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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Last Day in Africa

Some of the previous day's small animals and birds: 

These dwarf mongoose are so cool...they burrow holes into the high termite mounds and stick their heads out to check out what's going on. We also saw them walking single file near the camp's dining area.
 can't remember all the bird names..beautiful

Our second day/night at Sanctuary Swala was much better, minus the many bugs that bit me. I brought two kinds of repellant and began to think they were aphrodisiacs for the mosquitoes. Yes, we sleep under nets all night, but hey, what if one gets in and stuck there all night? I’m a freaking buffet for it. And how about getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom? I tried so hard not to, but was up every night.
The snotty people from Abercrombie and Kent tours left and the new groups, one of 6 from New Zealand, were much friendlier. I’m not here to make friends, but isn’t it rude to walk right past someone without even a nod, especially when you’re out in the middle of Tanzania?
 Entranceway to the camp.
 Our second morning, having a leisurely breakfast, the camp elephants showed up. This old guy has huge tusks.
 Hard to see, but there's a baby elephant out there.

The interior of the dining room, though mostly people eat outside and not under this roof

 The snottiness did continue with the managers, however. Oh, they were very friendly to us, almost overly, but she (mostly we saw Bianca) never made eye contact with Adam and acted as if he wasn’t there. We have now talked about this a lot…I was given a survey at the end of our stay, and asked Adam if he’d be okay if I wrote that we felt very welcome, but our guide was obviously less welcomed and we noticed. I said it made us comfortable. I didn’t belabor the point and Adam and Matthew both agreed with what I wrote. Skip ahead a day—she complained to their home office about Adam’s ‘rudeness,’ and they called Zubeda. who works in the office, and told her. We’re incensed by this—he was never rude to them and knew they’d already been told he expected to dine with us for every meal. We plan on writing to Abercrombie and Kent’s home office and letting them know how we feel. It won’t change years of learned behavior, but something needs to be said…especially since she lied about him. He says he’s faced this before and later Zubeda told us about the guides’ camp and lodge rooms…they share and they’re not clean or well cared for. He has to share, even if a guide is dirty—lice, bed bugs, etc. She said he’s been known to carry a sleeping bag and sleep in his truck if it’s really bad. 
We had no idea. And we asked about where he was sleeping in each place. 
At lunch back at the camp, we saw some giraffes in the distance, which makes for a unique dining experience again. We spent the afternoon relaxing in our room. Matthew tried reading sitting on our porch, but he said it was very distracting with all the impala and monkeys around. Different from having Farwell sleep on his chest as he’s reading on the couch.
 Before dinner we talked to the Kiwis at the bar, and they told us they’d gone on a night game drive. They came across an elephant who was having a bad day and charged them for no reason. The driver/guide said to hold on, and they took off in a flash. It was pretty scary at the time, but later when they returned and saw the same elephant, he was fine and ignored them. Probably was being attacked by those shitty tsetse flies. 

 The genet was there again, which was fun. Dinner outside looks lovely, but it’s a bug-fest, and not so enjoyable. We asked to sit under the overhang rather than on the edge of the deck because that table was covered in little bugs, but they followed us. Food is very good—have I mentioned all meals have a starter, then a delicious soup, main course, then dessert and sometimes an optional cheese plate? I can only hope all that bumping and grinding worked as ‘exercise.’ Zubeda swears I look the same as I did before we started. Well, the pants still fit…

 Last day leaving Tarangire, we saw all the large animals we didn’t see the day before! A huge herd of elephants with several babies along the road, so we stopped to shoot more pictures and enjoy them. Then passed another huge group of giraffes, buffalos in the distance, and even one lone wildebeest and several zebras. It was a great last ride on our way out. Adam talked about the villages as we passed and the corn and sunflowers being grown. Then we stopped to change vehicles in a parking lot in Arusha. One of his drivers was there to greet us and help with the transfer, and Zubeda was there waiting to walk us to a nearby restaurant. Adam was buying us lunch there—African fare and other things (espresso milkshakes!). She did a little debrief with us while we ate. Adam came in later. In that way, she could ask questions and possibly get answers we wouldn’t give in front of him. We have no complaints. We realize he gets very excited and carried away with having his clients see everything and get the best experience. If we had known, we might have sat him down early on and said we need shorter drives everyday. We didn’t realize how hard this would be on our bodies, particularly with intestinal problems.
 They drove us to the Diluti Lodge where we spent the night. Adam planned on spending part of the next day with us, but our flight wasn’t leaving until 9 pm, so that meant we had no place to land and change/relax beforehand, so he booked a day pass at the lodge (and paid for it himself, though we offered). We were able to leave everything in our room all day and return to change and refresh before heading the airport.
 We had a great last day, although Adam was 1.5 hours late to get us. He got stuck at a school making arrangements for us to visit. 
 Our first stop, however, was to Adam’s home. His wife and son were outside to greet us along with 2 girls who are his wife’s relatives and live there as well. Carolyn had prepared coffee for us and had refreshments—bananas and peanuts, though we were both full from breakfast. The coffee in Tanzania is great—full, rich, dark, and strong. His son Steve was there, but his 4-year old daughter was in school. He speaks English very well and hope to learn computer programming in an American college. He talked about Seattle, but also Harvard. We discussed Stanford too, explaining where we live in relation to the university and how expensive our area has gotten thanks to the technology industry. He was a delight to talk to. Carolyn speaks a little English, but seems to understand it well. She asked if we have children, and her eyes grew large when Matthew said his son is 45…same age as Adam. We only saw the living room — wish I had asked to see the kitchen — and they have a good sized TV and a large sound system. We learned Adam is into music and plays the drums. The set was behind the couch. He likes loud reggae and jazz. Not sure I ever mentioned he’s Rastafarian. We never saw him without his tall hat. Adam presented us with gifts—a shirt for Matthew and a customary cloth set for me—one for a skirt and the other for the top. We in turn gave them bags of candies we’d brought with us (thank you, Ron & Tori) in lemon and cinnamon. We had 2 bags along on the safari, and Adam liked them and they helped his voice. I was glad we brought extra bags to give. I also gifted Adam the cotton infinity scarf I’d dyed and been wearing. He had admired it one night and asked if I brought more with me to sell. He wanted to have one, so I left mine with him.
 From there, we drove a few blocks to the school. Most of the kids are off on break, but one group of 11 and 12 year olds is there. We brought a case of pencils and erasers for them, and we were able to spend time with the math teacher, who later showed us around. We asked many questions about their school and the typical day. I asked about salary—seems it’s the same as the States in many ways. He has to budget to the penny (shilling) every month. 
 The students are divided by age and ability, so grades might vary in age slightly. The school is private, not government run—500 students and about 200 board there. They come from all over the country and from some other countries as well. As we walked by the window of the classroom where all 50 students from both grades were, they suddenly got very quiet. We walked in with the teacher, they all stood up and said good afternoon, and he introduced us. He explained I used to teach for 35 years. He asked Matthew if he had anything to say, and he told them he started school when he was about 5 and finished when he was 32. Now he’s an archaeologist for the last 40 years. Then the teacher asked them, how old was he when he started, and in unison, they all said 5, then he asked about 3 more questions they answered in unison from what Matthew had said. It was amazing! He told them we’d brought presents, and they all said thank you together. They wear uniforms, eat meals in one room together along with the teachers, and have a sports field so every Friday after lunch, they play whatever games they want for the rest of the day. They also have clubs for art, music, etc. that meet after school. The building looks old and dilapidated, but what’s important is the education that goes on inside.

 Preparing the meal over an open fire with huge pots
 bread machine and slicer

                                                    Computer lab--one of two

 Adam’s son went there and he got a good foundation.
Then we drove a few more blocks to Adam’s office. It’s in a weird area—he admits it isn’t the best or nicest, but it’s cheap and was a good place from where to start. He hopes to move the business eventually. Zubeda was there working, but with plans to stop and join us for most of the rest of the day, so the 4 of us went next door to what she and Adam have started—Skilled Hands. They have a small room with 4 women learning to sew and make things to sell. I had filled my duffel bag with 3 large packs of different colors of thread, sewing needles, seam rippers, and about 20-24 pairs of small scissors. It was awesome to see the women were already making use of the scissors at each station. They wanted to give me an apron, but we had to admit it would get little use, so Matthew got one instead. They’re piecing materials together because they often get scraps or leftovers from places. Adam hopes to expand this venture to include other skills for women to become more independent.

Lunch back at the espresso milkshake place, which is close to the Maasai market, where we want to spend some time. We ended up spending the rest of our time there instead of hitting the bi-weekly market in Arusha we’d planned on seeing. But we had such a good time with Zubeda helping us bargain. We found some fun items there—a shirt for Matthew, table coverings which could be used for wraps or decoration too, and maybe a purple dress and a little boy’s outfit…made out of Maasai cloth. They tried to sell me jewelry, but Zubeda explained I make my own…and they didn’t believe her, so she asked me to get out my phone and show a picture of one of my pieces, which got passed around the market. They oohed over a large blue Kumihimo necklace. I almost always bring something to work on, but my space was so limited, I decided not to bother. So sorry I didn’t have it with me.

 Adam and Zubeda dropped us at the lodge around 4:15, he left to drop her off to get back into town and the office, and then returned to drive us to the airport. 
 I am almost always happy to return home at the end of a trip, and this was no exception. However, the people we met made it bittersweet to leave. I never felt threatened or scared, even in the city with lots of people around. We also know to be careful because every big city has its problems. Adam took good care of us and always made sure we felt safe.
 I think you go to Africa the first time because of the animal lure, but you want to return because of the wonderful people. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

F'ing Tsetse Flies

 We left the lodge at the crater before breakfast, which means they pack it as well as lunch. That suggests another long day in the car. We did more of the crater, which is interesting because of the location and all the animals to be seen there, but the roads are particularly bumpy, which does little for my insides and back.
  We spent two nights at the Plantation Lodge after leaving Ngorongoro.  As I write, we’re 3 days later, so much is a blur of game drives and animal sightings. We have seen the Big 5, the last being the black rhino, of which we saw 2 in the crater, but always in the distance. We have high-powered binocs in the car, so seeing them is easy. We spent quite a lot of time just waiting for him to move, so when he put his head up, we got excited. One actually stood up and walked…they’re so huge.

 The intestinal problems continue and now Matthew has them too. I’ve decided it’s the Malarone, which we have to take for Malaria. We’re supposed to take it with milk or heavy fats, so I’ve now tried everything from drinking milk and tea to just adding mostly cream to a little bit of tea. Pretty gross and delicious all at the same time. We opted for dinnertime because we knew breakfast wasn’t at the same time everyday. Plus, it’s easier to drink cream then. Just kidding..only did that once.
 We arrived at the Plantation when it was still light, thankfully. To get there, you wind through a village and red dirt roads with farms on either side. The terrain is so different—once leaving Ngorongoro National Park, everything changed. Many farms with corn and sunflowers planted as well as vegetables. There are no fences because they don’t want to disallow the animals from moving/migrating, but because it’s become so grown up with homes, the animals have been diverted nevertheless.

 Our suite was near the back of the property along paths of beautiful flowers and many cats that live there. We had a living room with a fireplace, a lovely covered patio, a mini bar with little cookies and a coffee maker, a huge bed with separate duvets, which I love, and a bathroom with a walk-in shower and separate huge black-tiled tub. The staff is exceptional as well. Traditionally, in every place we’ve stayed, the staff greets you with a cold hand towel (or warm if the temp is cool) and a special drink. There’s was pomegranate tea. Then they bring you inside and tell you about the property, when and where meals are served, and anything else we should know. We’re generally shown to our rooms by the person who’s responsible for taking care of the room…and that person comes in when we’re at dinner, turns down the bed, sets up the mosquito net, and if requested, adds the hot water bottles. Yeah, I’m liking this… The other thing many of the staff does, particularly at the Plantation and some other properties, is they say “You’re welcome” when they bring you anything or show you to your room. It’s not a response to thank you…it’s their entreaty to enjoy. Adam tells us every night at dinner what to expect the next day and how early we have to get up and out.
 The following morning we set out with breakfasts in hand for a 45-60 min drive towards the Bushmen area. We picked up a young man, Gorjo, who grew up in the area and could translate for us. He walked in to make sure they knew we would be coming soon, and meanwhile, Adam set up a table and chairs and the breakfast, then when Gorjo returned, we had our meal before walking into the Bushmen’s camp. 

