The hot African sun heats the canvas and makes it uncomfortable to sleep or linger. It’s 6 am and we are on the move. We pack our luggage and load it into the safari vehicle. The tents and remainder of the camp will be dismantled and reassembled for our arrival at the next camp. We eat breakfast and finally, I’m able to eat something. I remain cautious and eat little and slow and hope today is the turning point.
We assemble our camera gear, review the shots from yesterday and decide that the best shots will be with the 500mm lens. We attach the beanbag to the camera and put the binoculars in the seat pocket. We slather on sunscreen, don sunglasses and prepare to spend the next ten hours inside the safari vehicle.
We 4×4 our way on roads that are virtually nonexistent. They are created by animals and widened by Safari vehicles and erosion. Nausea pesters and intensifies with each pothole. I try to focus on taking pictures and the nausea takes a back seat temporarily. We have put in an order for chips, and ginger drink and I look forward to tonight knowing this will help.
We focus our eyes and search for animals. Stephen and others in our group are amazing at this task. I zoom in on the blob they point to on the horizon and soon an elephant comes into focus. My nausea is forgotten as I happily snap away. There are so many animals on the Serengeti and far more than I imagined.
We see Lions lazing on the rocks, covered in flies and stretched out without a care in the world. They know their place as the top of the food chain and conserve their energy for when they need to exert themselves to chase down a zebra dinner or a gazelle snack.
John and I take turns with the camera. It’s nice to be able to just look and see without figuring out angles and the next shot. John spends much time photographing a Baboon eating a mushroom. Forty-two pictures later he is sated. We are thankful for digital photography.
Stephen shuts the engine off when we are photographing to avoid any excess shake, still there is movement every time someone shifts position, stands or sits and there are six of us in the vehicle all moving at any given time. The Silver Pod bean bag works great to stabilize the camera. This was an inexpensive item that I had researched and obtained prior to leaving for our trip. It is perfect. We are giddy at times as we look at our results in the small screen.
We park by a large tree and get out of the vehicle. We are each given a boxed lunch prepared ahead of time and enjoy the offerings of chicken, juice, cucumber sandwich, peanuts, chips and a muffin. There is enough food to feed a thrashing crew as opposed to sedentary safari vehicle dwellers. Stephen tells us that predators are near and we chuckle. Still, I wonder if he is trying to tell us to stay alert? My relaxing lunch is over as I scan the area continually. I am not interested in being lunch for one of the many predators on the Serengeti.