Adventure & Great Misadventure on SafariPosted By : admin | November 4, 2013 | 0 comment(s)
An African safari is one of those experiences that seem to feature high up on holiday experiences for everyone.
Africa is a chaotic place with rules of its own. It is inevitable that things do not always go to plan. It began after visiting the first property and then taking the plane to a small airstrip from which a taxi was supposed to pick us up and then we would cross the border. This was fine until the taxi did not show and my Kenyan mobile had zero reception. I had to jump in a passing people carrier with an alarmed Dutch family I flagged down and then zoom back with a guide from the local town to pick up my travelling companion who was being eyed up by some curious goats and Masaai women.
This was a hitchhiking hitch and we managed to get over the border to Tanzania. A sea of expectant Tanzanian taxi drivers all trying to lure me with there no so bargain prices a quick loud ‘STOP’ left me with a sea od surprised faces that quickly creased up laughing when I announced cheapest goes and leaped into a jolly creaky car to get to Arusha airfield – approximately four hours late – and after being called a ‘tough (code for bossy) lady’ by numerous bemused men who I had bossed into helping us across.
Running into Arusha, there was one lone Cessna on the airstrip. Pretty convinced it was not mine I was relieved and pretty impressed it was. So with the chilled pilot who said he was going to give me another two hours (it being African time), off we zoomed looking down over the incredible plains. I was convinced that this was the end of my haphazard journey. That was until the first storm clouds built up in four years.
Approaching the airstrip if was obviously covered in zebra and other buck. But this was normal and one low fly over usually scatters them and a turn and down you go. Not this time, every trick in the book was not working, it was getting dark and we had to land fast. So we diverted into the Maasai Mara and the next lodges airstrip. So I watched the cheering faces of our next hosts disappear as we zoomed past.
We came down in the dark in the Maasai Mara. Our pilot decided to stay the night at that lodge as he had to fly out early and a kind Tanzanian couple gave us a lift on a two-hour drive through the very shut game safari for our two hours back. They blared music and fed us chips while we witnessed the flash of eyes and prides of lions perching on rocks in the blackness. The most elusive of them all, the leopard flashing his spots as he weaved through the undergrowth and bigger reflections of elephant eyes passing.
When we arrived we were told that no tourists had driven through the Mara at night in over twenty years. So our mishap had turned into one of my greatest memories of the trip, an incredible night safari seen by very few. A stiff drink and soak in the bath and we were ready to enjoy the magnificent adventure of safaris in Tanzania.I thought that the misadventures of the trip were behind us. That was until one the second to last night when my companion got stung by a scorpion and had to have his leg rubbed down with petrol by the Maasai and then drive to Nairobi from the Tsavo and ironically run out of petrol….but that is another storyThe misadventure of a trip can often be the biggest blessing. In this case I had an unbelievable night safari and met some of the kindest and most humorous men who jostled me over the border in time. No photos or feature articles can ever compare to the memories of a great travel misadventure. So instead of complaining or panicking – embrace them as they could be the highlight of your journey.