Africa, Destinations

Don’t Mess with the King of the Jungle

January 13, 2009 • By

First off, birthday wishes to Tali Stein, who on her birthday unlike mine will have beautiful hair and make up and many kisses from her husband. Cheers! (I did get amazing chocolate cake)

I thought I would share some of my overnight experiences at the
Maramboi Tented Camp-the camp consists of canvass huts with beautiful wood floor and yes showers. However, canvas does not equal walls.

The Lodge faces the Rift Valley at the shores of Lake Manyara which I did not quite think about until….

12 am when the nocturnal wildlife awoke hungry.

Here are a few samplings of the emails I sent/received throughout the night. I figured I was dying what can I say.

To my dad who was leaving for Germany and has still not responded.

“I don’t see anything in your email and momentarily you may be recovering my body as I’m surrounded by lions and shitting my pants. I’m in a hut but find that a lion could get through that in about 20 seconds. Currently, I’m gripping onto a whistle for dear life whatever that might do for me.”

From my friend Jack who usually thinks I am neurotic:

“I’ve moved on from the people (I was the only guest so earlier I was afraid I would be kidnapped). Now, I am holding my whistle as I can hear the lions breathing as they circle my hut. I’m scared to death. Again, screens are my walls.”

Jack’s reponse,”Honey I know you’re worried but really you never, or hardly ever at least,
hear about beautiful young americans getting eaten by lions. So I really don’t think it happens very often or if it did, again, no one would go on these things.”

I did survive the night. The lions, which I lost a good 6 hours sleep over, turned out to be none other than grass eating zebras. The smell they left behind indicates they were well fed. So much for my wild imagination.

I’m went on a beautiful game drive on the shores of Lake Manyara where I saw Olive Babboons in heat (at least someones getting something), a giraffe sitting down and more of the wildebeest and zebra migration. I was really warming to the zebra but after last night…

I’m staying at a beautiful coffee plantation in the hills of of the Ngorongoro Crater. The owner is a German/Masai and I think a bit crazy–he drinks cows blood and dances around the hotel. To clarify, most Masai only eat 3 things. The women cows milk. The men cows blood and milk and both eat cows meat. They are a very unique tribe and prominent in these parts. Willie is clearly a reformed Masai but still.

My foot is feeling better. A 23- year-old American emt looked at it and told me to swim a bit. I did and it seemed to help. Yes he is 23 and yes I had to “fucking” listen to him. That must mean I’m coming to terms with the millenials ruling the world….maybe not just yet.