After settling into my lodge at Kilimanjaro, I was back in the jeep and off to watch some game.
We kept a lookout, and firstly spotted plenty of buffalo grazing among the grass.
A few zebra started to creep in too. They all seem to get along remarkably well.
We headed out to the drier parts of the ancient lakebed, where we were told the elephants were migrating.
I noticed the ground in Amboseli was pretty pale and dry. Apparently it was once an ancient lake which dried up, leaving a salty, crusty bed. Depending on the season, there are usually some grassy, mulchy swamps where you can find hippos! The salty lakebed attracted wild elephants from afar, and they have settled and grazed this land ever since. Other animals have since followed suit.
Speaking of which, our awaited guests were about to make their appearance!
Once the elephant herd had moved along, we had another call to head to the swamps. More elephant groups, buffalo and hippos!
You couldn't help but feel at competition with the other safari jeeps. We did end up in a few hairy Hollywood races with one another!
Looking backwards, we could see Mt. Kilimanjaro slowly unveiling itself from its cloudy veil. I was scared it wouldn't, so great news!
Spotted! Hippos, chowing down in the mulchy, grassy swamp. They were pretty far away from us, but you could steal hear their chomping and gnashing!
We waited around the swamp for a while.
Then something amazing happened. The hippos were joined for lunch by the elephants!
And the buffalo came along too. Group feast!
The swamp was packed with animals, all coexisting without any drama.
Elephants really intrigue me. A lot of animals exist in social groups; it's essential to their survival. Most animals wouldn't stand a chance without some kind of social cohesion. Elephants, on the other hand, seem to have a strong social network, yet you'll still see the odd elephant strolling along in lonesome, as though it doesn't need anybody.
'A lonely grey elephant. "Oh Look", cried Ned. And then the kingdom was his forever. The End.'
This one decided on some solitary beautifying, by coating itself in some black mud, fresh from the swamp!
'Girl, who did yo' hair?'
This particular elephant found itself a birdie friend.
Best Friends Forever!
If interspecies friendship isn't enough to warm your icy heart, then two smooching elephants should do the honours.
And, by chance, the sunlight on the swamp left an incredible sweetheart-pink glare over our elephant couple here. It was meant to be I guess...
Watching elephants eat is pretty baffling. A lot of dexterity goes into cramming mulch into their mouths, or spraying themselves with mud.
I could have watched them forever.
The sun was starting to set. It was time to make our way back to the lodge for the night.
The journey back was going to reveal a lot more animal goodness!
First point of interest - we came across a dead elephant. It caught our noses before it caught our eyes. It's sad to see the remains of such a beautiful animal being picked apart by vultures, but that's a cold fact of life I guess.
As the sunset grew darker and more amber-like, the scenery became incredibly intense.
I wonder where they were going.
And just by our luck, were were called to a cheetah sighting which was right near our position. Sadly, we still arrived too late and missed their kill, but we saw the two ladies post-murder and still looking pretty threatening!
And that was it; the end to our Kilimanjaro game drive! It was back to the lodge for yet another shower, dinner, a swim, sitting round the camp fire and looking at the mirror saying 'omg' and slapping myself every 5 minutes.
I ended the night in my tent, the doors hitched open, sat on the porch with a beer and staring up at the stars above Kilimanjaro.
I had never seen so many stars in my whole life.
It was off to bed for me. There was no need for air conditioning here, if anything, it was pretty cold on the savannah at night! The hum of the crickets and cicidas made me feel quite warm though, like the sound of a log fire on a Winter's night!
The next day, I got up at 5am to watch the sunrise over Kilimanjaro. One of the best reasons I've ever gotten up before 6am...
Once the sky had woken into a cerulean blue, it was time for me to pack my rucksack again and make my way back to Mombasa.
Only this time, my journey time was a lot shorter...
Hope you found my safari adventure interesting!
Have you done a safari in any other African countries? I've heard South Africa is pretty good! Or have you done the famous Gorilla treks in Uganda?
I'd love to know what you thought of those!
Thanks for reading,