Guest blogger: Kaycie Schlichenmaier
Photos by: Mrs. Strobel and Apple Li
On Friday the group was getting rowdy and amped for our safari.
We split into 4 vehicles:
Mama Dee, Tom, Henry, Ophelia, and Ariana with driver Isaac
Ms. Raquel (Sophia’s mom), Apple, Ally, Sierra, Grace, and Sophia with driver George (Evan joined on Sunday)
Mrs. Strobel with Regan, Kaycie, Janelle, Erin, Lily, and Evan (Friday and Saturday) with driver Ollie (we called him Baba Cucu which means grandpa chicken)
Papa Jason with Mimi, Regina, Leela, Ben, Diego, Jacob with driver Edwin.
We made our way to Arusha National Park and at the entrance we saw a fake elephant, which Mama Dee thought was real at first. Once in the park, we saw a herd of buffalo and zebras.
We continued on for a while and saw a baboons that were playing in the road. After the baboons, the sightings were not too interesting until we reached the giraffes. We found two giraffes very close to the road so we got a really good view of the giraffes. Throughout the entire safari we saw about 300 water buck and Erin was getting very frustrated and overwhelmed with the amount we were seeing.
Here is a list of the animals we identified:
- black and white colobus
- blue monkey
- cape buffalo
- maasai giraffe
- guinea fowl
- harrier hawk
- Serval Cat
After the safari we all napped during a 2 hour drive to the Lake Manyara hotel we stayed at. The hotel was absolutely amazing. The view was beautiful and everyone quickly took advantage of the pool. We ate dinner and then got to see a traditional African dance performed in one of the rooms of the hotel. It was incredible how fast their hips can move.
After everyone went to their rooms, my room had a catastrophe. There was a lizard. Lily tried to catch the lizard but it was too quick and moved out of sight. Without being able to see it, we were all freaking out so Lily decided to call the hotel desk and have them send a security officer. The security officer showed up and searched our room for the lizard. He moved our bed half way across the room and eventually he found it. He moved away to grab his stick to try to catch it and the lizard disappeared again. After 5 minutes of searching, Regan spotted it by the door. Instead of pushing it out the door, the security officer committed man slaughter and wacked it with a stick until it was dead. We all grieved for the rest of the night until we fell asleep ready to wake up at 5:15 the next morning for day two…
Erin Funny Moment of the day… when we sat down for lunch Mama Dee said we saw a tiger to which Erin responded “yeah, because it’s not native to India.” Then we brainstormed the cats native to Tanzania and realized it was the rare Serval Cat (our car never saw it).