On our second night at the Ngorongoro crater, we were celebrating a wonderful time. We had seen splendid game that day, close encounters with Elephant, wonderful Lion, Lioness and cubs, and cheeky monkeys who tried to share our food. We even spotted tourist, something we do at times for fun! Spot which country they are from. Amazingly enough they all have their own quirks. At one point, we had spotted some lions and we were parked there having a silent giggle watching the cubs wrestle with each other and one little guy would sneak up around the back of his mum and then pounce on her and think this was the funniest thing he had ever done! Mum would feel this thump on her back and then roll over and put a paw on his head, at one point she pulled him in to her with her massive paw and pinned him down lovingly and started to lick him all over, the little guy just lay there looking like a drowned rat! Too cute.
Then the loud tourist came, the driver politely drove up, and then unleashed his clients on all our serenity. They were loud Europeans, I am sure they had no inner voice barometer, even the lions who are used to being on stage, sat up! We looked at them, with kind smiles but slanted eyes! The driver put his head down and raised his hands in the air palms up and shrugged apologetically.
He didn’t know we were from East Africa, must have thought we were tourist too. So you can imagine the look on his face when Tanyth spoke to him in Swahili and asked him “tafadhali utaweza kuu mumbia hawa ma punda kuu nyamazia”, although with a bit of a teenagers twist of language, translation: Please would you ask your car full of donkeys to be QUIET! We all quietly cracked up laughing, even the other guide did. Then he turned to the back of his mini van and explained to them that they should lower their voices. They did and we waved to them in appreciation. The guide in the Europeans vehicle smiled at us as we drove off.
David our driver had a great sense of humour and thought we were all bonkers, but enjoyed being with people who also do safari, we laughed all day telling animal stories and of sightings we had in our pasts. There were a few animals between us that we had not seen in a while or ever. Anteaters, Giant Forest Hog, Large Python and a few others.
We were back at the camp and had a huge roaring fire and full tummies, although not fed by the Over-Lander this time, I had treated the girls to dinner at a nearby lodge.
We were full of laughter this night and being a bit silly, playing games and singing songs and joining us were the staff from the Over –Lander Truck. Their clients had gone off to their own fires and made it clear they wanted to be left alone.
The stories were amazing and funny from all sides and we started imitating different animal sounds to see who had the best imitation. Again much laughter followed. It was about 2am when most of us decided to go to bed. With hugs all around and shared appreciation between us all, I excused myself. About 30 minutes later, I was sound asleep. A little later in the night I was woken up by our driver David, tapping on my tent. I woke up thinking this was a joke that was being carried on from earlier and played along. “Yes, what’s up?” David Said “Tana, I have a Giant Forest Hog in my tent (Adult giant forest hogs can weigh between 300lbs to 600lbs and have very impressive sized tusks, and we had just been talking about how I hadn’t seen one in years and would love too)!” I broke out in laughter, thinking this is a good one, never heard that before! I laughed and told him to go to sleep and that was a good one! He walked away. I didn’t hear any ruckus or screams, so was convinced it was just a joke especially since he was casual about it.
In the morning, I woke to the beautiful sunrise and crisp air. I got dressed for the day. I climbed out of my tent to see who else was up. It was fairly early still, except for the Over-Lander staff, whom I waved to.
I walked over to our Land cruiser to get some supplies, only to see our driver sleeping in the back. I threw my hand up to my mouth in shock, as there could only be one reason he was in there and it wasn’t because it was more comfortable. I ran over to his tent and saw the entire front of his tent was torn to shreds and all his stuff was askew. I felt horrible, as I knew instantly that the poor man was indeed scared out of his own tent by a Giant Forest Hog. I seriously had thought it was a joke when he came to me that night. And because he didn’t make much of it, I didn’t think twice about it till now! I turned around and he was standing there.
“Oh David, I am so sorry, I had no idea you were being serious last night! Please forgive me, are you ok?” He laughed and said “yes, but I thought you were some big animal trainer and stuntwoman who would come to my rescue!!!” I looked at him and he busted out in huge laughter, I joined him.
He then said, “it was pretty scary trying to get out of my tent while he was trying to get in, I had to throw all the apples and oranges at him, I think he liked that part!” I could visualize this scene immediately and I started to laugh with him at this point, then remembered when we had come back yesterday that we had dropped off food supplies at his tent and we all had forgotten to put them in the vehicle before we went to bed. We were in the wrong, as you never leave food out, but this was thankfully a lesson well reminded with out anyone getting hurt, except of course our tent.