|the back streets of Arusha to the airport. We all had weighed our luggage before leaving the hotel as we were limited to 33 pounds per person for carry on and checked bags. They piled all of our checked luggage on the scale but didn't weigh our carry on bags.
Our plane was a 12 seat prop plane. Besides the six of us there was a family with three young kids, one of them sat in the copilot seat. Our pilot was Sean from Pennsylvania. Smooth takeoff, I didn't even know we had taken off until we were in the air. Saw Mt. Kilimanjaro from the air. Our flight was 1 hour and 5 minutes. Landed on the dirt airstrip and were met by our guide, Wilfred.
Our first animal siting was Within minutes of the airport...Impala. Within half an hour of leaving the airport we saw Impala, Agama Lizards, Zebra, Giraffes with babies, and vultures.
We saw Wildebeast for miles and miles across the river. We were able to witness 2 crossings of smaller groups.
We had a picnic lunched and continued on with animal sitings until we reached our camp - Lemala Mara River Camp. This is a semi-permanent camp. There are 11 tents with a bathroom with running water and flushing toilet. In November they pack everything up. It takes all 32 staff members 2 weeks to pack up, 2 days to move it south and 2 more weeks to unpack and set it up again.
We were warmly welcomed. We had a wonderful talking bucket shower. The staff fills the bladder with water, tells you it is ready, asks if the temperature is okay and asks if you are finished. Best shower we have had in days! A wonderful dinner and then off to bed.
There are not words to explain the excitement of today, but the saying is a picture is worth a thousand word. Well we must be writing a book a day.
Our check off list has 86 animals listed. Today we saw 21 from the list and 4 birds not on the list.
Black Face Vervet Monkey
Hippo and a baby
Secretary Bird (snake hunters)
Yellow Billed Stork
White Headed Vulture
Red Throated Spurfowl
White Breasted Coucal
GIRAFFE: Spots darken as they mature. Breeding age 11/2-2 years of age. 14 months gestation. Give birth standing up
HIPPOS: A group is a Pod, School or Bloat. Thought to be related to dolphins
WILDEBEEST: Thought to be around 2 million. 450 thousand are born each year, it only about a quarter of them survive. Gestation is 8 months, most are born in February and March.