Thursday, November 29, 2012

I haven't even been here a day

My adventure in Africa 2012
Excerpts from my field sketchbook/journal

The amazing sky and open Silale Swamp
"6:02 am -- I am trying to find the words to describe what I have awoken too... I should have known that it was morning even before I opened my eyes because of all the birds singing. There was a slight haze that is burning off very fast and from the porch of my tent I can see out across the African Savannah  The sun is just starting to come up & hit the under belly of the clouds --- Beautiful! Two Go-Away-Birds just flew by..."
"I haven't even been here a day and I am already realizing how much I am going to miss this."
That is from the entry of my first morning waking up in the bush, arriving late the night prior I had no idea what the camp or surrounding area looked like and was happily surprised to find myself in this Eden.

Field sketch of a male Impala.
Drawn while in Africa
"9:23 pm -- WHAT A DAY! Saw so many different animals, too many to list tonight, finishing my Tuskers and going to bed." 
Day 2 of our wanderings, stayed outside the park this day.

We went on an afternoon game drive where I had the great fortune to see a decent size heard of Wildebeests and then had the extreme thrill of being able to sit in the "spotters chair" on the front of the Land Cruiser and video tape the heard as we got close.

This is me sitting in the "Spotters Chair" with Wildebeests in the distance.
I'm not having any fun at all.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I could smell the difference...

My adventure in Africa 2012!
Excerpts from my field sketchbook/journal.


As soon as I stepped of the plane and onto the tarmac I could smell the difference... Arrived in Kilimanjaro airport in the middle of a thunderstorm, I have to tell you that I wasn't expecting that at all. A very small airport it didn't take very long to pick up my luggage and make my way out to the lobby where my guide and owner of OEA Safari Humphrey was waiting for me. Humphrey drove me through the pouring rain down in a complete blacked out landscape through the out skirts of Arusha where we ended up at his and his lovely wife's guest house. After some light snacks and a couple of glasses of a great South African Piontage I went to the guest house and called "it quits as I listen to the rain beat down in Africa... IN AFRICA!!!"

Day 2

"Woke to the sound of pounding rain - Awesome!" 

After a fantastic breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs and bacon and I have to tell you the taste was completely different from what I have eaten in the US, it was "fresh & clean tasting" we hoped in the land cruiser and made our 2 1/2 hour drive out to Tarangire National Park. We arrived around lunch where we met up with Jan Martin McGuire and James Gary Hines at the main gate. The drive through Arusha was a culture shock and deserves a whole different post for that.

"The first large mammals that I saw were young bull Elephants and how beutiful they were!"

Sketch of one of the Bull Elephants that I saw the first day.
Drawn while in Africa.

We made our way through the park to Kikoti Safari camp which is on the other side of the park in the bush. As we drove through the park we of course went on a game drive, my first game drive! "What a difference it makes seeing the animals in their natural habitats. I saw so much today --- INCREDIBLE! The environment alone was just awe inspiring - no haze, big beautiful clouds..."

Our first day track through Tarangire National Park.

Some of the wildlife that I saw the first day on safari: Bat-eared fox, Baboons, Elephants, Helmeted Guineafowl, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Ostrich, Ground Hornbill Maribou Stork, Impala, Wildebeests and a Cheetah!

Me at Tarangire lodge with the Tarangire river behind me.
I hadn't even been in the bush for 24 hours
and I was already trying to plan on how to come back!