Friday, August 10, 2007
Upon returning to Red Chilli for dinner on Thursday, we were told that a group of four Spaniards were looking for four more tourists to fill up their open-top vehicle for the game drive the next morning. We accepted and met them promptly at 6:30 the next morning....and then our vehicle didn't show up...long story short, we ended up talking a matatu driver into taking us. Yes, we took a matatu on a game drive. We all piled up top on a mattress like the Beverly Hillbillies and had the most amazing experience (albeit ridiculous looking) driving through the park. The landscape is just as you'd imagine (or as you'd see on Discovery Channel Planet Earth or Planet Carnivore or one of those shows)...wide open expanse with yellow grasses swaying in the wind, dotted with acacia and date palms and scrub, the Nile River ambling along its slow, smooth curves in the distance. Every time we saw an animal (and we saw elephants, lions, giraffes, kobs, Jackson's hartebeest, warthogs, buffaloes, and shoebills) I stamped my foot on the roof of the matatu to get the driver to stop. Millions of "oohs," "aahs," and camera clicking ensued. My photos will do much better to explain the experience than my words can - check them out here.