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Wednesday 1 Mar 2006
Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania


I have seen lions! And leopards, and cheetahs and elephants and hyenas and thompson gazelles and impalas and hippos and rhinos and the whole flamin lot. In Ngorogoro crater we even saw a pride of lions lining up for a kill. One of them fluffed it by going in too fast before the reinforcements were ready. Besides which they had already killed one buffalo and one wildebeast so it was a bit greedy. Just as entertaining as seeing wild animals in their natural habitat is seeing all the people carriers with heads poking out the top. During the lion line-up there were about ten cars jostling for prime positions. They kept getting held up by the lions though as they were trying to seek shade under the vehicules. Lions are so cool - they totally rule out here and are not afraid of anything. I wanted to get out of the car and go and scratch their bellies as they lay stretched out in the sun. I think they would have really liked it. If they could just get over that territorial killer instinct thing first. Apparently Disney and the others are considered as being responsible for the death of quite a few tourists round here - people are too likely to attribute human characteristics to wild animals and so they get out to have pet the baby elephant or snuggle the cute little lion cub. Then they get eaten or trampled on. It's just natural selection at work if you ask me.

I just completed a ten day overland trip which went to the Serengeti, Ngorogoro crater, Arusha, Dar-es Salaam and then onto Zanzibar for a few days. I don't feel much of an affinity for Tanzania as a country but both the Serengeti and Zanzibar are amazing and well worth visiting. We even camped inside the Serengeti amongst all the wild animals. The campsite (and I use the term loosely) has a cage set up which is where dinner is cooked and the campsite staff sleep locked in overnight. We could hear Hyenas wooping and lions doing whatever it is lions do. The second campsite on the lip of the Ngorogoro crater is also teeming with wildlife. At one point, we were sat round the ole campfire and we heard this zebra noise and a little troop of them came running through the campsite stopping briefly outside the toilet block. It's a shame no one came out of the toilets at that precise moment.

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