Ruaha Safari our adventures

A Ruaha Safari Adventure in Southern Tanzania

Ruaha Safari male impala

Majestic male impala

A few years ago four of us decided to go on a bit of an adventure. We would go on a safari to Ruaha National Park in a Landrover.

As properly prepared adventurers, we had some basic safari equipment with us.  A proper jack, spade, panga, spare wheels, an electrical winch and most importantly drinking water.

Ruaha Safari the long road

The long road on our Ruaha Safari

We were full of excitement and expected to see lots of wildlife on our Ruaha safari. Before we reached our camp, we saw greater kudu, elephant, eland, antelope and lots of lions.

Ruaha Safari lioness

A lioness hiding in the grass on our Ruaha Safari

We drove through beautiful Miombo forest. It was hot as we were driving in the heat of the day, but we had plenty of water with us and we were enjoying the views and catching a glimpse of many animals by the Ruaha River.

Ruaha safari elephants drinking by the river

Elephants on the Ruaha River bank

About 20 km from our camp we crossed a korongo. A korongo is the Swahili word for a large channel which often fills with water in the rains. Just after crossing the korongo we heard a nasty sound, and the Landrover came to a total standstill.

Imagine no shade.  It was midday and we were in the middle of a National Park, with no communication. Just the four of us and plenty of wild animals.

These days with worldwide mobile coverage, our little Ruaha adventure would have been very different.

We got out of the Landrover to check what had happened, and we found that the rear axle of the Landrover was broken in two parts.

What do we do? Walking back to camp was not an option, knowing for sure that within an area of 5 km around us, there were buffalo, lions and elephant.

In those days in Tanzania, you had to find a maarifa

If you can’t do what must be done, you must do what you can

Male Greater Kudu on our Ruaha Safari

Male Greater Kudu which we saw prior to our breakdown

The solution or maarifa became apparent. We would place one man on the lookout for dangerous animals, two men to jack the car up and one man to get to the problem of the rear axle.

The axle was a sorry sight. The left rear section was broken from the differential. After some heavy thinking, the solution came to us.

We went into the miombo forest and we cut a sturdy tree to the length of the rear axle and approximately 30 cm wide.

We then took one of our spare inner tubes and cut this into rubber ribbons. After that it was a matter of splinting the rear axle, tying the tree with the rubber ribbons to the remainder of the axle, from wheel to wheel.

We managed to drag the Landrover out of the korongo with the electrical winch which was fitted to the Landrover, our cunning maarifa worked.

We drove very slowly occasionally having to retie the rubber ribbons and continued with our Ruaha safari eventually reaching camp before night fall.

We were tired yet full of a sense of pride that our maarifa in the bush had worked.  It just goes to show there is life without a mobile phone.

These memories are what make safaris in Tanzania so worthwhile, although the chances of this kind of adventure are not common on a well organised Ruaha safari with Go2Tanzania, Christine assures me it can be arranged if required.

Ruaha Safari Baobab tree

The view from our campsite on our Ruaha Safari

Memories of Tanzania – by Rob Bosma

Our Memories of Tanzania – Why we would go to Tanzania again

We, Rob and Gerdine Bosma, will always have fond memories of Tanzania.  We lived in the country for eleven years during the 1970’s and 1980’s.  We returned for a holiday 1990.  However, Tanzania always finds its way into our blood.

Memories of Tanzania game drive in Ruaha National Park

Game drive in Ruaha National Park our first encounter

The hospitality and the cheerfulness of the Tanzanian people is unrivalled by all other countries we have visited, and we have travelled quite extensively. Our memories of Tanzania will always be top of the list.

Of course in time, things have changed in Tanzania, but the essence was and is there all the time.  Our memories of Tanzania will always be with us.  It is where we met Chris MacDougall for the first time.

She was a teenager then.  Imagine a cheerful, bubbling girl, always positive about everything. Rather seeing opportunities than failure.

Memories of daily life in Tanzania

Daily life along the roadside in Tanzania

In the years we knew her, she advised us on where to explore in Tanzania, which national parks to visit and what exciting safari to plan next.

Through Chris and her extensive network including her parents we met lots of interesting people, like the Fox family, who now own several properties in Ruaha, Selous and Mikumi, not forgetting our old home Mufindi, where the Highland Lodge is now located.

Memories of Kilimanjaro Beer

The best beer in the world our memories of Tanzania

During our years in Tanzania, we also met the famous artist Mike Ghaui, renowned for his wildlife paintings and sculptures.

I would like to visit Tanzania again one day.

On my list would be Ruaha with its endless water courses and sand rivers, changing scenery and abundant wildlife.

Greater Kudu in Ruaha National Park  Fond Memories

Greater Kudu in Ruaha National Park

I used to fish in the Ruaha for tiger fish, and once had a croc on the end of the line.

The pretty Arusha national park, relatively small, but with an abundance of game,  Selous for its vast open plains.  Tanzania still has so much to offer.

We see pictures on the Go2Tanzania website, and our yearn to return is still alive.

It came as no surprise to us when Chris started her small but perfectly formed Go2Tanzania.  Tanzania is her spiritual home, It is where she still has lots of friends and family.

Whenever we visit her in Yorkshire we are amazed how she, like a spider in its web, has immediate links to all the places where her guests travel, and she seems able to solve any problem that might occur in Tanzania immediately.

She is planning to extend her services to South Africa, and we have seen the pictures of her recent visit there.

So next year Tanzania here we come, and I am now not so sure if we wouldn’t extend the visit to South Africa too.

Next memories The Drakensberg

The next adventure The Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa