Browsing Tag


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.

Africa, Destinations

Safari or Bust

January 12, 2009 • By

I finally made my exit from the Arusha Hotel into the big bad world. It was a sad good-bye as I said my farewells to the entire restaurant staff who literally walked me to the front entrance. Herman, my safari guide was there waiting. He hoisted me up into the 4×4 where an elevated concoction awaited my ankle. Secure in the truck I made my Miss America wave to 5 staff standing on the front steps (waving back to me). They sure know how to give a proper send off. They were probably hoping big tipper Kelly would be back again soon.

After a stop to the ATM and a workout at the Shop Rite, we were off to Tarangine National Park. Should you think I am crazy please pay attention to the following: Herman is one of those jolly souls who talks to everyone he sees. Shop after shop he would disappear and leave me melting in the car. I would probably have ventured out but as I am “hop along” it wasn’t worth the effort. When Herman came back to find me crutching back from the bathroom, he asked,”where did you go to?” I said, Herman, I am more than willing to take care of myself but these stops were not on the itinerary and I am baking. No more stops. His response, “OH YOU ARE STRONG KELLY VERY STRONG.” You got that right buddy now get me out of here.

We arrived at Tarangine National Park and were promptly greeted with a guy wearing a mask and a hose that looked like he would soon be spraying me with fertilizer. I wasn’t all wrong as he told me to close the windows (did I mention I was baking) so he could spray for Tsetse flies (tee see). Ahhh I knew there was a reason I was told to wear white. After a quick email consultation with Joyce, I learned I’ll now have a torn ligament, blistered hands-yep not getting better- and now sleeping disease. Actually, if you think about it, sleeping disease might cure all the rest of my ailments.

Going to try to use my bum foot tomorrow since I’ve realized squatting to pee with one foot only causes unnecessary accidents (sorry mom I know I was under strict instructions to stop sharing) and Herman the guide offered to help me shower. Yikes!!!!!!

I did see 11 lions devouring a Buffalo today and the migration of the zebras and wildebeests is a outstanding. More on that tomorrow.

Me, the mosquitoes and the Tsetse flies are calling it a night.