Epic Air Safari: Vamizi Island to Ruaha

31st May

Today we leave Vamizi Island in Mozambique and head to Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.  A long 627 miles, with 532 miles left before home.  The first part of this long day is over the blue water of the Mozambique coast: lovely!  We enter Tanzania at Mtwara Airport and fly for a bit less than three hours over the southern end of Selous, reaching Ruaha for lunch.

The camp over the Mwagusi River is as charming as we remember it.  (The new manager unfortunately is not!)  It is lovely to be back.  This is one of my favorite parks in Africa.  The diversity is immense, the elephants very approachable.

We enjoy a great sunset over the river after a game drive among forests of baobabs.  A jackal looks on nearby.  Africa is beautiful....  At camp, a surprise dinner under the stars in the dry river bed is a magnificent final curtain for a fantastic day.

1st June

Lions kept us company with their singing last night.  We walk over their fresh tracks this morning on the path from our tent.  I look around attentively.  They have left camp, and I get to our car without any thrilling encounters.  The game drive is lovely with magical light among kudus, dik-diks, impala, giraffes, and elephants, elephants, and more elephants.  We decide to disregard the call from the other car, which is on a lioness, to enjoy an elephant moment: we spend half an hour contemplating a family that is digging holes in the sandy river bed.  The youngsters get pushed around when they try to sneak a drink from their older relatives, who have worked hard to get to the fresh, clear water.  Brown parrots (much more colorful than the name suggests!) are enjoying the show as well.  And I am intrigued by a black morph Gabar goshawk.  A bush breakfast on the Ruaha River overlooking hippos and egrets is simply perfect.

Lunch at camp is lovely, and so is the siesta on the hammock afterwards.  Time to go on safari again…  We drive toward ticker bush looking for a pride of sixteen lions.  We do not find them, but we do find hyenas, buffalo, and, again, endless elephants.

Watching the sunset while elephants peel a poor baobab, which has certainly fed many generations of elephants, is the perfect way to end the Tanzanian mainland part of our safari.  Tomorrow we will still be in Tanzania but on a different safari.  We will have an island all to ourselves and will enjoy the Indian Ocean.


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