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Friday 6 Feb
Serengeti National, Tanzania

Hanging out the top of a jeep is the way to travel!

So we left Ni-robbery (as the guys are fond of calling it) early to avoid the traffic.  Luckily we were pretty much against the flow as it was pretty diabolical.  They managed to turn a one lane each way road into a four and a half lane road (the half just happened to be coming towards us and we weren't going to get out of their way....)

We got to the Kenya-Tanzania boarder in enough time to see the morning news and the weather report from London, apparently it was snowing (a slight understatement possibly!)  After texting a couple of people to point out that I was in shorts and t-shirt, we collected our passports and were on our way!  We camped overnight near the Ngorongoro crater where we were heading the following day... After a slightly wet night (no leaky tent!), we packed up camp, said goodbye to Mark and Mat, chucked the tents, food and cooking stuff into the back of three landrovers, piled in and took off - all slightly before 6am... 

The Ngorongoro crater is a collapsed volcano and is another game reserve and boarders on the Serengeti.  It's also got one of the densest populations of lions in any game reserve.  We got into it around 7am and immediately started looking for leopards - still no joy.  We headed off into the centre of the crater where we managed to see some more lions, wildabeest, some white rhino with a very small baby, loads of zebra and a few giraffe, oh and we ended up havng to dig out Dodge and the cook gear and another couple of landrovers along the way!

As you can guess from the title, the landrovers have removable roofs which are great for viewing and spotting game.  We spent half the day stood on the back seats, with our heads and shoulders hanging out....nothing like it when you're doing 60kms down a rough dirt track - by the end of it my hair was matted and my ribs were covered in bruises.  But we got some good photos.  Lunch was by a lake in the centre of the crater inhabited by kites.  They're used to heaps of safari trucks turning up for lunch everyday so have learnt a trick of of swooping unsuspecting tourists to try and get their lunch....luckly I had a spare sandwich as mine was taken! 

After lunch it was off to the Serengeti for two nights of bush camping in the middle of nowhere, well, it was a bit tent-city-ish.  The camp had no fences or guards so we were warned that before taking a toilet break in the middle of the night to look for eyes....  Green are herbivores, red are not!  Luckily that advice wasn't needed but on the day we left there was a pride of five lions less than 700m from our camp!  I won't bore you with the details (and I don't really have time) but we did manage to see a cheeter (very rare), the much sort-after leopard made and appearance, we saw a bit of wilderbeest migration and to top it off on our way out, we managed to catch a couple of lions getting frisky, up close and personal - we couldn't have scripted it any better!  All in all, the Serengetti and Ngorongoro were huge hightlights. 

EDIT -  We were heading to the exit of the Serengeti when we saw several land rovers clustered around some rocks.  We went to investigate and found that they were watching two lions in the grass. We took a couple of photos and then started talking - the normal tongue in cheek stuff about going to see them or finding a gazelle or something so they would do something.  Well we couldn't have scripted it better.  The lioness stood up, climbed onto the rocks and lay down facing us, almost posing.  Cue cameras.  Photos taken, we started to encourage the lion to move and after five or so mins, up he got and headed onto the rock.  He sat down, mirroring the same pose as the lioness.  Cue cameras.  Photos taken, we again started chatting.  A few minutes later, the lioness got up again and walked towards the lion for a smooch, imagine our surprise when he got up and mounted her.  They went at it for a few minutes with some pretty impressive growling and snarling before he got up, looking smug and she gave a satisfied roll!  It was the best possible end to our time in the Serengeti.

Anyway, just about to run out of time...  I won't have internet for a while now.  I'm currently in Zanzibar with the second and third groups.  Just got to the beach resort today and its pretty much everything you'd think it would be.  We're off on a dow trip tomorrow snorkling and then having a beach bbq tomorrow night.  The only down side is that its bloody hot and really humid (I'd forgotten how draining it could be.)

I hope everyone is well and I'll try to catch you up on some more next time I get internet!

Take care.... Miss you all.

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