12 Oct

And not as in remote control.  Wow, we left Cape Town and flew and flew and flew, oh, and flew.  Yes, four planes.  One of them very, very small.  Four planes and two verys.  Marci commented to someone at the  airstrip (yes, this is the airport that serves this area)Imagethat we were in the middle of nowhere, to which he replied “or the center of everywhere”.  And that’s how it began for our second safari leg.  Here in the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania we were back in the bush and truly remote.

Our home in the Selous is Sands River, a bush camp.  We are nestled on the banks of the Rufiji River and seriously outnumbered by hippos, crocs,ImageImagezebras Imageand all the rest of Noah’s passengers.  Again we have outrageous accommodations and our guide and driver, Emmanuel, seems to have a sixth sense about where the critters are hiding each day.  So much of the life in this area relies on the river for water and protection so the game driving is both Land Rovers and boats.  One of our morning safaris was on the river by boat.  We headed upstream under power of about 10 miles seeing amazing sights and then drifted back down river in the swift current. ImageImageImage A glorious morning complete with a riverbank breakfast; just Marci, me and Emmanuel.

The river ride is smooth and quiet, but the Land Rover rides are rough.  Wow, the roads here can be treacherous.  ImageOn more than one occasion I said to my self “there’s no way we’ll get up out of this rut” but these vehicles are like mountain goats.  One evening however, just about 45 minutes before sundown, we were driving along a sandy river bank and got stuck.  Uh oh.  First our guide tried rocking the jeep out.  Nope.  Then he tried jacking up the tires, one at a time, and putting logs underneath to provide lift and traction.  Nope.  Now it was getting pretty dark and although I couldn’t see them, I was sure the vultures were starting to circle overhead.

Just as Emmanuel was calling for help on the radio I remembered that when we get stuck on our Vermont driveway we sometimes can used the floormats to add traction under the wheels.  We pulled out the thick rubber floormats and placed them under the wheels and vroooom!  We were free!  The drive back to camp, in the dark, along the winding paths ( you can’t really call them roads), at high speeds because we were not supposed to be out after dark, was, well, it could be a new ride at Disneyworld.  

Before we left the Selous, we had a dip in a natural hot springs pool and saw a few more wild friends.  ImageImageImageImageAfter 4 nights in the Selous and great game viewing, wonderful meals and a really great looking spanish guest (for me) and another great looking french guest (for her), we were back to the airstrip and count ’em, one, two, three, four, five stops to Kogatende in the northern Serengeti.

At this time of year, the attraction in the northern Serengeti is the migration of the Wildebeast. Now let’s pause a moment to understand.  The Wildebeast (or gnu as we learned in school) is about the dumbest animal on the planet.  It only does what the wildebeast next to it is doing.  And noone is the leader.  So if one wildebeast runs, they run. ImageIf one stops, they stop.  And this could be a group of 75,000 of them!  The amazing thing is that if they start running or walking in a certain direction, and come across a change in terrain, like, say a river, they will pile in and contemplate the dangers of moving ahead.  So the famous crossing of the Mara River by some 5 million wildebeast happens in chunks of 5,000 to 500,000 at a time. We saw two crossings that were incredible.ImageImage

The northern Serengeti is very different from the other places we have been.  First, the roads are pretty smooth!  Lots of grasslands and plains.Image  Very beautiful and more green than we have seen. We also had the great opportunity to spend some time in a Masai village.  This very old culture of shepherds live in a very traditional way and are wrestling with the modernity that is being forced on them.  It was a moving and wonderful experience.ImageImage

Here are a few more shots of what we have been seeing for the last 4 days.ImageImageImage

This morning it was back on three planes to the sunny beaches of Zanzibar.  We will relax here for a few days before heading home.  We miss you all and hope that you have enjoyed these posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them for you.  We’ll post again before we leave.


12 Responses to “Remote”

  1. Stephen Berger October 12, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Your pictures are amazing! Can’t wait to see you guys and undoubtedly hear some great stories.

  2. Eddie Kahn October 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    OMG, repeat….jaw dropping animal pictures…especially the Wildabeasts (sp) -whoa baby….Cheers, from Eddie Kahn

  3. Mindy Shanfeld October 12, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I hope you kept a written journal also so you can remember it all when your 90! Love the photo’s and look VERY forward to hearing about all if it and seeing LOTS more photo’s.

  4. Paula Tierney October 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I am utterly awestruck! I look at your amazing photos and read your tails of adventure and am taken away!!! These stories have been the best virtual vacation I could ever have!! Safe travels:)

  5. Sally Patrick October 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    Sitting in the Back Bay feeling really far away – we are SO AMAZED by your experience – we are so taken by the photography, the writing, your courage, your grasp of life – what is really important . . . we contemplate tomorrow – grocery shopping, birthday present buying, dry cleaning – WHOA! – you guys are doing life!! Hats off – we want to be you. . xoxo S & D

  6. Anne-Marie Aigner October 13, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    No one does it better — and you’ve brought us all along on the trip. Thank you for some truly amazing experiences.

  7. Susan October 13, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    it is utterly amazing- love every photo (they look like pages of National Geographic). Sounds like the most fantastic trip. Enjoy Zanzibar and the sunny beaches. Sure do wish I were there with you!

  8. Susan Leiber October 13, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    Loved reading and looking at your photos. Killington opened this morning. We are on the cape playing golf. Safe journey home.

  9. Lisa October 13, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Glorious….the next best thing to being there! Safe travels.

  10. Joanne Adduci October 13, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Simply spectacular!!

  11. Barry Tatelman October 15, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    Truly phenomenal!!!!!! What a perfect place to open a new furniture store! The experience of a lifetime. ENJOY!

  12. Annie & Eric Cohen October 15, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    So jealous…wish we could be back there with you! Amazing photos.

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