Day 8 – Thrills aplenty!
Boundary Hill Lodge sits on the edge of a rocky escarpment. Each of the rooms is built into the hillside, very private, each separated by rock outcrops and vegetation, so that from your balcony, all you can see is the expanse of the NCA. This is the most isolated, quiet, and to date, my favourite location so far.
This morning we took a walk with the Maasai guides and learnt about all manner of things from recognizing dik dik “poo”, to sneaky spiders that live in a “tunnel” hole with a lid, to elephants rubbing against trees, to the Maasai guide who demonstrated his spear throwing skills. Thump! That spear hit the tree so hard, he could barely retrieve it.
Sitting on the balcony having breakfast and we see a herd of 40 odd elephants wander past below us, occasionally breaking to a run. In the distance 11 more elephants stand below a baobab.
Our afternoon game drive into Tarangire starts slowly. We followed the Silale Swamp, the most exciting thing in the first hour was being charged by a bull elephant. He stood with his back to us, watching out of the corner of his eye. Ezekial, hand on the gear stick and foot on the clutch, tentatively waiting to go, as soon as we moved, the elephant swung around and charged. Phew, that gets the heart racing! Hard to believe that yesterday we sat in Manyara, surrounded by a herd who totally ignored us.Hunting persists in this area so no surprise the elephants are a bit wary of humans.
As we drove along, not much to see at all, we turned into a trail across the swamp. We were all distracted by a secretary bird, when suddenly, somebody called “lion”. Not 30 feet away were two males sitting in the grass. Up to now we had seen a lot of lionesses but not so many males, so we were really excited to have these two beauties so close.One thing though, at first look I thought the lion was collared but then thought Id imagined it. When I got home and expanded my photos I could see he definitely had a “wire” of some sort around his neck. Im hoping against hope it is a transmitter and not something more sinister.( I have emailed the photo to TANAPA). Within a couple of minutes a black backed jackal ran right past. You just never know on safari what is going to popup and where.
Time was getting on so we had to turn back, back onto the track we’d come in on. I happened to look up into a tree beside us and there was another lion. He was just settling himself on the branch and was just so handsome! Funny thing, most of the lions we have seen this trip have been up trees, I didn’t expect that.
Tonight we took a night drive, the vehicle we used is a “converted” 4WD.The body has been removed, had a kind of “roll bar” frame, no doors or windows, open sided, bench seats – a real bush basher! We had our driver Lazzaro and a Maasai guide who held the spotlight, scanning the surrounds as we went. As well as animals we had seen through the day, we saw Bushbabies, white tail Mongoose, a Genet eating a rat and....a lesser striped Hyena.We also passed a large herd of Buffalo, which I personally found a little scary! Luckily they pretty much ignored us. It was pretty exciting banging along in the dark, sliding up and down the seat, at one point we left the track altogether and headed off through the vegetation, and wondering what was lurking nearby. Back in our rooms we all agreed that had been something else and quite a hoot!
A link to our photos: