|Up early hoping to visit the Hindu temple for Puja but we are not allowed in so went for a walk for an hour before breakfast. Got lost twice, ended up walking in exactly the wrong direction both times.
Paying our residual bill by credit card involved strolling around the streets outside the hotel with the card reader in hand until we could get a stable signal long enough to process payment.
Zanzibar airport was typical Africa – full on security screening but then no “Safari Air Link” signs. None of the airport security staff able to answer our questions about where to go but adamant about where we couldn’t sit.
Finally asked check-in staff for other airlines who assured us that someone from Safari would come along eventually and they did. I guess this is just a reflection of the very fluid timetables that Safari often need to adopt. Checked-in and bags were taken despite tickets saying bags would remain with us. Through another security screen that didn’t pick up we had water bottles and containers larger than 100ml in hand luggage (fortunately).
Joined a full plane (12 passengers) that had flown from Dar for the 1 hour hop to Selous airstrip where 10 passengers disembarked and another couple (Lottie and John) joined us for the Ruaha leg (1 hour 20 mins).
Our approach to Ruaha caused some concern as it looked like we were heading very close to a large mountain before banking sharply into the airstrip - all very normal apparently. Annie was very attentive before the turn – sitting upright and forward looking over the pilot's shoulder to ensure that all appeared in order.
Any concerns about seeing wildlife were quashed by a group of 7 giraffe, an elephant with a baby and a myriad of impala along the road out of the airstrip.
A quick, late lunch at the lodge followed by a briefing about wildlife (hippo and elephant mainly) visiting camp and signing of waivers. Then our first game drive – hyrax, giraffe, elephant, impala, kudu, water buck, hippo, mongoose, baboons and untold numbers of birds.
The warning about wildlife in the camp was clearly demonstrated on our return when we encountered an elephant on the path near our banda. Followed instructions and gave him a wide berth and he seemed unperturbed by our presence.
After showering and changing for dinner the underlying danger in our surrounds was again evidenced when we were met by an armed Masai warrior at our door who with several other Masai escorted guests to the dining room. The elephant was still roaming the campsite despite the best efforts of the Masai to scare it off. We later learned that the Masai slept in the dining area, as it was central in the camp, so that they could easily get to any point in the camp if there was trouble.
Early to bed and asleep well before power cut forces lights out at 10:30.