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Tanzania Day 6: Hippo Fights and Hippo Sights

We were up at 4a for our drive to the airstrip. The camp started a campfire for us to keep warm while we waited to leave. We could hear, but not see, hyena right outside the perimeter. We knew it would be cold so we stole the blankets off the beds to use as wraps. We asked Jimmy to bring them back to camp for us after dropping us off. Nothing could prepare us for the brutal cold of that drive in the pitch black dark at full speed in an open air vehicle for 1.5 hours. Mostly we just closed our eyes and tried to get through it. I'm not sure I've ever been so grateful to arrive somewhere in my life as I was to arrive at that airstrip. Guess who else was there? Charles and Katie from England! They were going to Katavi as well but staying in a separate camp from us.

We had a two hour direct flight to Katavi and I'm pretty sure I passed out as soon as we were on board. Charles, sitting behind me, had the same idea.
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We arrived in Katavi and were greeted by our guide, Romano, our driver, Kevin, and a local bull elephant.
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On the way to camp, we stopped off down at the river to stretch our legs and see the crocs and hippos.
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This brave yellow-billed stork kept fishing all around this croc and hippo.
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Then these two were on the other side and couldn't keep from mouthing each other.
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As we left the river, we saw a cute little warthog family that went tails up when they saw us.
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We arrived at Katavi Wildlife Camp around 1p and since we were the only guests in camp for a few days, they upgraded us to the family banda with a private pool.
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After dropping off our bags, we walked to the dining area for lunch of sliders, potato salad, salad, and apple slaw with dessert of chocolate mousse.

Around 4p, we headed out for our late afternoon game drive. There were a few different animals hanging out in the savannah area outside of camp.

Waterbuck
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Reedbuck
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Tessebe
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Zebra
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Snake in a tree
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We arrived at the hippo pool and were able to get out and walk around a bit. The stench was indescribable.
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The mud and poop all looked the same.
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I spent a long time poised with my finger on the shutter just trying to get the perfect open mouth pic.
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The guides had some fun with a hippo skulll.
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Back in the vehicle, we were able to catch the sunset on the way back to camp.
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We met the camp manager around the campfire for a pre-dinner drink then were seated in the dining area for dinner.
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Dinner was a starter of pumpkin soup (they are really big on soup starters in Tanzania). Then peri peri chicken, rice, potatoes, and veggies.
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Here a Maasai warrior with a spear walks you to your tent each night after dark. These guys usually speak very little English but are hilarious in their own right. After getting back to the banda, we tried out the shower which appeared to have two temps only - scalding hot and freezing cold. We kept having to turn it on and off to get thru it. After that experience, we were ready for bed.

Posted by zihuatcat 02:50 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania brenda katavi

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