Just as you are starting to feel right at home and have made new friends it’s time to say kwaheri (tl: Swahili for goodbye)….
We’re heading towards the central Serengeti when we come across a few stray wildebeest…clearly the rest of the herds have left them behind or they’ve elected to stay behind…the migration is never quite as simple as those neat little maps have you believe…every year nature throws a curve ball to upset the predictions & keep life interesting..
What do you know..its time for lunch again & chef Edward has really spoilt us with his version of a picnic lunch on the plains….I could definitely get used to this…
It’s around this point that I notice the reappearance of an old foe – the tsetse fly!! I’m told there hasn’t been a case of sleeping sickness diagnosed in Tanzania for at least twenty years but this is not my primary concern…..I’m a magnet for these tenacious little flies. Not only is their bite extremely painful – if you’ve ever been bitten by a horse fly you’ll know what I’m talking about – but a small percentage of people are HIGHLY allergic to said bites and swell up alarmingly….yep, that’s me!! On previous expeditions, news of my cankles (an anatomical term for when there is no discernable difference between one’s calf & ankle) preceded me & locals have been known to fall back in horror after a peek at the tragedy that was my ankles so I’m less than eager to repeat the experience.
Moving on swiftly (with the windows shut for good measure..) we make our way up through the Tagora Plains to Kleins gate where we sign in to the Loliondo Conservancy. The landscape has changed from flat plains to hills dotted with small trees…beautiful…
A short drive up & over a mountain & suddenly we arrive at Nduara Loliondo, a dramatic camp consisting of six Mongolian styled yurts that have been given an African makeover….never seen anything like it before….fantastic….what do you think? First we have the main yurts – one a lounge area & the other a dining area..
Next we are shown the ‘bedroom’ yurts, which come complete with Masai askari (tl: Swahili for guard) outside at night. The interiors are gorgeous….In the bathroom, as it has been since we’ve been on safari, we have long drop toilets & bucket showers..
I’m now seriously in love with the kanga…which is cleverly used everywhere in the camp to great effect. The kanga is a colourful garment usually worn by women throughout Eastern Africa. It is a piece of printed cotton fabric (about 1.5m by 1m) often with a border along all four sides and a central part which differs in design from the borders. One of the longer edges features a strip which contains a message in Swahili which are in the form of riddles or proverbs.
As in the other camps, all paths seem to lead back to the sundowner spot…. nothing wrong with that!!
I peek into the dining yurt en route….all through our travels in Tanzania these napkin birds have caught my eye but these are particularly fine specimens….I admit to having dismantled one so now I can reproduce them for my next dinner party too…