Serengeti Trip 2011 | Goodbye North, Hello South!

Welcome to the Serengeti Trip series of blog posts! This series of posts covers the planning, packing and progress of a massive 70-day trip through 6 African countries early in 2011. The trip started on 20 January 2011 in Pretoria, South Africa, and is heading north through Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania to the legendary Serengeti National Park! From there the guys will head back south through Malawi, another part of Zambia and Zimbabwe… These blog posts are syndicated from the Official Trip Website.

Hello from the capital of Tanzania – Dodoma. I’d like to thank everyone who made contributions to our data fund again. We’re well on our way to keep the posts running daily right until the very last day of the trip! For more details on how to make a contribution, please open the post named: “We need your help, please!”

Ji and I left Panorama Safari Camp next to Lake Manyara at 06:30 this morning and for the first time since we left Pretoria 45 days ago we found ourselves driving south on a tar road! It was a very odd feeling indeed – knowing that we’re actually driving towards home. To be honest – our little tent has become home and wherever we pitch it, we feel welcome and safe(ish), depending on how close the buffalo are at night!

I wish we had a selection of excellent and interesting wildlife photos to post today, but instead you’ll have to be content with photos of us making the arduous journey down to Dodoma. It took us the best part of six hours to cover a 250 km-stretch of gravel road – the worst of the trip thus far! Just when you pick up speed you have to break suddenly, or else a pothole or ditch will swallow one of your tyres. We took turns to drive whilst the passenger caught up on some much-needed sleep. We’ve been doing morning safari’s non-stop for 16 days now, so we haven’t slept in for a while. Because of this we decided to book into a hotel in Dodoma, just to recuperate. The Modern Hotel only has double beds, but at least we have a large hot shower, a proper flush toilet (that has not been swallowed by the earth!), aircon and a TV. The plan is to sleep in tomorrow morning and then head for the town of Iringa close to Ruaha National Park – our next safari destination.

 

The 'main' road between Babati and Dodoma

 

Teamwork in the Hyena - one drives whilst the other sleeps

 

An exhausted Ji in our room for the night

We were also able to get unleaded petrol for the first time in ages – a fact that made the Hyena very happy indeed! Finding a supermarket in the capital was not quite so easy, but after asking a number of people who can hardly speak English we finally found a small little shop just outside of town. At least now we have pasta, Marie biscuits and Pringles, and lots of Coca Cola of course!

There is one thing that stands out on this otherwise ‘boring’ day: My brother, Francois, turned 30 today!! Happy birthday, boet! If there are two other people in this world that would LOVE being on this trip it’s Francois and his wife, Tania. Don’t worry guys – before you know it you’ll be on the road as well! Frannie, ek hoop jy’t ‘n fantastiese dag en jaar! Dankie vir alles wat jy vir my doen en beteken – ek weet nie wat ek sonder jou en Tania sou doen nie! Julle is legends!!

Okay, that’s it for today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you enjoy the Cricket World Cup! Send us some updates every now and again, please.

 

Cheers!

Villiers

 

Highlight of the day:

Villiers: A comfortable bed, even though I have to share it with De Wet!

Ji: That there’s something to watch on TV

 

Lowlight of the day:

Villiers and JI: The shocking road between Babati and Dodoma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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