Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dunia Camp.

I went back to sleep after Mike left at 6 a.m. and slept until about 8:30, which was heavenly in and of itself!  I got up, got dressed and starting unzipping our tent flaps to let in the sunshine and the camp host, Richard, must have heard me because he came to the tent door with a friendly "Jambo!"
Borrowed this image from Dunia's website...this is exactly what our tent looked like, minus all of our gear laying about!
Also borrowed from Dunia's website, the overall camp layout.
He brought me coffee in a press, with fresh cream and sugar (yum), fresh, cold fruit (yummy mangoes!) and warm toast with jams and I sat in our front porch area and began this journal. When we told people we were staying in a tent camp, I don't think this is what first came to mind...hardly a tent at all, except for the fact it is made of canvas and's really amazing!
Throughout the day I've walked (a real luxury after having sat for days now, in planes and vehicles!), downloaded memory cards, charged batteries, written, watched birds and mongoose, recorded a little bit of video, eaten a delicious lunch overlooking the Serengeti (ice cream for dessert, yes please!) and even learned a little bit of Swahili from the very patient staff!
  • tafadali - please
  • asante sana - thank you very much
  • ndio - yes
  • hapana - no
  • karibu sana - you're very welcome
  • sawa - ok
Mostly I've been saying 'asante' because they have all been very sweet. I am the only one here today (there was another small group too but they left earlier this morning) so as Richard said "everything here is for you". 
He asked me if I was feeling okay (apparently not many people stay behind unless they are ill!) and I told him that I was fine, but that I was just in need of a day to slow down. He said, very quietly and very philosophically, that I "had already learned the secret to being in Africa - you can go out looking for Africa...but it's best to let Africa come into you."
The trail from the library tent.
The library/game/bar/receiving tent.
This guy was noisy outside my tent!
As was this one!
This is where "bush tv" takes place after sunset!
So my relaxing day continued...I took my camera down the trail a couple of times and encountered a family of mongoose who berated me for my presence!  I video-taped the remarkable tent camp (I cannot recommend it enough as a must-do, for anyone on safari in the Serengeti) and chatted with the staff over snacks.  I took a nap in our porch, listening to the most amazing array of birds and crickets!  Mostly, it was nice to relax! 
I realize that they are all going to come back here with amazing stories and incredible images...and I will be a little bit jealous...but just a little bit. Myself, I've had a blissfully uneventful, quiet day thus far, enjoying Dunia Camp...and I even had time to shave my legs!
At about 6:15 the cars arrived with the crew in tow, everyone looking excited but weary.  After quick bucket showers we all met up at "bush TV" - a fire pit with a roaring fire, beer and popcorn and our charming host Richard.  I got to hear all about their amazing adventures, including cheetahs and lions...and lion cubs (a little bit jealous about the lion cubs!) but I still didn't regret my peaceful day.  We enjoyed another yummy dinner in the impressively elegant dining tent and then retired for another day's adventure!
The dining tent at Dunia.

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