted that, for him, it was easier if he thought we were Empire scrounging free loaders, with a penchant for silly jewelled headgear and a dodgy German ancestry – which I guess in a sense we were (not the German bit, of course). Once we had our roles clear, it was all smiles.

Joshua knew his stuff. We were soon in the Serengeti and whereas Moses let the images do the talking, Joshua explained the habits, the life cycles, the threats – poaching then was a great problem that, sadly hasn’t gone a way – and the personal stories of a number of the main creatures.

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For instance did you know that this:

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The Rock Hydrax, is the Closest relative to this:

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The African Elephant? Sounds like bollocks but I did check that on Wiki and, yippee, my brain isn’t yet total mush.

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We did have to spend some time visiting the indigenous people, the Masai, who were lovely but I have yet to participate in one of these visits and not felt totally intrusive. That and I just can’t pogo like the Masai men; and I’ve pogoed to the Clash, been showered with the Stranglers’ bodily fluids while doing the up and down jumping bit and, well, you get the picture.

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See the guy on the right? Amazing. I was in awe.

Cue music btw…

Anyway, Joshua led us on some fabulous game drives. And I learnt one thing very quickly. If there was one creature that stunned me here, it was the cheetah.

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We saw many, mostly dozing in the partial shade.

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They slinked, they stretched in ways that would make an Olympic standard Yogi split himself with jealousy and they were the fastest things I’d seen until the Vet stood on an eviscerated mouse, left as a gift by one of our cats: once she realised the gloop oozing between her toes was intestinal, she really moved. What particularly blew my mind was the camouflage.

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This has to be the best photo we took all holiday. Can you see the cheetah?

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Here’s a close up.

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Yep, the Textiliste nailed this one, damn and blast her.

Two other memories stand out from this point in the trip.

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The first was the sheer vastness of the migration we saw – we managed this picture of the meander of thousands of wildebeests, zebra and buffalo but nothing prepares you for seeing it live.

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You could watch it for hours, unfolding across the plains.

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The second was the scent of the frangipani blossom.

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We were staying by a lake where the hippos came out at night to graze on the grass by the river banks. We were told, under no circumstances to leave the path back to our hut after dinner.

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Getting between a hippo and the water was a recipe for disaster. Needless to say, we stuck close in the pitch dark as we clutched each other and the feeble torch we were given. Half way back, a thunderous roar rent the air, much like a jumbo jet warming up. This was followed shortly by a smell that can only be described – well, I would if I had the adjectives to do justice to something so rotten and putrescent. A Hippo fart is like a Trump press conference: incredible, unpleasant and gargantuan in the way it leaves you gasping for oxygen.

But really there was so much wildlife…

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Oh I forgot the Stranglers…

Now they were wild… Where was I?

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In the Serengeti we saw so much; talk about spoilt. Hunting dogs

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and osterich

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exotic giraffes; apparently these guys are also bankers being related to the Rothschild scion (Giraffa camelopardis rothschildi) – who knew?

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more lions

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various antelopes and deer

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and elephants and birds and a monkey and a croc and…!

To say it felt a wrench to drag ourselves away would be an understatement but we were off to see Nairobi and, from there the Aberdare Mountains and Treetops. Next time…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in africa, Animals, holidays, miscellany, Photograph, wildlife and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to A Time in Africa – Part two #travel #memoir #africa

  1. An amazing journey…so jealous. And the pics are wonderful. No, I did not see that cheetah…kudos to the photographer !!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! That was so amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us, Geoff. Have a thriving Thursday! Mega hugs 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Smith says:

    Amazing. I’m green with envy. The cheetah photos are wonderful – they all are.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ritu says:

    You’re making me remember my childhood holidays!!!! Great photos His Geoffleship! Look forward to the next installment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Allie P. says:

    What a neat trip. I am hoping to one day do the same, but it seems one of those trips that feels so manageable, and yet eternally out of reach.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. esthernewton says:

    Wow! What an amazing trip. Great photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jan says:

    A hippo’s fart is like a Trump press conference – hahahahaha! I might have to steal that one.

    Like

  8. Magnificent pictures. Wonderful to see all the animals in such number and so close.
    The sun seems hot and bright. Was it hot and blinding? Thank you for sharing, Geoff. Sounds a superb holiday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Charli Mills says:

    I second all the other wows! That Massai on the right in full pogo looks like he’s levitating! The shots of all the animals, so awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. And out of all of those amazing images, the one that sticks in my mind is the one I conjured up in my head. You pogo-ing. Did the Textilist get any pictures of that?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. noelleg44 says:

    This was a trip down memory lane, Geoff. We spent three weeks in Kenya with our kids on a tour – the cheetahs we saw were hanging out in a tree (!), and we got the same advice about hippos. Spent a night at Tree Tops. Our two biggest adventures were being chased by baboons and taking a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti. The migration was on and it was awesome – gnus, lions and zebras. Thanks! Great pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sacha Black says:

    What an amazing trip, sorry but OMGGGGGGGGGGGG THE CHEATER PHOTO!!! I was like what effing cheater…. jaw HITS THE FLOOR. She 100% nailed it. Best photo EVER.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sacha Black says:

    You really see the meaning of camouflage and how amazing that nature has created that. SErious… my mind is blown.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. restlessjo says:

    It’s never ending, the parade of life, isn’t it? I still like the giraffe best 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: Jo’s Monday walk : Legends of Marim | restlessjo

  17. Pingback: A Time in Africa – Part Three #nairobi #Africa #safari | TanGental

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