Now what's a wildlife safari without some adventures thrown in? We had our share of them too! while each of our vehicles frequently got that particular sickness called flat tyres when the remaining vehicles would come to the rescue, it was an opportune time for us to alight from the vehicle to stretch ourselves and enjoy our surrounding on foot & for the shutterbugs to keep clicking.
Here is a picture of one such tyre puncture
aprt from the usual flat tyres, 2 additional adventures are worthy of detailing. both in Masai Mara
The first was when we were on our first evening game drive and had good wildlife viewing including a leopard & a pride of lions. However, while driving back to our camp, we had good rainfall which made the tracks very wet & full of puddles. Our guide Ali, skillfully manipulated our vehicle over some of the slushy tracks. However, at one point, the vehicle skidded & got stuck in the soil. Much as Ali tried to come out, the rear wheels would not move. We all got out planning to give a push, only to find that the puddle was actually a mini pond and the rear wheels were well stuck.
Well we tried to walk through the very slipery soil. Added to that some of us decided to wear slippers that day-mine were particluarly flimsy rubber slippers that scooped up large chunks of the clayey soil that stuck obstinately to the soles- quite a sight to behold!
Of course we were aware that the leopard we had sighted in the bush earlier was not too far from us, but at least he seemed well fed & so were the lions further down.
As it was getting dark & the vehicle seemed stuck, Ali sent a radio message for a rescue vehicle which arrived after some time. with some more effort of both drivers, our vehicle was finally out of the sludge. Walking to the rescue vehicle also required some care as with that large cake of mud, it was a slippery trudge through the tracks. Back at the camp, it was quite a chore scubbing of the mud from the feet & the footwear before entering the tent. But finally the footwear was as good as new!
And the second adventure next morning was as interesting as it was hilarous. One of our feisty guides, Banda got especially enthusiastic and suddenly drove his vehicle over a large stone (photo above). Once again time for all of us to get down, exchange notes & have a good laugh. Try as everyone might, there was no way the vehicle could be lifted up and back. Ali our saviour decided to tow the affected vehicle in reverse & lo and behold it literally came of the hook! & back we got in.
However, the incident seemed to have affected the engine as the last day on our way to the airport, once again it was Banda who sent us an SOS. this time we had to tow Banda's vehicle to the nearest service station 1 km away. Ali assured us with "No problem -will be done in 5 minutes" & sure enough it was so. This time however, the mirth was tinged with some trepidition as we were still some 3 1/2 hours away from the airport. Awww! Banda Banda!!!
Posted by Avi