Popping to the Serengeti…for lunch!
Life in Mwanza is generally not glamorous. We don’t really worry about fashion, if you wore high heels you’d break an ankle (been there done that!), we are often sweaty and dusty. There are very limited shops and produce, there are limited restaurants and places to go out… you get the picture, it’s not quite London or New York! But every now again something happens that really makes me feel I’m living the high life and makes me recognise how very lucky I am.
Just recently was one of those times. I was flown, in a private plane, right into a top hotel in the Serengeti just so that we could have lunch! It was a special day – a good friend’s birthday and his fabulous wife had decided to go all out – and so she did!
Turning up at Mwanza airport in a dress and heels in no small deal – it just isn’t that sort of airport! I don’t think Posh Spice ever has or ever will pop over for a visit. Honestly, as we went through all the usual checks we might as well have been wearing fancy dress – people were fascinated! But what fun to be in full make-up and tottering into a private charter plane!
As we took off and Mwanza, the Lake and finally the Serengeti were spread like perfect miniatures beneath us, the absolute incongruity of what we were doing struck me and yet an odd sort of excitement fizzed. Just for one day, why not live it up? And live it up we did!
As we approached the centre of the National Park I began to recognise areas, but it was so surreal to see them from above. (Anyone know this bit?!)
Even the odd animal could be spotted. Check out the hippos from the sky!
On landing we were greeted by hotel staff and a fully set up bar – yup, right beside the landing strip in the middle of Seronera plains! Well, what’s a girl to do?… champagne all round 😉
From there we took a short game drive, whereupon we passed the President in a huge convoy of vehicles! – He’d just been staying in the hotel we were heading to…
… which brought us to the hotel where we were treated to bitings (East African term for appetisers for those of you not from around here!) in the sunshine, then invited up to our table.
With the entire dining room to ourselves, overlooking the watering hole and Northern section of the Serengeti, we then sat down to eat – fat juicy steaks. These are not something we can ever find in Mwanza and I was savouring every mouthful (in between mouthfuls of champagne!) – man, I was Oliver Twist, and Rita being educated all rolled into one!
All too quickly it was time to return and, after a giggling girls’ exodus to the bathroom, we piled back into our two car convoy to return to our plane (as you do!).
Just as we were about to board the skies darkened and you could literally see the columns of rain looming towards us. Uh oh!
Our captain assured us there was nothing to worry about, but our little aircraft suddenly seemed pretty pathetic against the raging black clouds.
This is what Mike’s face looked like on take-off!!
But you’ll be glad to know (I hope) that we all survived and found our way back to our various homes in Mwanza – tottering just that little bit more than when we’d left, thanks to the champagne!
A fantastic day out – not something I’m likely to ever get to do again! Thanks guys 🙂 A very different sort of TIA Tale this week!