Ruaha National Park
On entering, we saw some seriously large crocs in the river, as we crossed the bridge and plenty of waterbirds,after a short drive along the river,paying more attention to our surroundings, than the road itself,we had to brake suddenly, as three extremely handsome Lions(a huge male and two lionesses) were having a snooze under the shady trees, right across the road. A beautiful sight, so we just sat and watched a while,after 10 mins or so the male and one lioness got up walked straight passed us, so close you could have touched them. They proceeded to the next tree to indulge in some “sexy times”, although fairly short-lived, I managed to get some photo’s!
Camped in the park,on banks of the river, overlooking extensive plains, a magnificent spot, only us and from our chair’s we managed to see Ellie’s,Hippo,Giraffe,Impala, Warthog, Fish eagle, Hadeda, Saddle-billed and Yellow-billed Storks and many other birds too.
Up at 5:00 am next morning, we saw our lovely Lions again, resting in the dried up river bed, plus a little later on another younger one. By 10:00 am we were cooking in the 36 degree heat , back to drinking litres of water again, like in west Africa.
A film crew reported a pride of Lions had killed a Giraffe, the previous night and were desperately trying to locate them, we also tried on hearing this, but failed miserably.
Elephants at every turn here, many in or on the roadside, so you can do nothing other than wait for them to move off, this can take a long time, especially when melting in the heat of our tin box! We saw the cutest little baby though, playing with his trunk and tripping over his feet…..lovely.
Hot, sweaty and tired, we left the park, along the horrendously corrugated road and camped at Sisa camp, fairly run down and obviously little used, but the two guys rushed around getting firewood and washing out loo’s and showers, so all was fine,several of our “really strong” boxes had broken and cans exploded (even our toothpicks had snapped) due to the state of the road leading to and from the park . When inside it was actually fine and the park itself is wonderful, up there in the Top Ten!
Heading back to Iringa the following morning and still on corrugations, the Landy just stopped for no apparent reason. Trying not to panic, miles from anywhere with the sun blazing down and not a tree in sight, my bush mechanic got to work, luckily he soon discovered a wire to the fuel injector had disconnected itself on the bumpy road, so reconnected once again (and rather relieved) off we went…….then got yet another speeding fine, this time from a not so friendly,I’m just going to pocket the money, as I have no receipts, policewoman.
From Iringa after stocking up on cold drinks,we left for Dodoma, a far too long driving day in 38 degrees, major roadworks, on what will presumably be a great road one day, except the minute you get a few kms of tar, the speed bumps and 50&30 speed limit kicks in so you never actually get anywhere fast and then its back to dusty rubble again……..oh well, we got there in the end, nowhere to camp at Dodoma (believe it or not it’s the capital, not Dar as you might imagine)so we checked into the Cana lodge hotel, after taking some time to find it and a few near punch-ups….between us that is, we calmed down whilst supping a couple of cold beers, this always seems to do the trick when tempers are frayed!