We awoke the next morning to a chorus of bird calls. After braving the outdoor shower, we dressed and wandered over to the lodge for a buffet breakfast. Though a monkey watched from a tree top, no one tried to steal my food.
After breakfast, we met Titus and set out across the park again to visit a Masai village. But on the way there, we came upon a pride of young lions stalking some warthogs, then some zebra, and then some giraffes and ostriches, and numerous other creatures.
The Masai village, or Boma, was not what I had expected. It consisted of eight, two room huts surrounded by a loose wooden wall. There was one hut for each of the chief’s eight wives. Each wife builds a hut out of sticks, cow dung, and ash. The inner room contains two alcoves and a fire pit. The larger alcove contains the man’s sleeping area, and the smaller one is for the woman. The huts last about four years before they fall down and new ones are built.
We learned that the Masai do not each vegetables because the cows eat them and they do not share with the cows. The chief lives in the Boma with his eight wives and their children and his four brothers. Most of the Masai children go to school, but tradition holds that the smartest tends to the cows.
Everyone was very friendly, but I felt a little awkward. They showed us their homes and danced for us. We bought some trinkets. I didn’t know what else we should do.
We drove back into Lake Manyara park and had a wonderful picnic lunch of buffalo meat, potatoes, rice, pasta, and the rest of Steph’s birthday cake at a site overlooking the rest of the park. While we were eating, colorful birds flew all around, and Steph spotted some giraffes in the valley below.
After lunch, Stephanie and I took over as tracker and guide.
We drove back down now familiar routes back to the lodge, stopping along the way to photograph several different birds, some mongeese, more elephants, zebras, giraffes, fourteen hippos wallowing in the mud, the same lion we saw yesterday sleeping on the same rock,… and another leopard!
We then went to the Hot Springs, where there was a stream of water dribbling out from the rocks that was hot enough to make tea with! We left there to be surprised a kilometer or so fown the road by our butler Adam, who was all set up at a “bush pub, on a rise overlooking the area where we could still see the hippos. We had some drinks and snacks with Rodrigo and Isabella, the couple from Mexico City on their honeymoon, who had the same itinerary as us, but in reverse.
After that we returned to the lodge to clean up for dinner. We went back to the lodge per usual to plan out the next day with Titus, and were again surprised with dinner outside by the pool. The meal consisted of pumpkin soup, tandoori chicken with rice and vegetable curry, with banana fritters for dessert.
Under the bright light of a full moon, we returned to our room to pack for our early departure in the morning.