Thursday, June 5th, 2014

I slept great last night and feel much better this morning.  Ollie picks me up from my tent around 6:10am for breakfast. I give breakfast a try since I only had chicken soup all day yesterday.  Ollie and I leave for the game drive at 7 am.  It’s a cloudy cool day, the first clouds I’ve seen on safari so far.  I wear my jacket again this morning.  The two Russians from yesterday have booked a private game drive.  I go to Camp Okuti this afternoon so this is my last drive with Ollie.  We have our daily sighting of impalas plus we see zebras and hippos.  We see an african hairy hawk, sacred ibis with great white egret and glossy ibis.

??????????????????????????????? great white egret and sacred ibis glossy ibis

The clouds clear around 8:15am to a beautiful sunny morning.  We start tracking the wild dogs from footprints in the sand.  About 20 minutes later we find the dogs relaxing by the side of road.  There are only 7 dogs in the pack, there were 8 the other day.  One may have been killed by a leopard or lion.

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We stop at the swimming pool for morning break.  The pool will dry by the end of July.  Not many animals out again this morning it may be because it is colder than normal for this time of year.  Insects, particularly mosquitoes, have not been a problem since it’s not the wet season.

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All we see after break is a red billed francolin and her chicks.

red billed francolin

We arrive at camp around 10:15am.  I packed this morning so I hang out on the raised deck until lunch.  After lunch, Timothy takes me 1 minute down the road to Camp Okuti.  Why I’m staying at two camps so close I don’t know but I will find out when I return home.  I meet BT and Angie, management at Okuti, when I arrive.  There are two steps up to the raise walkway.  They do have a removable ramp but it is too steep and I need help up.  Once up to the walkway I am able to wheel around without help. I meet Angie in the lounge area to go over how the camp runs.  It’s similar to  Camp Xakanaxa,  (breakfast from 6am – 7am, first game drive 7am – 10:30am, Lunch 12pm, break until 3pm, 3pm snack, 3:30pm – 6:00pm second game drive, 7pm drinks at the fire pit, 7:30pm dinner and drinks at the fire pit before bed).  She shows me my room, which is very nice, and advises me to lock my door because the baboons know how to open the door.  I like the place better than the last camp because I can wheel around without help.

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My guide for the afternoon is Lucky.  There are 2 other people on the vehicle.  Lucky has been driving game vehicles for 23 years.  I am able to transfer to the front passenger seat in the Toyota Land Cruiser alone.  10 minutes out of camp we hear baboons barking and several kudu are looking in the direction of the baboons.  Baboons bark if there is a danger in the area (leopard or lion) or an intruder baboon.  On the way to paradise we see red lechwe, impalas, saddle billed stork and zebras.

saddle billed stork DSCN5178

It’s 4:47pm and we can still hear the baboons barking.  We stop at 5:35pm for drinks to watch sunset.  While stopped we have an elephant pass close by heading to the water.

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Back at camp I get out of the vehicle alone but again need help up the ramp.  After getting cleaned up I have a drink at the fire pit before dinner.  Dinner is served with the staff walking around the table with a dish and you serve yourself.  Dinner tonight is butternut squash and sweet potato soup, beef seswaa, spinach, squash, bean casserole and apple crumble for desert.  After being sick, I did not try everything like I started the trip and took small portions.  It is very cold by the fire pit tonight.  I start my streak over being the last one at the fire pit before being walked back to my room.  I have not worked on photos for a few days so I get caught up then head to bed.  With it being so cold they have placed a warm water bottle in the bed to keep it warm.

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