 They’re nomadic, so their ‘homes’ are not waterproof and somewhat open, though private. When it rains, they stay in the hollowed out boa-bob tree nearby. The tribe was very friendly and happy to have visitors. We weren’t the only ones; two other trucks were there as well. The bushmen wear skins of antelopes or other animals they can track and kill. The men showed us their tools and danced for us. I asked Gorjo is they dance as a rule or were just performing for visitors, and he said they don’t dance everyday but do after a successful kill for food. They use bow and arrows, and Matthew shot arrows at a target with them. The women and children were sitting in another part of the camp, so we walked over to see them. And the women were beading! They had some kind of long skinny part of a plant with a pointed end they were stringing. Gorjo told them I also make jewelry, so they invited me to join them. I got down on my knees in the dirt and did a little beading~ ! If I could have stayed in that position longer, I would have, but my knees might never have been the same. Meanwhile, the men were back at the fire smoking tobacco and some other kind of plant. Their eyes showed the affect it was having…just a bunch of guys getting stoned everyday. 
 The government want to ‘improve their lives’ so they’ve tried to get them to send the kids to school and move them to permanent locations. Once they almost succeeded by bribing them with zebras and other animals and money. They moved them into housing with tin roofs and it rained that night. The next day, they were gone. The noise of the rain on the tin roof scared the crap out of them, and they ran. Plus, they didn’t get what was promised. Also, the government refused to get them marijuana, which would have been an incentive.
 After leaving them, we visited one family from Gorjo’s clan. They're a polygamist clan, and this man had 4 wives. Three young women were there with 2 toddlers; the first wife was off somewhere. Wife 1 showed us how she grinds corn—back-breaking job using two large flat stones. They asked me to try, but I declined saying my back and shoulders were already in pain, so I didn’t think it was a good idea. Matthew said he’d try, but they said it was only for women to do. The men build the houses, which are permanent and have good roofs, and the women add the cow dung to keep out the cold and wet. They maintain everything in the house, including getting water and doing the cooking and tending children. The men take care of the livestock.
 An old man walked in and shook our hands. He came and sat next to me and we learned he was their husband. We were stunned…I figured he was an elder who came to greet us. He turned out to be around 64, though he looked much older. Men have to provide the women’s family with 2 cows in order to acquire them as wives, so younger men can’t afford to buy many wives. Gorjo is 36 and has one wife, but says he plans on another in about 10-12 years. 
 I bought a beaded gourd from the women as a souvenir of our time there. I really liked the women. They were warm and curious about us. The main wife asked many questions…like how many wives Matthew has. He said he’s had 3 but not at the same time. She asked about children and where we come from. I told her Matthew does the cooking and that surprised them.
 The man asked if I’d stay there and be wife #5 and he would trade Matthew 1-2 of his younger wives for me. I said I’m too old to have children and won’t grind corn, so he really wouldn’t want me, but he said he would. He apparently liked my skin tone. I thanked him and said no, but it was the best offer I’d had in many years.
 From there, we visited a blacksmith, possibly from the same clan. They have a home nearby, but do their fire work in a clearing nearby. They melt down metal parts, like plumbing supplies, then anneal it and create bracelets. I had immediately noticed Gorjo’s when we met, so knew I’d buy some. We negotiated for what we wanted, and they were very pleased as were we. They gave me one free, which I think might fit a certain grand niece of mine.
 We tipped Gorjo for a job well done all day with us, then headed back to the Plantation for lunch. They had set us up outside between the main building and the pool, down many steps. They had several people serving us (we were the only ones having lunch there that day), starting with focaccia with guacamole, then rice, fish, 2 salads, and greens. Then they finished with guava sorbet. Quite a lunch. My insides were still gurgling, but nevertheless, I had arranged a massage for that afternoon and kept the appointment. I wasn’t sorry…it was wonderful. She started by having me put my feet into warm water, washed them and gave me flip flops to wear. The facilities were lovely and clean, and the massage was fabulous. She used hot oil and really helped my sore neck. The cost was $60 for 60 minutes. What a treat. It didn’t magically fix everything, but I did feel better. 
 Adam suggested we see a doctor in Karatu the following day, and made arrangements to stop there on our way out of town. Neither of us felt like we were sick with flu or a virus, but even if it was the Malarone, we needed to figure out how to fix this. That’s the night I drank a little tea with a lot of cream. 
 We felt better the next day, so decided to skip the doctor and hope for the best. I made it through the day without any unnecessary stops. Matthew was gurgling, but did okay. It’s taken most of the trip, but we’re on the mend or getting used to the meds.

