Before leaving, we had an opportunity to do our first game drive. Mikumi is not known as one of the better parks for game viewing, but we got to see giraffes, elephants, zebra, impalas, warthogs water buffalo, hippos, gazelles, a crocodile, and many impressive bird species. Not bad! After the drive we got back on the road to Iringa.
Our camp for the night was a charming place with lots of space to pitch your tent. The facilities were African "long drop" toilets (read: pit toilets) but they were spotless and didn't smell. My father would have appreciated this campground with his weird pit toilet obsession I remember from my youth when he used to purposely seek out the most primitive campgrounds he could on our road trips. We had a Masai dinner at a lovely atmospheric cafe they had set up--traditional African style thatched huts lit solely by hurricane lamps. They even made a cake for both Steve and Anastasia. We ambled off to bed.
Unfortunately disaster struck twice that night--first when dinner did not agree with us in a violent manner (thank you Dr. Kodani for sending us off with plenty of Cipro) and second when it started raining at 4 a.m. I know because I was at the toilet for the third time that night when it started. We had to leave early that morning and the rain got harder as we packed up all our wet gear and then our wet selves. Taking off I the damp heat with all the windows up I felt I was steaming like a Chinese bun.
Our second day was our longest driving day--they estimated 10 to 11 hours but I think it was over 12 when all was said and done. We passed through heat and cold in and out of the rain and I started to feel awful. The weather changes, the stomach issues, my lack of sleep, and dehydration all caught up with me. Steve wanted to take me to the doctor. A few hours, some time laying down as best I could, and a liter or so of water and I was back to my normal self and in high spirits.
Unfortunately it took too long to cross the borders and navigate the awful Tanzanian roads and we didn't get to our next camp until after dark. Setting up in the dark again!
Pictures: Steve and I in front of the Mikumi park entrance on our morning game drive, a giraffe hanging out, and a common sight all along our drive--loads of sunflowers planted everywhere!