Safari Highlights Day 10 Bush Flight | Farewells

Return to Arusha

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Bush Flight

It was a bright clear morning, sunny but sad. We packed up the land rovers, waved goodbye to the camp staff and headed to the airfield. On the way, we passed six female lions sleeping on a termite mound, our final spotting of the trip. The airfield was quite a sight - a bare strip in the plains, edged with crumpled pieces of tin painted white. The plane was a 14-seater, including the pilot, but it was in good shape. I took comfort in the fact that Mary had taken flight lessons. We said a sad goodbye to our wonderful guides, who would be driving the empty vehicles back to Arusha. With giraffes and wildebeest in sight, we took off into the air. It was a breathtaking sight, the Serengeti from the air. We passed over the crater and spotted the round Maasai villages that were scattered across the landscape. We flew past an active volcano close enough to see black lava that had flowed the day before. Empty land slowly gave way to farms and modern buildings, and within the hour we were on the ground in Arusha.

A Thomson guide met us at the airfield and took us to our day rooms at Mt. Meru Hotel where we relaxed before our flight later that night. Here we lost the first of our group, Mary and Carl, who went on to Nairobi by bus. A few of us enjoyed drinks by the beautiful pool and marveled at how amazing the trip had been. After a long hot shower it was time to leave for the airport. We said goodbye to Mary and Erica, bound for further adventures in Egypt. The rest of us got one last view of Kilimanjaro before arriving at the airport. We also had fun spotting some of the business names: Perfect Bar, Fantastic Café, Happy Place (a restaurant), Power Shopping (a convenience store), House of Lubricants (a gas station) and, in the airport, The Executive Carving Shop. In the terminal, the power kept cutting out, which didn't inspire much confidence. I faced 37 hours of travel before I'd be home, so I was ready to get started. I was asleep before takeoff, Africa left behind. The trip exceed my expectations at every turn, from the lodging and food to the animals to the guides to the people I encountered every day. I took over 800 pictures, saw over 36 kinds of animals and 50 kinds of birds, made 11 new friends and have a lifetime of memories.

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