Definitely ticked a couple of things off the bucket list today! We started the morning at Tembo having breakfast, looking out onto the channel and spotting elephants in the distance. Most of us had pancakes and we tried the plum jam which tasted a bit like melted Haribo and a lot of gelatine, but was a bit too sweet for breakfast. Strutting past as we ate, we saw 3 storks and some wart hogs (Pumbas!) This was nothing compared to what we saw later.
After breakfast, Joffrey took us on the crater drive which was a rather rocky trail. Within 3 corners we almost ran into an elephant – quite literally! It was amazing to see the giant as this was the biggest elephant who walks on his own, but being so close he wanted us to back up and he let us know by flapping his ears to get us to reverse. Joffrey quickly reversed before the van got squished or flipped, but it was incredible to see my favourite animal in the wild and so close.
After a while and feeling confident, Paul, Luke, Megan and I went on the roof of the van to get a better view! Although we were basically a mobile buffet for lions, we were being thrown all over the place and laughing as our bodies got bruised and bumped along the way. The views were incredible and like nothing I had seen before. Trees, grassland and beautiful hills filled the craters as we drove through which was breathtaking and I’m not sure any of us could take it all in at once. We saw a few more animals along the way such as buffalo and water bucks – not quite the variety of animals as last night! Nick and Paul also had a go at driving – luckily they chose to drive after we came across the road to the first crater which was blocked by a tree at which point Joffrey was driving and did a 3-point turn with us all on the roof and narrowly missed huge ditches in the road, much to our amazement and relief. The guys both drove smoothly (apart from Nick stalling on a mountain which was interesting while on the roof!)
After the crater drive, we decided to treat ourselves to a trip to the Mweya Safari Lodge for a swim and some drinks. It was also a chance to spot some different wildlife – blue geckos, wood flies (which are basically enormous bees that, as Megan described, look like Adidas sliders) and Lemurs (like Madagascar!) Luke and Megan taught us a card game which was very confusing but Nick and I were a team and managed to come second (through sheer fluke and team work!) A long swim was a good workout and wore me out before going into the first school tomorrow, Rihamu.
While we were still at the hotel, I didn’t feel great which we realised was I hadn’t had enough to drink all day and hadn’t eaten since breakfast (plus a few rum and cokes which I imagine didn’t help). After inhaling a few jelly babies for energy to keep me going, we returned to the house and went to Tembo for dinner. I drank a lot of water and had chapati for dinner and felt a lot better. Joffrey taught us some (naughty) words from his language but, as I have the memory of a goldfish, I’ve already forgotten!
On the way back to the house, we spotted some hippos so Joffrey took us on a mini night game drive to see some more! Then it was home for an early night, ready for our first day in school altogether tomorrow.