The Builders & McKays in East Africa (2016) travel blog

Monitor Lizard

Black Face Monkey

Serval Cat (just a little bigger than a house cat)

Hippo City


Lunch at Mbalageti Lodge Overlooking the Serengeti

Pool Time @ Mbalageti Lodge

A long safari day for us today.

We start by sleeping in (by mistake ... Mary’s phone was charging in the living room & no one heard it). We still got away by 7AM, despite waking up at 6:07AM.

This is a good day for Filbert! We come to a bridge over the Grumeti River, and look at hippos & crocs. A monitor lizard walks close by the Land Cruiser. This animal thrives on croc eggs.

We see the our first snake of the trip, a green mamba, at a bathroom stop by an air strip. According to Filbert it is very poisonous. Boy can it move fast!

Not long afterwards Filbert takes us to a water hole with 40+ hippos in the water & another 50+ on shore. We park for a long tine watching them bob up & down, jostle for position, and spar. Very cool.

Afterwards we cross back across the river on an at-grade bridge, and see hippos within a few feet of the truck. Further down the river we come across a dead hippo being ripped up by 20 or so crocs. Very impressive. We watch plenty of “death rolls” (& get good video) of the crocs tearing off pieces of the hippo. Unfortunately there isn’t any video extraction software that will work on our travel computer, so I won’t likely post any video until we return to Canada.

During the day we finally see a new nest on a Lantern Tree (what I’ve nicknamed the Pinata Tree earlier). It is green (because the grass is new), and we’re lucky to spot a Yellow Weaver go into the nest.

I ask Filbert about which animals need “real” water to drink, vs. those that can extract it from food. He surprises us by saying that the majority of the animals can get the water they need from the dew on the grass, that the zebras & wildebeest are the largest ones that need “real” water.

We head back to the lodge around 2PM for a late lunch. Food is good here.

I walk back the five minutes to the Welcome Center (the only place the Internet is available here ... stupid design) to try to post yesterday’s pictures, but only manage to get the day’s text & one photo up. So far we’re not doing well with Internet in Tanzania.

We chat with some people from Oz that are safari-ing after a week climb of Kiliminjaro. The couple of ladies we talked to are happy they did it, but describe it as not too much fun, especially at the summit, having to walk 15 hours that day!

7AM departure tomorrow for our drive to the east. We will drive with the top closed for the first few hours, then pop the top for the last couple into the Sopa.

Hopefully the Sopa has better Internet than we’ve been having in Tanzania so far.

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