Tanzania
May 08, 2000 GMT
Elephant Encounters

We have gone from East to West since our last message covering some five contries. We enjoyed a couple of days at Zanzibar although we considered facilities were a little over priced compared to the rest of the countries we have been through in Africa. The seafood on the waterfront was tasty and the tour of the spice farms was great.

A walk around Stone Town revealed plenty of carving shops with eager salesman bargaining for the best price. We escaped without buying anything. Back at the campground we spent plenty of time with the Overland truck drivers discussing a safe route to the West with most agreeing that Zimbabe had a large question mark over its safety because of the political trouble. Heading out of Dar we travelled through Mikumi National Park.

The road went through the park for more than fifty kms and we hoped to see plenty of wildlife as it was getting later in the day. Our first sighting of an elephant was a bit of a surprise but the lion [two year old male] sitting on the road was more than we bargained for. A parked 4x4 in front of us waved us on which would have had us pass within 3-4 metres of the lion. That was too close. On oncoming truck caused the lion to stand up and turn ..to see us. We were about to beat a hasty retreat when he just sat down never taking his eyes of us. We probably looked about the same size so!!! who knows. The people in the parked 4x4 then offerd to drive forward with us shielded from the lion. We accepted and took off as fast as R80GS's can go.

Next encounters were far more amicable with the bike parked on the road between a herd of elephants happily chomping away unperturbed by our busy photographic excercises. Next was a herd of giraffe (Approx . 30) which stood and stared at us for 15-20 minutes. We wondered if we were in the zoo. We camped that night just outside the N.P. planning to cross the border into Malawi the next day.

Posted by Carol Duval at 01:11 AM GMT
 
 

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