Not too long ago, July 28th to exact, Colton and I celebrated being married for 2 years. Yay! It is unbelievable how fast these last two years have gone by. I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun!
The last few weekends of July were so busy for us we decided to just take it easy this year (Besides, it’s kind of hard to beat last years trip to Greece). On one of the rare free weekends we had Colton set up a “surprise” camping trip for us. Now this might not sound like the most romantic anniversary gift, but I had been wanting to go camping in the bush for a while now. So it was perfect.
We spent a whole day planning and organizing food, camping gear, water, etc.
Water was the most important item. We were going deep in the bush with no water sources anywhere near us. There are two types of water to bring on an african camping trip:
1. Drinking water (bottled water/clean water)
2 .Washing water for dishes, hands, feet, etc (you do not want to drink this by accident!).
We set out early the next morning and drove to a village/area called Longido. Its about a 45 min drive on black top road before turning off to the bush. We drove for about 1.5 hours before arriving at a small village where we picked up a “bush scout” to navigate us through the thorn-dense, dusty, dry, wild bush.
This drive was at least another hour on bumpy erosion-filled land where the brush is so thick in areas it covers any dips or holes in the ground…and before you know it you’re clinging on the dashboard handles and covering your head so it doesn’t conk into the ceiling!
Despite these less than luxurious conditions it was a beautiful drive. We saw so many wild animals like zebra, giraffe, kudu, ostrich, impala, & wildebeest.
We found the perfect campsite just after lunch and set up camp. First things first, clear a spot on the ground from any massive thorns, snakes, or other strange things that might hinder your sleeping. Set up tent. Build a fire to make chai.
Theres nothing better than sipping on a nice hot cup of african chai…especially after a long day of battling in the car. Our bush scout was the chai making king….it was so yummy!
We spent the rest of the day setting up camp and hiking around looking for animals. We were able to come up on a heard of wildebeest. But they were very skiddish and ran away as soon as they saw us!
Unfortunately, poaching is an ongoing issue in all of Africa, and the area we were in happens to have a lot of poaching.
Remember the lovely wild giraffe picture? Well these poachers actually come in the area at night on boda-bodas (motocycles), blind the giraffe with floodlights, knock them down with machetes, strap the meat to their bikes and head for the Kenyan border (this area is right on the border of Tanzania and Kenya). This is just the sad truth.
Fortunately we did not encounter any poachers while camping.
The stars and moon that night lit up the sky so bright we hardly needed a flashlight to get around.
While standing around the fire sipping on chai (of course) and gazing at the amazing sky we saw a shooting star burn up and explode. So beautiful!
Theres not too much to be worried about when camping in the bush…unless you happen to be in a man-eating, lion-infested area. I met someone the other day who had un-knowingly camped in one of these places. She woke in the night to lions tearing through her friends tent. (They all made it out alive and with no injuries).
Laying in the tent at night we were surrounded by the wild sounds of Africa. Acacia trees bristling in the wind, the distant noise of ng’ombe (cows), hyena’s warning of predators near by, and of course the low crackling of embers left from our fire. It was such a peaceful sleep that night.
I was barely awake and looking forward to a hot cup of chai when Colton announced we should go on a morning walk before the sun got too hot.
We marched off into the wilderness trying to spot any animals. After about an hour of walking, running, and crawling through thorns and dust (in attempts at trying to get close to some of the animals) we headed back to camp. Chai never tasted so good!
We did more of the same throughout the morning and packed up camp just after lunch.
It was a short camping trip but well worth the adventure!
Here are more pics from our camping adventure: