This morning started out with pancakes and nutella and filter brewed coffee. It was a great start, even if emblematic of how much we both miss good food. Our driver and guide picked us up at 8am. The sky was perfect, only a few wisps of clouds, and easily one of the best (and hottest!) days yet. After half an hour the road turned from paved to dirt. For the next two hours, we bounced, literally our whole way there. The road is the worst I’ve ever seen, in part because it’s so long, and even in a 4×4 you could hear the suspension whining in protest. We passed idyllic villages, mud and thatched roof circular huts, children playing on the road side, waving as we passed. We also passed a multitude of public transport vehicles, all stuffed, incredibly dirty, and if moving the passengers were visibly unnerved. Private transport was certainly the right choice.
Once we arrived, a guide complete with shotgun traded with our regular guide to take us on a driving safari. Again, feeling lucky we had private transport as the flies were awful in the start. It was clear from early on that this was unlike an East (and I imagine South) African Safari. Not yet infiltrated with tourism and he regulations associated, it’s a bit haphazard, but allowed us to walk, with our shotgun-toting-guide very close to some very large elephants grazing and bathing in a near-by watering hole. That was worth it on its own, but throughout the safari we also saw a variety of other animals, including monkeys. Though admittedly nothing as exciting as a lion or cheetah. We both very much enjoyed it, and because generally, it’s very cheap, I would say absolutely worth it, but it doesn’t compare to the more established circuits on East/South Africa. Unfortunately, I feel as if there are very few words to describe safari in general, pictures are much better in this case.
After, we had lunch at Mole Motel, perched above the reserve, which afforded us a fantastic view of the main watering hole and occasional elephant that wandered into it. We then ventured back on the understandably infamous road and headed home. The only other observation we again witnessed, was the general unfriendliness and near hostility of other westerners. For example, we passed another safari car, packed, both inside and on top of maybe 15 20-somethings. We smiled, they just glared. It was so strange, and it keeps happening, except for a few occasions. I’ve heard people complain of tourist areas that are predominated by backpackers from England being this way, but I’m hoping that we aren’t just witnessing this as a believable often-truth. But other than that, it was a fantastic day. We both agree, the trek up here was absolutely worth it.
On an updating note, for the next four days, I’m almost certain I won’t have any Internet access. Though, I’ll still blog from my BB and update in rapid succession once in a wi-fi zone (day 5 from now). So, until then!