A honeymoon safari

January/Febuary 2007

Suyan mess The conditions had been extremely wet, almost impossible to drive. Ndutu was receiving its highest recorded amount of rain ever and as I picked up a honeymoon couple from New York at the Ngorongoro Crater lodge and we headed out to Olduvai Gorge and cross country to our Suyan Camp near Piaya, I was a little apprehensive about their reaction to the adventure ahead. I needn’t have worried – they welcomed the thrill of it! As the rain pelted down we stood outside my Land Rover in rain coats stunned by the wildebeest migration moving in all around us. We hadn’t seen another vehicle since leaving Olduvai and they both said - “This is more like it, the crater itself and the lodge are amazing, but this landscape and these scenes are unbelievable!”

Suyan Camp is the most recent of our camps and I can honestly say that it is very well conceived and beautifully sited. The Piaya area after rain is one of Africa’s most stunning. We enjoyed their first Cheetah and 18 wild dogs killed two yearling wildebeest in twenty minutes one evening. Many thanks to Ethan and the staff for looking after us so well even if we cannot identify fossils! On a walk we spent a silly hour trying to carefully dig up a large fossilized bone that turned out to be a very hard top of a termite mound.

Dogs running The fossil hunters

We moved south towards Ndutu off road and exploring the plains. We took our time and enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Eastern end of Lake Masek. Ndutu was indeed wet; I have never seen the lake so full. As I had been there the previous week the lion prides were easy to find and one morning we rose at 5.30 a.m. to drive in the low cloud to the big marsh where I knew a pride with cubs were in residence. The cubs played with some elephant droppings for an hour and we just couldn’t stop laughing.

lots of cubs

lion cub playing with dung lion cub playing with dung lion cub playing with dung

A great safari and what a start to married life! Good luck you two!