Safari Journal Part 5

sitting baboon
Safari Journal Part 5

9-13-0The Kenyan border. Yeah! The passengers on the bus are shuffled out and into the border patrol office. We must stand in line in order to show our passports. After showing my passport, I walk outside. Now I am informed that everyone must get their luggage and stand in another line so that they can inspect EVERY piece of luggage. It feels good to be up and walking around and I only have my backpack to worry about. The border patrol office is very disorganized, well to a weary traveler. After the inspections we should be shuffling back into the bus. It seems that the people in the back of the bus haven’t realized that the people in the front of the bus need them to get in first. Is it just because I am sitting in a fold out isle seat that I realize this? Or, am I the only one who has any inkling of common sense? I devise a plan to go ahead and get in and when they want to get in I will show them my best sigh of disgust. All this ends up doing is perturbing me and making me a punching bag for their luggage. The door closes and we drive 30 seconds up the road only to do the same exact thing at the Tanzanian border. I wish I could sleep.

I must have dozed off or was the tree really dancing? I don’t know at this point. We have arrived in a large parking lot where people, people with binders and folders, are standing. I hope this is my stop and not just a tease. I get off the bus not only to see if I’m in the right place but also to smell the wind. It smells warm and dry. My hair blows up off my forehead and my sweat dries. For a moment I am in the arms of Mother Nature. I am caressed and moved by her delicate touch. She reminds me to look around and to take a deep breath. I do and the pressure of the bus ride is removed. I then look around for a Thomson Safari’s folder. There standing before me is a beautiful African man named Samson. Samson’s smile extends the entire length of his jawbone. He smoothly removes my backpack from my shoulder and puts his arm around me. He’s telling me that the bad part is over and just let him take control from here on out. Am I in a romance novel? Where’s my one shoulder dress? Are my lips painted coral pink and slightly apart in anticipation of a kiss? Samson says, no not Simon says although I would have done whatever he said, “Kimberly, have you eaten”? “No” I reply with my doe like eyes looking up into his. Now if you are reading this and you think this turns into intercontinental breakthrough love story you are sadly mistaken. I’m just flowering this up to make it a tad better than it actually was. Samson drives me to a restaurant and alerts the server to my presence. He tells me he is going to the office to pick up a sleeping bag and to check on my luggage for me. My hero! He will return in about a half an hour to pick me up and take me to the campsite. Where my group is already on a game drive. The menu is in Swahili but I guess eggplant is eggplant no matter what language it is printed in. The young lady who takes my order has no idea what I am saying. Thinking that if I just point she will get it. She doesn’t. She calls someone else over. I feel like a circus attraction. I try and order very slowly. Now I look like a half priced circus attraction. Folks step on up and see the slow talking, red eyed, white, dirty tourist! Being a white American in a primarily black country isn’t as exciting as say a French or a Brit coming to America. In the U.S. if someone is speaking broken English with an accent all the girls start to swell where their pink, soft spot is. I look around. I don’t see any men with hard-ons. The women don’t look particularly excited to help me either. Finally after pointing about six times and mimicking the shape of an eggplant in my hands, the man says “ok”. At least I can say “bia baridi tafadhali” which is “cold beer please”. Only later will I realize that what means cold in the states isn’t the same as cold in a third world country where people are lucky to have a beer much less a beer that has been covered in ice. The meal is served. The eggplant is covered in a marinara sauce with little shrimp swimming in it. It is absolutely delicious. It is warm and it fills my tummy only after a couple of bites.

Samson arrives and sits and has a soda while I finish my bia. I pay the check with U.S. Dollars because I have not had a chance to change currency yet. The internet site I checked before leaving said that the exchange rate is 780 Shillings for one American dollar. I think I just paid way to much for dinner. I justify it by knowing that I feel much better. Samson had picked up a sleeping bag for me and is going to take me to the campsite now. It’s about an hour drive on unpaved roads but I am in a Land Rover and it’s just me and Samson the entire drive. Can he tell that I am flirting? Does he know that I am envisioning telling my family that I met someone in Africa and I will be moving there by the end of the month? No, obviously he doesn’t. He continues to tell me how sad he was for me, missing two days of the trip and all. Have I missed two days already? What day is it? I have no idea. My nose itches and I swipe it with my index finger. Blood. The air must really be dry here. Umm… I reach into my backpack trying not to let him see my finger. I pull out a handy wipe, only to look up and see him picking his nose with all the vigor of a horse trying to buck a tamer. After all that has happened I finally realize that I’m not in Kansas anymore. Several more times during the trip I figure out that picking your nose in Africa is not offensive. I couldn’t bring myself to participate in this practice but I did watch in awe. Their already large nostrils become bubbles in the middle of their face when a finger is inserted.

We arrive at Twiga campsite. Twiga means giraffe and is the national animal of Tanzania. It’s on their money. Cool actually. In the U.S. we have boring buildings, people and it’s plain green. Shillings, although not worth much, are works of art, blue, red, green, yellow and a giraffe and a zebra right on the front.

The campsite is not as remote as I thought. There are about four plots where people from other safari companies can camp. Samson introduces me to Solomon and Francis, our cook and his assistant. They had already set up my tent in anticipation of my arrival. How sweet. Solomon is a solidly built and a beautiful man also. Things are definitely getting better. I just might enjoy this trip after all. I wonder if it’s because I’m in my thirties now that every man looks like a potential lover. My groins never ached like this before. Well, ok they did but the ache never went all the way to my brain like it does now. Well, ok yes it did. I’ve always wanted anything with a dick and a smile. I love being a girl! It’s a good thing that I don’t have a teleprompter attached to my brain. In nature’s big circle, humans are the only animals that don’t openly show their readiness to breed. Baboon’s butts turn pink; monkey’s balls turn blue, poor little me creaming my pants with no one knowing. Lesson # 3, learn to flirt.


I decide that lying down in my tent is my best course of action at this point. I thank Samson and find my way over to the last tent in line. I look around. This tent will be my home base for the next ten days. Cozy.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *