October 29, 2014 – Stayed at Lemala Mara North Serengeti Camp
After breakfast we packed and said our goodbyes and were on our way. We saw Eland antelope, giraffes, ostriches, cape buffalos, Thomson’s gazelles, zebras, wildebeest, impalas, Topi, Coke’s hartebeest, Bohor reedbuck, warthogs, and bateleur eagle. We stopped at the Mara River for lunch. The box lunch from Buffalo Luxury Lodge was the best yet. We could see hippos (the word hippopotomus means River Horse) and crocodiles in the river. It started to rain a little, but it stopped and we got photos of a pair of grey crowned cranes (the national bird of Uganda) and a brown snake eagle, grey heron, impalas, zebra, cape buffalo, sacred Ibis, baby giraffe, and a lilac-breasted roller. We drove to Adventure’s Aloft to sign the release for the hot air balloon ride. We met the captain, Mike Carnevale (age 59) and his wife, Jackie, and their little girl, Fiona, who is about four. They will be picking us up at 4:30 AM. We will need to go to bed early! Then we drove to Lemala Mara North Serengeti Camp. We discovered, that once again, we are the only guests. So the entire staff is here taking care of us. Part of it is strange, as would be nice to have other guests to share stories with, but it also makes us feel special; that everyone here is catering to us. This camp has eleven tents, but they have already dismantled three of them as they will be moving the camp after we leave. The tent is very nice: King bed, night stands, desk, and an area to hang clothes and cubbies to place our things. The bathroom is equipped with a vanity with a copper sink, rack to dry clothes, shower that is heated with wood over a fire, and a flush toilet. Even though the walls are canvas tent, the floor is wood plank and a beautiful overhead chandelier made with paper rectangles hanging down. Each strand has five pieces and there must be 50 strands hanging in a rectangle. There are four pillows and a down comforter. We have a beautiful view out our door and, and of course, there is a veranda with chairs and table. We also took a 360 degree time-lapse video to document our place here too and we set up our night camera again. Our room steward, Calisti, heated water for us over a wood fire so that we could shower and waited outside, just in case we ran out of hot water. The way that these showers work is by gravity. The water has a smokiness to it but is a perfect temperature. We have a chain to pull to start the water flowing and another chain to stop it. It’s a little strange to have a man standing outside, waiting for us to say whether that we need more water, or that we are finished, and thank you. These showers are referred to as talking showers. After we were cleaned up, we headed back to the main dining tent. Outside, they had built a fire for us to sit around and we snacked on peanuts. It’s called bush tv. We chatted with Benson, the camp manager and then moved inside where we had a wonderful three course meal, and got our escort back to our tent for an early bedtime. Once again, hot water bottles to keep us warm. What a treat. ~ Mary & Mark
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