 We spent another very long day in the car. Adam said we would head into Tarangire Park and game drive around to find elephants, which they’re known for because it’s a safe environment for them and for baobab trees, then we’d get to Camp Swala by around 3 and before 4. But he also told me to let him know if I was getting tired and he’d head up there. So at 3, I said enough…we’d seen many elephants up close, which was cool, and some lions, but I was very ready to get to this extremely expensive-$1150 a night-camp and relax. Well, when I said that, he said it would be another hour and a half to get there. I so thought he was kidding until the first half hour passed and we were no one near anything. We didn’t get to the camp until almost 5. I was drained and pissed. And it’s out in the middle of nowhere. Roads that have been washed out and high grasses with so many tsetse flies that you either are stifled from heat if you keep the windows closed or you fight off the biting flies the whole way in. I’d been told not to wear black or dark colors because they attract them, but I had no idea they’d still sting and bite regardless. I can’t imagine what would happen if I’d been in black. I even brought every pair of ugly old white socks I own as a precaution. Didn’t matter…they were everywhere and sting/bite as soon as they land on you. So gross. Adam gets it worse.
 So what’s so cool about Sanctuary Camp Swala? Yep, in the middle of nowhere, except for all the impala, vervet monkeys, dwarf mongoose, and the cutest genets that visit during dinner. Each little accommodation is separate with open netted walls. They’ll close the outer walls, but we left two open so we could just use the curtain and hear the animals at night. We did, but also slept very soundly too. We were told upon arrival that we only had to watch out for the elephants. If they walk through camp and we run into them, we should just back up and return to where we came from. 
 The only glitch in all this was a big one for us. We felt Adam was uncomfortable or very tired when we arrived. He didn’t say anything other than what time we’d meet for dinner. We decided to go a little early because they have a bar set up near the outside dining. The manager and his fiancĂ© run the place—they’re white South Africans…the first white people we’ve seen at any of the places we’ve stayed. Ben said our guide had requested to eat with us, and was that all right? I said, “Of course. We’ve been eating together the whole time.” That put me off right away. Then later when Adam joined us at the bar, he told Matthew he just wanted a glass of sparkling water, which I was having. They started talking and Matthew was explaining about something, but I was sitting there noticing Briana and Ben were serving everyone who came over except for Adam. They never asked him if he wanted anything. I finally suggested we go sit down for dinner, which is when Matthew noticed he hadn’t gotten Adam his water. 
 During dinner, Adam told us he’s been there several times before and when they made the reservation, they’d told them he’s the owner of the company and eats with his clients. They usually aren’t happy about this, but don't make a fuss. These are new managers, they oversaw the whole place being renovated and redone, which opened only 3 weeks ago, so the new managers, who are maybe in their 30’s, haven’t dealt with this until now. And it turns out, this property is one of many owned by Abercrombie and Kent, a very expensive and maybe exclusive travel company. Most of the people here are on their tours.
 I had noticed earlier when we arrived a woman sitting outside, who came into where we were being greeted and oriented without a hello or acknowledgement. In every place we’d been, most people say hello and some ask each other where they’re from. Then before Adam came to the bar, we’d walked over to where a cooking demo had been going on, and no one except the staff talked to us. We didn’t stay long there because it was almost over and I told Matthew the place felt “cliquey” and I didn’t want to stay there…. and I was right-on. By the time we’d finished at the bar, before Adam explained the South African connection and the attitude he’s experienced in this camp, I knew. I could feel the privileged asshole attitude from these people. I know them and I don’t like them. We both grew up around people like this and are not impressed. Money does not buy you manners or kindness.
 We did have a good laugh during dinner because Adam copped to the fact that he realized at 3 that day that we were at least 1.5-2 hours from the camp and he’d promised to get us there before 4. He promised that today we’d come back for lunch, and I said I’d make sure it was early this time and when he told me to let him know if I was tired, he didn’t say to tell him 2 hours before I got tired! At least we’re able to laugh about it now.
 The best part of the evening was when I spotted something below us off the deck during dinner. Matthew said genet, and Adam agreed. I’d never heard of one—they’re so freaking cute! It’s body looks like a cat with spots and the long bushy tail, more than it’s body length is striped! It’s a member of the mongoose family and not a cat at all. She apparently lives there along with another—mother and child. They’re nocturnal so hoping to spot it again.
 Today we drove through the park, and it was small animal day. We saw many dik-diks, which are the second smallest antelopes. They’re adorable and fast, mostly in pairs. We’d seen our first at the gorge, but none since. We also saw many species of birds and dwarf mongoose which were hiding in termite mounds. They made holes in the mounds and stick their heads out. Reminded me of gophers at home. Except cute. It was an odd day for large animals. Only saw one elephant and other drivers said they hadn’t seen much, so we opted to return to the camp for a lunch early and relax in the afternoon. We could see giraffes in the distance and many close up impalas, dwarf mongoose, and monkeys right off the dining room deck. I told Adam we were game sitting instead of driving, and I was fine with that.
 For $1150 per night, you’d think the wifi would be good enough for me to send this and add pictures, etc. but it’s not. They only provided wifi for one device, so I told Ben last night that I needed more. They gave me another password for one more device, but honestly, I had trouble sending a text with a photo, so I’m not even bothering to finish this until tomorrow. We’re heading back to the first lodge in Arusha for the night, then a long day before heading to the airport. 
 Good news…I’ve set aside half my wardrobe to leave behind! Makes for easy packing. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

I've Never Seen So Many Sunrises!

  Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a sunrise kind of gal. My sister used to get up and out before 6 am to get to the gym, and I could hardly move until I had at least one cup of coffee.
 Here in Tanzania, the best time to start out is around 6 because the animals are easier to spot, there are fewer safari trucks on the roads, and by afternoon, it's too hot for both kinds of animals to be out there--us and them.
 So with leaving the camps or lodges at 0-dark-30 and returning at least 7 hours later, and twice 9-11 hours later, I've had little time or energy to write. We have had some wonderful experiences, but it's also been challenging. My insides still feel upside down after being jostled daily on dusty roads.
 We have now seen the Big 5! The black rhino was the last, which we saw before leaving the interior of the crater. My picture is but a dot, but Matthew got some good shots with his better zoom lens.
 We left the crater yesterday after exploring for several hours, then headed out of Ngorongoro for the Plantation Lodge. Getting out of the crater is something else. Well, actually getting into it is worse...feels like it's straight downhill on a very poor, recently washed out and sort of fixed, road. We came out a different road, one that's so small and windy, it's only used for ascent. Views are spectacular and you're driving through a forest.

Saw a lion with her fresh wildebeest kill, then her cub wandered over. Cool way to start our drive...seeing the cub.

  Lots of elephants live in the caldera, but they're mostly male. The females live elsewhere and their mates visit them by going up the ascending road to where they're located. They have no trouble finding them.
 This bird is everywhere and I have spent countless moments trying to capture it in flight. The outer wings are iridescent blue--it's a type of starling.

 On our way up to the Maasai village.

  We were welcomed by the chief's son (sounds impressive until you find out the chief has 16 wives and 73 children, so anyone who greeted us would have been related to the chief), dressed us in cloths and a necklace for me to borrow. Then a woman grabbed me by the hand and brought me over to the other women...and they all started singing and dancing, which I was expected to do as well. A large part of what we did was move our shoulders up and down to make the necklace dance. Then the woman on my right would tell me to "jump," and we'd jump a few times during that part of the song.
 See what I'm holding? That's a huge bag containing 10 hanks of beads--in 10 colors. Towards the end of the dance, they got very distracted realizing what I'd brought them. The lead woman came over and I presented them to her, then they all sat on the ground and separated each strand so that they'd be shared equally.
 Meanwhile, we were watching the men make fire using two types of wood.
  After the fire was built, we got to watch the women sort the beads and two males counted them out and made sure each woman got 10 strands, one of each color.
  They normally have to trade or buy beads at the market, so this will help them immensely. We bought a few things from them at the end, and unfortunately, we didn't negotiate well and they set their prices very high. Adam wasn't pleased when we told him later--he felt they took advantage of us.His company pays them out of what we pay, so he's told them to be fairly priced. I should have asked him if this was right before we paid. It's too bad the visit ended on a sour note because they were fun to visit till then. We saw one of their houses and also their kindergarten. The kids sang a song, and there's an obvious tip box sitting in the room.
  We have seen a couple types of jackals...and they're so cute!
 Haha...see the black rhino? Well, he's out there--that little black dot. Take my word for it.
  This old guy walked right across the street near our truck. He always has the right-of-way.
 And then there was these two who were walking along, stopped, sat, nuzzled each other, then proceeded to walk between the trucks in front of ours. Ah, shade, they said, and they laid down. One had a paw on the tire...we weren't going anywhere. We were surrounded by safari trucks with everyone taking pictures as we photo-bombed them by standing on the seats and hanging our heads over the edge to take pictures too.