Saturday, February 16, 2008

On Safari

The camping was described as "challenging". By that they meant washing facilities were scarce and lavatories involved a shovel. If I didn't crash or lose the way, then I surely would be gored by a buffalo, savaged by a lion or fall into a long-drop.

But doubts were soon put to rest on our arrival in Arusha. With my chum, Patrick Drummond, an old Africa hand who was also filming the trip, I caught the twin-prop air shuttle to Kilimanjaro from Nairobi and then on to a charming lodge at Ngurdoto on the fringe of Arusha national park.

The next morning, over coffee at the base camp of African Environments, the ground handlers for Safari Drive, we were given an extensive briefing on our vehicle (a Land Rover Defender with roof-top tent), the equipment (including satellite phone and a GPS gadget), route and safety: "Never leave the tent after dark without extreme caution". They had no worries on that score - once I was in the tent there was no way I'd be venturing out till sunrise.

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