Tanzania is one of those in-your-face experiences that remains as a strong travel memory long after the adventure is officially over, so much so that Intrepid Express reader Debra Nooyen is already planning her next trip…
“Africa has always held a special fascination for me and finally I realised a dream come true. I booked an Intrepid trip and was certainly NOT disappointed. During the weeks of my wild and wonderful trip I had some great experiences, including meeting the most fantastic group of people – we are all now connected through Facebook.
I actually saw 2 kills – not just one but TWO kills – one in the Serengeti and one in the Ngorongoro Crater. Absolutely amazing and a thrill to watch.
In the first instance a herd of buffalo spotted a pride of lions and stalked them, eventually chasing them at full gallop. The lions had been watching the buffalo, waiting to see what they would do (obviously this is normal behaviour) and as the buffalo started to increase their speed so did the lions. I was blown away! The buffalo didn’t even seem like they wanted to catch the lions – it all seemed like a game to them with them eventually going their own way. BUT one poor buffalo (a young one) didn’t keep up and was killed by a lioness. The amazing thing was that she didn’t eat the buffalo, she killed him and then waited for the rest of her pride.
The second kill was different and in some ways far more exciting. We were just about to move on when our guide decided we should stay a little longer. The lioness was sniffing the air when gradually and very slowly, with deliberate movements, she started moving toward a herd of zebra. The zebra were on three sides and it was obvious that she was weighing up the best way to attack. She walked right past our truck. If I had leaned out (with someone holding me by my legs) I could have just about patted her. After a few moments she took off, then missed, changed direction and found her mark. Dinner was served, but she didn’t eat immediately either – she made the kill and then guarded her prize while she waited for Leo the Lion, King of the Jungle to saunter over for his feed. Very arrogant in my opinion, but then I am a woman!
What was extraordinary was the full African story that I could see – in one corner you had the hyenas slowly making their way forward to see what ‘pickings’ they would get. The zebra were all just watching the lions and their fallen companion, seemingly no longer scared about the presence of the lions. It was as if they were relieved that they were safe for another day! Or perhaps they were mourning and frozen to the spot.
There was so much more to this trip – the fabulous beach, or should I say lakeside locations where we camped, the beautiful people, the ostrich doing their mating dance, the magnificent Masai fully adorned in their traditional dress strolling up the beach in Zanzibar, our group singing all the songs to Lion King as we travelled long distances in our truck.
Africa is not what you expect – you don’t see animals at every turn, but you will see a lifestyle so unique and basic and so different from the lifestyle we lead in western countries. You will see happy people, even though they don’t have all the luxuries of life, but you will hear sad stories of the high mortality rate due to Aids, TB and Malaria. Go there – see for yourself. I had planned to go to South America on my next trip, but I am going back to Africa to meet the child I am now sponsoring as a result of my moving experiences and to see the countries I have not yet seen!”
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* photo by Davina Lindsay – Intrepid Photography Competition