Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I got a long letter from Barb Nooter in Tanzania. Thier kids were out of the school during the first week of February and they went on safari. Excerpts from the letter include:

Today Rob and I saw a huge Baboon walking down the side of the road about 1/2 kilometer from our house. He was enormous, much bigger than the ones we saw on our safari. People were waiting for the bus, and they were all looking at him. The baboon was more interested in a dog inside the gate. Amazing! He had to go through a really heavily populated area to get where he was...

We had a fun safari with the kids... We saw some baboons on the way in and then Madeline spotted the first lion - right by the side of the road again... Also, on the first day out into the preserve, we came upon a group of elephants that were crossing the road. There were some on either side of us. We drove in fairly close so we could film them. One of the younger ones took offense and held his ears out and shook his head and trumpeted at us. It was very exciting! I still don't understand the sign by the little knee high iron fence: "Exercise Extreme Care with Elephants" What exactly is extreme care? Otherwise, we saw the usual animals; giraffe, impala, zebra, wildebeast, baboons, a warthog or two, jackals, only a couple of buffalo, lions every day, and a crocodile.

The lions were hunting zebra. One lioness was lying at the side of the road. We'd heard that there were 3 hunting in the area, so we wondered where the others were. We were sitting on a little place in the road where the park had boosted the road over a little ravine by installing cement pipes for the water to flow without washing out the road. While the kids were filming the lioness I looked on the other side of the road and directly under us,literally, sticking her head out of the cement pipe, was the other lioness. She was concentrating on the zebra so hard she hardly noticed us. We watched them for a little while, and the zebra watched us and sort of drifted out of the area. The lioness in the pipe eventually came out, and right behind her came her cub. He was obviously this years' baby, and he was really sweet. They act just like housecats with each other.

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