Americans Amble Africa by Erin Farwell

IMG_3021_1A few months ago I wrote about climbing Kilimanjaro and last month shared my adventures in Slovenia. Today we return to Africa and what happened after we spent the week on the highest mountain on that continent. There isn’t time here for our entire adventure but we’ll start at the beginning…

There were 10 of us in the group, including myself, my husband and father-in-law. There was a core group with whom we’d hiked with in the North Georgia Mountains plus as few other people someone else knew and invited to join us. We had less than 24 hours before we left our lodge and got in the two white vehicles to head out to the Serengeti. Our gear was piled on top, we had a driver and an assistant, and off we went.

Our first stop was Lake Manyara. We stopped at our campsite to unload the gear and extra personnel then jumped back in our vehicles. The tops popped up so the people in the back could stand and see out over the landscape. There was only room for Landrover-TDI-Safari-Vehiclefour and there were five of us in each vehicle, so I volunteered to sit in the front next to the driver. The people in the other Land Rover rotated in and out of the back but since I’m so short, I decided that one good bump would result in my decapitation so I was happy in the front the remainder of the trip.

We reached Lake Manyara National Park and immediately there were monkeys in the trees and baboons crossing the road. Our vehicles went separate ways but no one cared. Soon we saw a huge tortoise in the road and the driver pulled up next to it so the people in the back could take pictures. I couldn’t see it from where I was sitting, but that was okay. There were monkeys in the trees, plants I had never seen, and sounds I had never heard so it was all good.

Then a nearby bush started moving; just a rustle at first, but then with more energy. I watched a moment and wondered if I should roll up the window. Soon the bush was thrashing back and forth as if a giant hand was shaking it, but I couldn’t see anything. Panicked now, I started hitting the driver’s arm and when he turned to me, I pointed at the bush.

“Oh, elephants,” he said.

No sooner were the words out of his mouth when the bush was pulled out by the roots and there, less than 30 yards away, stood two adult elephants and a little baby one. The Lake-Manyara-Elephants-and-Baboonslargest animal was eating the now-missing bush while the others grazed on other greenery. My friends in the back of the vehicle were still taking pictures of the tortoise so I hit them on their knees, the only part of them I could reach, and said over and over, “elephants, elephants, elephants.” Finally they turned and saw the three elephants and began taking pictures. The big gray beasts, and the little one, moved away so we continued toward the lake.

We had to stop several times while small groups of giraffes or baboons crossed the road. I still remember the long tongues of slider_lake_manyara_giraffethe giraffes slithering through the three inch thorns on the thorn bushes to grab the leaves. Lake Manyara was breathtaking and we had our first glimpse of hippos and the flamingos that inhabit the shoreline.

We returned to the campsite for dinner in the small lodge that had lizards climbing the wall. A few of us played cards before returning to our tents and resting before the long drive to the Serengeti the next day. This is all the room I have for this part of our adventure or this will become a short story rather than a blog. I’ll share some more of our journey soon.

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27 thoughts on “Americans Amble Africa by Erin Farwell

  1. Loved your adventure. So much fun. I’d love to go to Africa. Great use of A. I’ll check the link for the group we’re in, so see what we are supposed to do, but we are off to a great start. Thanks. Cher’ley


  2. So we’re out of the gate with a strong beginning! Fantastic post, Erin, and good use of letter A. I love the flow of words as I read the post. I was there and I could see and feel everything you shared. I feel like I’ve really been in Africa now. So much fun to see something through someone else’s eyes. Great pictures, too. I give you an A+.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a wonderful adventure! Enjoyed reading about it and look forward to hearing more. Having only seen those animals in a zoo, it seems like it would be fantasy land for me. Loved your leading up to the sight of elephants!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Erin, what a wonderful experience, seeing such wonderful and magnificent animals in their natural habitat. Not sure I would have enjoyed it, but thank you for sharing that I might live it vicariously through your words. Can’t wait for more. Great way to start the Month of April and the alphabet posting. Doris

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Right-on about the Alphabet thingy. There are something like 2000 blogs we are linked to on there. I’m trying to read as many as I can, and putting a back link in my comments.


  5. What a brilliant adventure. I’m jealous, Erin, 🙂 I’d love to do something like that. There are so many memories stored in holiday trips like these.


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