Thursday, July 11, 2019

Leaving Impala Arrive Ikuka- Selous to Ruaha

It is hard to believe it was already time to say goodbye to Impala camp and Selous and make our journey to the next park. We were really not ready to move on and could have used 2 more days at this beautiful camp. One bonus of heading back to the landing strip is no 5:30am wake up call. We had breakfast at camp that day, which was always an option if we wanted to rest but breakfast in the bush was pretty spectacular. They set us a table for us on the deck with all the spread.
Besides fresh fruit, granola, yogurt and toast we could have cooked to order eggs, bacon and sausage from our chef on the BBQ right next to us.
We all signed the guest book and told them what a wonderful visit we had that we will never forget.
For the first time in days we could actually do our hair in more than a quick pony tail.
One last jaunt from the tents with our beloved Masai. Even Granny and Grampy had a personal Masai.
Our group at the lodge with Ezra our guide and our special Masai. We will never forget the time we had here.

We took our time driving to the airstrip and enjoyed a view of the river along the way.
Our plane arrived shortly after we did and we loaded up.
The fight to the next camp was about another hour or hour and half. The terrain was a bit like California without maybe the highest mountains we have.
As we approached Ruaha you could see our dirt landing strip in the distance. Hold on tight Granny!!!
Touch down in Ruaha National Park to our destination at Ikuka Safari camp. You can see on the map we are still in the southern region of Tanzania. We had decided to stay in this area as we had been told it is less crowded than the popular Serengeti and had more wildlife. 
Once you land you can just hop off the plane and grab your bags. We were greeted by our next guide Geoffrey.
As soon as we were loaded and used the ladies room we were off. A note about restrooms around the world. This was a very interesting discovery for our girls as the restrooms in England are all the same as ours in the US. When we were in Dubai they had standard toilets but all the toilets had an attached hose and nozzle to wash off with. The girls were surprised and wondered what the heck that was for. It also meant that at public restrooms it was often a wet floor and stall which was really awful. Now arriving in Africa they have many public restrooms with squat toilets. This was a real crazy concept for the girls. They were not persuaded to give it a try and thought it was crazy. Well, in an emergency ladies your going to have to find out!!
One thing I noticed immediately from the plane as we landed was the large number of Baobab trees. I was so excited. We had first seen this tree at DisneyWorld Animal Kingdom as the tree of life in the center of the park. They are so unique looking and I could not wait to see one in person in Africa. We saw several in Selous but here in Ruaha they were everywhere!
Straight out of the airplane we noticed a large herd of elephants under this Baobab tree so close by. Geoffrey drove us over there to stop and take a look.
There were so many of all sizes. Some of the babies were even lying down under the mothers legs taking a rest.
They rub themselves against the trunks of the trees and we would come to see so many trees marked in this way and sometimes so much that over time it causes the tree to fall and die.
These elephants are so beautiful and the babies so charming we could have just stayed here all afternoon.
This is why we have 3000 pictures from our trip and not one of them really does justice to the beauty of the place and the people.
It was time to move on we had promise of more elephants and more baobab trees in the days ahead.
We also saw more zebra in Ruaha and they were not at all shy like the ones in Ikuka. They weren't coming up for a cuddle of course but they did not run away at the site of our vehicle.
We arrived at our new camp at around 12:30 just in time to settle in and have lunch. We were greeted up on arrival EVERY TIME  with the whole staff waving, cool hibiscus tea and warm or cool washclothes depending on the temperature out. I mean COME ON! I might never leave!

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