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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Conclude Their Time in Africa

Another big day on Safari. We began peacefully enough at Plantation Lodge under cloudy skies. First up after hitting the main road at 8:45, was a little stop for tourism and souvenir shopping. Then we dropped back down into the Great Rift Valley and checked out a Maasai village. The men and women showed us a few dance moves and we compared high jumping ability. They demonstrated how they start fire the old fashioned way and then they brought our team into their small dwellings to explain life in a traditional village. Our team picked up a few more keepsakes after a little bargaining and then we headed for Tarangire National Park. Something changed when we drove past the first giant Baobab trees. As if by magic, there was wildlife everywhere. We came to a waterhole and watched elephants, a giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, great crowned cranes, and mongooses start slurping it up -all at the same time. Roaming the savannas and river valleys, we came across a big male lion sleeping off a big night -by the looks of things. Rambling along on a bouncy dirt road, Melanie scored the sighting of the day, pointing out a big male leopard on a tree branch perhaps 40 yards away. We watched the big fella rest a bit more and then scamper down the tree trunk and melt into the grass. We saw at least a hundred (if not two hundred) elephants of all shapes and size. Most were in family groups shading under trees, some were actively eating trees, one trunkful at a time. We saw a tower of giraffes, we saw a gazillion gazelles. There were lilac breasted rollers and white backed vultures. We didn’t roll into Balloon Camp until 6 PM, but the friendly staff was there waiting to take the team to their "tent cabins". They then escorted us (we are still deep within the park, there is no fence separating us from the wildlife) to the swimming pool and barbecue deck to watch the sun set. There was a roaring campfire and an excellent dinner under the stars for our last night together. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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