I was so excited when we got into Africa and it lasted all the way until we got into the customs line at the kilimanjaro airport. I will admit I was VERY impatient, #1 we had just gotten to a hot place, #2 we were going to drive around in a car all day and look at cute animals, so who wouldn’t be impatient to get through a boring customs line. We had to fill out a paper while we were in line asking questions about our shots and ebola.I tried not to complain too much, when we finally got through the outside line we got to go inside, then we realized there isn’t a line! We immediately started to sprint towards the visa and customs window, when we got stopped, the guy simply pointed to another paper that we had to fill out, after that we looked at the line, just our luck. We obviously had to get a visa to enter the country so that took awhile and when we finally got to the window (where we had pay to get the visa) that man greeted us with a smile and then just said "$400 please”. If you are planning to go to Africa anytime soon go to Canada, become a citizen there then come to Africa, because if you are canadian you only have to pay $50 per person, where we had to pay $100. It could have been worse, people were giving shots in the other room, never want to do that again. After our ATM trip we made it through the visa, we turned and there lied our second line. Customs was so much easier, while we were in line my mom pointed out a tv, playing on the tv was a leopard bouncing on a croc and then dragging it into the water (yeah, thats smart, kill him, then drag him into the water where all his friends live to tell them “hey, don’t mess with me”) but hey this is Africa.
When we finally made it out we walked into a bunch of guides waving posters with names on them, we found ours that said “GOMBERT” and met our guide for the next week, later we learned that his name was Philip and he had been guiding for 11 years. Phillip was very welcoming, he invited us to take a seat in his land cruiser. However, this was no ordinary land cruiser, it had a cooler in it and even better Fanta. I could do this for awhile. Imminently we got on a road, we ended up learning more and more about Phillip, we also ended up buying granny hats (that we ended up throwing away). When we went through towns it was much, much, different than Boise, no official roads, skinny cows in the street, houses that were as big as shacks, trash in the street, but there were some beautiful things too, like people holding fresh produce on their heads, people smiling and waving, lots and lots of laughing, kids dancing, things that you wouldn’t usually see in the states. This confused me, how could someone with less look and act more happy than people with more?? As we continued our trip down to our first place we learned about the Massai and we saw a giraffe. Then we went to a park where we would see more animals, but because the sun was setting we didn’t have a lot of time. We saw baboons, birds, warthogs (Phillips favorite), zebras (my favorite), buffalo, wildebeest, and more and more animals. When we finally left the sun was setting and we still had a 40 minute drive. When we got to our first camp it was pitch black. We said goodnight to Phillip and went to go eat dinner. Everyone was so nice and funny plus we were the only visitors there so they were constantly serving us. Dinner was delicious, something that we would never order off a menu. Our server name was Del, or so we thought, then on the last night, he wore a name tag and we learned the truth, his name was Theo. Then we went to our rooms showered and instantly fell asleep anxious for the sun to rise and for us to set out on another adventure.
We woke up to the sound of my dad screaming the lion king circle of life. I was so happy when I looked at the clock and found out that it was 5:15, another long day ahead of us. We scrambled to get everything ready and to my and everyone’s surprise I was the first one ready. We weren’t going to have breakfast at our camp instead we are going to have it on the road. When we first started we found out that we were going to take a trip down to the Ngorongoro crater. We got started and I started to realize how tired I was, I had made it all the way to the gate where we go into the crater then instant sleep. The drive down to the crater was uneventful but then again, I would have no Idea because when they were watching the trees roll by I was watching the back of my eyelids, yes I fell asleep. But I woke up freezing right when we entered the crater, some call it perfect timing, others call it my family waking me up. The crater was beautiful, but pretty slow in the beginning. We would stop at every bird we saw, and don't get me wrong, I would have been all over this if I wasn't FREEZING. Then we saw a bunch of zebras, buffalo, wildebeest, and birds. It was amazing, they stopped right by our truck and we took so many pictures. We noticed something odd, our guide was looking at something else a buffalo, but not like any other buffalo, this one was alone, but not for long, then almost instantly we see yellow things cling onto it. Immediately our guide floors it, he tells us that he thinks lions are attacking the buffalo. Immediately I think are we really going to watch this?? But it was too late we had arrived at the scene of the crime, and my stomach flipped, I took about two pictures and sat down covering my ears, the horrible thing was you could hear the moaning of the buffalo, and the sound of the skin tearing. The situation was one lioness clinging on to the neck of the buffalo, but not enough to do any real harm, and 4 cubs trying to help, but immediately failing at it. Then there was last lioness with her eyes fixed on us ready to pounce at one sight of real danger. I didn't see, it but someone yelled, “oh she got away!” I immediately looked up and saw the buffalo sprinting towards the little pond. Then it was a standoff, the buffalo in the water where the lions dare not go, one lioness tired and hurt, the other eyes still fixed on us, ten cars watching, waiting. The buffalo ended up winning the battle for survival, and wins the best story ever. When we left I was very happy and even more happy when we said that we were going to go eat breakfast. After the dinner we had last night I was very excited to eat breakfast. There weren’t too many people, and we were right next to a hippo pool. We could see the little hippo heads popping out of the water. Then we ate, met some bird friends, saw some elephants and then left. On the way back it started raining and we saw little warthog piglets! It was a great day, but ended up being pretty short because we had decided to rest for the remainder of the day. The first day was amazing, we were very lucky to see what we did on the first day, even if I almost thew up.