By Lily Whitworth-Biehler
When you think of Africa you think of open savannah plains, burning sun and the big five. We managed to experience just one of these today. We woke up to spitting rain, but by the time we set out on the Great Northern Road from the College of African Wildlife Management this had turned to heavy downpour. The excitement that we felt as we were about to embark on our eleven day safari flickered slightly, especially for those of us who couldn’t manage to squeeze on the middle seats of the opened side truck, and were destined to get soaked. What is normally meant to shade passengers from the sun on long safaris turned into something that could be used in a wet and wild theme park. The water collected on the roof of the truck came down on those of us on the outside in waves of warm muggy water soaking anything not covered in a waterproof jacket.
On our two hour drive to the Arusha National Park, which is on the slopes of the Mount Meru, the rain thankfully subsided, allowing some of us to try and dry our underwear! As we drew closer to our destination the excitement of the first safari became clear.This was well anticipated as we saw many large mammals in the national park, as well as a flock of flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber). We saw ten to fifteen flying off Momella lake, then driving away from the lake we Looked back to see thousands of them standing in the soda sections of the lakes. This hopefully is just the beginning of the amazing animals we have yet to see.