The Best Trip Ever!
Ok I admit it, as time got closer for our trip to begin, the more nervous I got. What if this adventure I had been wanting to do was not going to live up to all the expectations I now had due to your web site and extensive paperwork? I kept telling myself…don’t go expecting too much!
WELL …what did I worry for? From the moment our feet touch African soil, the truly amazing adventure began! Met at airport by a young man with our name on a sign, like lightning we were through the visa process and then passed on to driver and ADS rep. Taken to overnight hotel and given a quick briefing and cool drinks. Dropped off our bags in a 5 star room and then downstairs to the buffet restaurant which stayed open for our arrival ! Food was great and much needed! The staff so friendly, my Swahili lessons had started!
Great nights sleep and then off we went to experience our first very small plane flight! I was scared I don’t mind telling you, but piece of cake! What a sight as we flew over the Ngorongoro crater, and the migration as it moved below us! About an hour later we landed, as a wildebeest fled from the run way! We had spotted three giraffe too as we came in to land.
WE WERE ON SAFARI! I can go on and on with our wondrous adventure but as I know you have done it 50 plus times I will just mention a few things that will always stick with me.
Claude, our amazing safari guide /driver/friend ! A young man that was gentle, kind, warm and so eager to learn from us as we learned so very much from him! He had so much passion and respect for the animals and land that he comes from. His knowledge was immense. We felt the whole time he spent with us, that he too enjoyed everything we viewed and took awe in!
Any question we had, and we had a great deal, especially me as I felt like a kid set free in a candy store, he had the answer for. And if he was unsure about a type of bird ,he would look it up! 99.9% he was spot on ! Our son has a true love of nature and I hope as our son grows into a 30 year old he become just like Claude. He joined us for 2 evening meals while at Lake Masek and he was so interesting to talk with. ADS should be very proud that they have this young man working for them and representing their company. We are already talking of a return trip with other family members and we will be requesting Claude!
Ok so here are a few high lights…..we ate lunch with a male and female lion just 7 feet from our jeep, mating every 20 minutes. As I stood up in our jeep taking photo that you would see in a National Geographic magazine , they completely ignored me. A family of elephants, one of many that we saw, with a 2 week old baby. We watched as two older elephants helped steady the baby so it wouldn’t fall going down an incline to the road in front of us. And as its back legs kept slipping as it tried to climb the incline on the other side. It was so funny and cute to watch! We saw so many elephant herds and families ,I hadn’t expected to see so many and it did my heart good!!
We were completely surrounded by Wildebeests and Zebra with their babies at a watering whole. In every direction there was no clearing ,as far as you could see to the horizon there were animals. The notice was something I hope to never forget. A Kopje with lions on the top rock watching the migration going by them, obviously having had their fill! A mother lion with 3 cubs about four months old fighting over which nipple they wanted! A Cheetah mother with 4 cubs on the move, taking regular stops to let the babies rest. Nature at its best! A Cheetah with a kill, a Thompson Gazzle baby, as she ate it keeping close look out for predators , nose and face pink with blood! The beauty of the land!
The African Maasai Enkang that we visited. I had told Claude that I didn’t want to go to a” tourist ” Maasai village, I wanted to see for real what one was like. Claude drove us to an area where we could see quite a few Enkang and he told me to chose one, I picked one way off in the distance! We were greeted by many children who came to the jeep windows to look at us!
Claude noticed there were no adults so while we waited in the jeep, he went to find out what was happening. I managed to ask the children what their names were by patting my chest and repeating my name. As I repeated their names they laughed so hard as I said them with my English accent! Claude returned and informed us the adults were at market and the Chief and his friend from a neighboring Enkang were watching over the children.
We were welcome to come visit but the Maasai adults who usually dance for any visitors wouldn’t be there! I was thrilled because this was what I wanted, no show, we had seen it at one of our lodges, this was a Enkang as it was in its daily routine! As we got out our jeep there must have been 30 plus children ages 2 to 18 years old. When my husband Pete got out the jeep the children ran back as I dont think they had seen a very large white man before!
The Chief was 60 plus years old and his friend in his 80s! Claude said that we could ask any questions and he would translate for us. We had brought bouncy balls and Frisbees for the children and we presented them to the chief who on close inspection and a demo on how to throw a Frisbee , handed them to an older child to hand out to the children. As the children played we were shown the Chiefs hut , invited inside! And the area where they live.
We talked of his cattle and goats, I think as Chiefs go he was quite well off . An 18 year old girl with a baby on her hip hung by us, huge beautiful smile. She was married to one of the Chiefs sons. The Chief had 4 wives and over 40 children. His 3 year old was sleeping in the Chiefs home, a child from his 1st wife!! These are a hardy and amazing people! The children were having so much fun with the toys that we brought , I took photos non stop with permission from the Chief .
As I took photos I showed the children and they were fascinated . They called out the names of the children in the pictures but when it was a picture of them they didnt know who it was! I would take a photo of them then show them and say “you see you?” Within a few minutes the children were running around saying over and over again “You see You ? You see you ?” So funny. After group photos it was time to leave and I had to pull myself away, lovely people who waved as we left and waved till they could see us no more!
Sharon I have so many stories I could go on and on ,but you know first hand how truly fabulous it is ! I have never wanted NOT to go home from a trip, But as we left Swala Tented Lodge I was unable to control my emotions for about 20 minutes, my heart so heavy!
Thank you for all you arranged for us , time spent answering questions and just being there on call whenever I had a queries!
THE BEST TRIP EVER !
Lynne and Peter Hare