December 31 – Sandy’s Final dispatch from Tanzania

Note: Sandy sent this e-mail dispatch describing her safari with Annette and Kevin as she was waiting for Simon to meet her for the Mt Meru foothills hike on New Year’s Eve.

Annette, Kevin and Sandy joined their Guide Richard to begin the Safari.  Sharon and Bryant ("Beach") were with another guide, John, but we were happy to bump into each other numerous times and stayed at the same hotels.  The first afternoon and next morning was in Tarangire where we were thrilled to see elephants as soon as we got into the park.  We had no idea how much wildlife we would see – saw many elephants, giraffe, impala, monkeys.   The highlight of the first afternoon and next morning was seeing a baby elephant playing with its big brother and then seeing a family of elephants lined up along a stream spraying themselves to cool down and wash.

The next afternoon we headed over to Ngoronogoro and saw even more wildlife.  While driving in we saw a family of baboons on the side of the road which was the beginning of seeing an even more extensive array of wildlife.  Immediately we saw wildebeest and buffalo then many zebras.  We were thrilled to watch them and then Annette and I kept calling "here kitty, kitty." To our excitement we saw three enormous male lions lazing around and the females in the distance with their cubs.  The other "kitty" that we were watching for was a cheetah but weren't really expecting to see one.  Richard has the best eyes and just calls out that a cheetah is on our left.  It strutted out in front of our jeep and just continued on its way. 

After talking to Sharon and Beach the first night we heard that they actually got to see a family of lions finishing enjoying their kill and just lazing around with full bellies.

The other animal that we weren't expecting to see were Rhino's but were fortunate to see three.  We also saw many other animals including hyena, gazelles, ostrich, warthogs, hippos, flamingos and others. 

I think each of us took over 150 pictures each and can't wait to share them with everyone when we get back.