Serena Safari Lodge offers two game drives per day, one at 6:30 a.m. and another at 4 p.m. We chose to do the morning drive today in hopes of seeing some different animals. Specifically, we wanted to see some lions, who typically stay well hidden during the day. After driving for 90 minutes without luck, Victor got a phone call from another guide.
He was speaking Swahili, but we thought he was getting good news from the tone of his voice. When he got off the phone, he turned to us.
"They're almost in Tanzania," Victor said. "Do we want to go?"
Of course, the answer was a resounding yes. Lions had been spotted near the edge of the park!
"It's about 20 kilometers," Victor said as he turned back to the road and stepped on the gas. We bumped off along the dirt path at about 55 kph, instead of our usual 30 kph crawl that allowed us to admire each animal as we passed. We did see some new species on our way to the lions, including warthogs and several types of birds (secretary birds, Egyptian geese, white pelicans, flamingos and guinea fowl, to name a few), but they didn't deter us from our mission.
After a little while, I saw a sign reading: "Observation Hill, 7.2 km." I had picked these words out of Victor's conversation, so I knew that's where we were headed. If only the lions would wait until we arrived!
When we did arrive, we met up with several other vans filled with hopeful tourists in khakis, binoculars attached to their faces and camera lenses stretching toward the tall grass. Unfortunately, we were all disappointed. Victor and the other guides looked for the telltale lion's tail raised above the grass but couldn't spot any.
Disappointed, we drove away after twenty minutes of watching and waiting. Compared to the 141 pictures I took on our Wednesday game drive, I only took 29 today, but here are the best of those: