My African Midwifery Adventure – Day 5, 6 & 7 – Off on Safari!

So, as I mentioned in my post the other day – I’m going to get the rest of my posts out from my Tanzanian Midwifery Adventure over the next few weeks.

Here be go; day 5, 6 and 7 of my Tanzanian adventure, I was on safari.

We were collected at 6.30am from the Work The World house and started our marathon drive to Mikumi National Park. The park itself is a 7-8 hour drive from the house so the four of us (two other student midwives, a student nurse and me) brought our pillows with us and slept on and off the whole way.

We arrived at around 2pm and after signing the entrance book (they have quite strict entrance rules to safari parks to stop poachers) headed straight into the park for our first game drive. We spent about 4 hours driving around the park and we saw so much!

Having done safari before, I knew how rare it is to see a Leopard (in my 6 week trip when I was 18, I only saw one) but within 2 hours of starting driving around the park, we got a tip from another driver and found a leopard sitting in a tree – Amazing!

Hiding in the trees (not the best photo I’ve ever taken but so glad I got it!)

We also headed to a huge watering hole and just as we got there a herd of elephants turned up and started splashing each other and playing in the water. I love elephants. There is just something about them. They are so vast and yet so incredibly graceful. I cannot get enough of just watching them, and we got so close too!

As the sun started to set, we headed out of the park and to our camp. We were sleeping in permanent huts on a campsite, and were very impressed when we were shown to our boudoir by one of the guys – we were expecting it to be really basic but it was gorgeous!

As the camp was still in the national park, we had to be walked to and from our hut by one of the guys from the camp, who had guns, just in case any animals had stumbled upon the camp…eek!

We had supper, cooked by our fantastic chef, and then, after a quick sit by the campfire and a chat with some other travellers (who made me remember all the details of my incredible trip 10 years ago!) we headed to bed.

We spent the whole of the next day on a long day of game driving through the park. It was so lovely to have such a long time to see everything and take it all in. We got to about 3pm and still hadn’t seen a lion, so our guide took it as his own personal mission to find us a lion – and he did! At about 4pm, we drove around a corner and there she was, lying at the bottom of a tree about 5 yards from the edge of the road. She looked up at us and then carried on cleaning herself; she was completely not fussed by us being there! About 10/15 minutes later, she got up and walked right behind the truck, less than a yard away, crossed the road and slowly wandered off into the long grass – it was just such a calm, beautiful experience, seeing her in her natural habitat, completely unphased by our presence. These moments are the moments that make Safari so remarkable; and I’m completely hooked!

That evening we were staying at the camp again, so we headed back to our little hut, dropped off our things and then came back out for dinner. We were completely shattered after such a busy and exciting day, so we ate quickly and then headed straight back to bed – we also had an early start the next morning so an early night was necessary!

On the Sunday morning, we were up and out by 6.30 and back on the road for our 7 hour drive back to the Work The World house. We slept and listened to music the whole way back, and with traffic on our side, we were back by 1pm and showered & lying by the pool by half past!

The whole thing was just so well organised by Work The World, and we were so well looked after by Joseph & Henry, our guides and chef. It was the perfect weekend break before getting back into the hospital on the Monday morning.

Later on the Sunday afternoon, the next week of new arrivals got to the house so we all played a few games to get to know each other before heading to bed ahead of the new week…and what a week it was!

I took so many photos on the Safari – so I’ve creatied a mini slider gallery for anyone who fancies looking at the best selection!

To read about the rest of my trip, see the “My African Midwifery Adventure” posts here.

To read about Day 1 – Orientation, click here.
To read about Day 2 – First Day in the Hospital and Observing a Footling Breech, click here.
To read about Day 3 – Sunbathing on Bongoyo Island, click here.
To read about Day 4 – Life Put in Perspective & Neonatal Resuscitation in Theatre, click here.

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