August 17 – Memories from our magical safari

This final dispatch for the BAI Machame Route August 2003 is coming to you from Arusha on the evening of August 17.

We just sent Barbara and the Boscamp family – Jeff, Yuki, Nick and Emi – off to Kilimanjaro International Airport with Paul and Prosper, the safari guides. The other members of the group have already left for home. And these guys will be on tonight’s flight back to Amsterdam and then on home to North America.

Black rhino at NgorongoroPaul and Prosper will also pick up most of the members of Kellie’s Lemosho climbing team tonight at the airport – Roger, Cameron and Keith Foley, Liz and Stacey – should be on that flight. Hal and Sam did not make it past Boston due to the power outages in the eastern United States. But that’s okay; they will arrive on tomorrow night’s flight into Kilimanjaro International. Kellie and the rest of the crew will be taking off the day after tomorrow for the Lemosho Glades and the climb of Kili from that route.

Those final days of our safari for this Machame group were fantastic. On the 15th, after we last called you from the floor of the crater at Ngorongoro, we found two more cheetahs late in the afternoon. Elephant familyThis time, the cheetahs were patiently stalking – we knew that from the moment we saw them. Then we saw the gazelle they had their sights on. It was an amazing experience to watch them slowly stalk towards the gazelle and finally, with the amazing speed and acceleration that only cheetahs have, take off and chase the gazelle. The gazelle got away, but it was still an amazing experience to watch the cheetahs chase this animal.

On the 15th of August, we drove from Ngorongoro to Lake Manyara where we enjoyed a very peaceful morning game drive. We got out and walked a time or two and we viewed an elephant family in the forest very near by on one of our walks. That was a beautiful experience.

On the afternoon of the 15th, we entered Tarangire National Park and we were treated to see yet another very different and beautiful classic African landscape, this one filled with giant ancient looking bao bab trees and many elephant families about, as well as giraffes, wildebeests and zebras.

Zebras at Lake ManyaraAlso at Tarangire, at every turn of the road we saw beautiful birds, a lot of different species of birds which Paul and Prosper were quick to identify at every turn.

On our last night together as a group, we were at our lodge in the middle of the Serengeti. The staff there presented the group with a cake baked in the shape of Kilimanjaro in congratulations for their accomplishment.

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