Day 5: L-DAY
It was 8:25am when we left the Ikoma Bush Camp for the day. As we re-entered the North Gate of the Serengeti, we noticed there was death in the air. That was because we saw a dead impala being picked on by a bunch of vultures and hawks.
There was even a jackal nearby, but it didn’t seem to be walking right to the carcass. The vultures were also sitting on the neighboring trees thinking that we were going to do something to them from our safari vehicle. So they weren’t hungry as long as we were there.
The plan today was to explore along the river and hopefully watch predators make a kill near the water holes.
But with all the anticipation (it was probably one of the tensest hours of doing nothing), the lions moved away. It seemed like the zebras and wildebeest were still one step ahead of the lions. Salim reckoned the lions might try again in the afternoon.
At 12:30pm, we returned to the Serengeti Visitor Center to have a picnic lunch along with the rock hyraxes, birds, and other picnicking tourists.
At 1pm, we were back in the car, and at 1:15pm, we left and headed back to the river.
At 2:15pm, Salim followed the advice of some friends and took us to a sleeping pride of lions. This one was huge because there was a very large male lion with its signature mane, a large female, and several cubs and adolescent lions. There were probably at least 5-6 or more total.
At 3:45pm, we were back at the river looking for the female lions trying to hunt for thirsty wildebeest and zebras. Sure enough, we saw the collared female lion still on the prowl. Us and another safari vehicle tried to follow her, but lost her after she crossed the river and trotted unnoticed further downstream.
By 4:50pm, we returned to the Ikoma Bush Camp to settle down and look forward to the next phase of our Tanzania Safari – the Ngorongoro Crater.
Just before going to bed, we were escorted from the tented restaurant by another guy with a bow and arrow. This time though, with some coaching by Salim over last night’s dinner, I asked him in Swahili (to be better understood), “Umeshatumia upinde na mshale?” (Have you ever used the bow and arrow?)
“Sana,” he said.
After that, he went on in Swahili (at a speed that was hard for me to keep up) that he used it to kill several animals. He also showed the poison covering the tip of the arrow. Pretty serious stuff…