Serengeti  back to Arusha (8/6)

This morning Nancy and Mynan were taking the sunrise balloon ride.  Nancy mistakenly gave them my room for the wake up call. It figures, the one place with phones. So at 4:30 am, the phone rang. I tried to ignore it, but it kept ringing. Finally I answer it. Now I was awake. Great, and I don't even get to go on the balloon. I dozed until 6:30 am and got ready for the day. 

We hit the road at 8:00 am. We would only have time for a short game drive before we had the pick up Nancy and Mynan and head for the airport.  In the short time we had, we saw a lot of animals. We drove to a hippo pool and got out of trucks to get closer to them. There were a bunch of hippos in this pool. Several small fights broke out. These guys are huge. One got out of the water on the far side of the pond. There were also 6 or more Crocodiles in the pool. They just hung out.

Down the road we spotted a Leopard. We watched him climb a tree. That was how we could be sure it was a Leopard and not a Cheetah.  The Leopard was pretty far away. They do not like the noise of the trucks so it is hard to get close to them. I didn't have enough camera lens to get a shot. 

The driver heard about a group of lions with a kill. We ended up going on some really narrow roads to get to the spot. Some of the trees would scrape the roof. We had to be careful because some of the trees have very sharp and long thorns. It's amazing how the guides can find these places. We were driving along and stopped one time. Nothing. So we moved down the road a little further. Then bingo, there was a huge pride of lions under a tree with a half eaten zebra.  We watched them for a few minutes then had to make a bee line to pick up Nancy and Mynan.

After  we picked up the balloon folks, we headed to the so called airport. Basically it's a runway with a small shack. We had about an hour wait for our plane. Finally ours arrived. It was a small twin engine Cessna. It seated 10 people. We said good bye to our safari guides and loaded in to the plane. Allen got to sit in the co-pilots seat. It was about a 35 minute flight back to Arusha. It was cool to look down on the African plains below. We also saw Ngorongoro crater from the air.  About 10 minutes into the flight Jason fell asleep again and out poured the noxious gas. Even the pilot up front smelt it  and turned around to see what the source  was. I woke Jason up and had a odor free flight the rest of the way to Arusha.

We collected our bags and loaded up in a Bushbuck bus and headed to a hotel in downtown Arusha. Here we had a buffet lunch which was just fair. Most everyone wanted to go back to the Indian restaurant,  but Allen would not change the plans. I was spending an extra night in Arusha due to a mistake by the travel agent. So I said my goodbyes to the rest of the team. I left in a truck to go back to the Mountain Village. The rest of the team headed to another hotel and hang out in day rooms until their flights that night.

I arrived at the Mt Village and was treated like an old friend. They recognized me by now after already spending 3 nights there. I got my room and then headed to the outside area of the lodge for a few beers. Later that night I had a nice dinner and then went to bed.

Room at Serengeti lodge

View of the plains from lodge

Bandit (Susan) and Jamie

View inside truck

Hippo pond

Crocodile

Do not drink the hippo water

Another croc

Hippo on land

Lions

Lion with half eaten Zebra

There were a lot of lions here

Yummy snack awaits

Team Kili Time at airfield

Mynan, Susan, and Nancy

Me looking like a safari badass

The plane!

Will our luggage fit?

Eric our great guide

Paul and Eric, our guides

On the plane to Arusha

African plains

Cool cloud, is it godzilla or a chicken?

Ngorongoro crater, looks like it is holding  back the coulds

Coming into Aursha

Inside room at Mt. Village