Big Cats and Kilimanjaro Lager
Escaping from the coast, to the Tanzanian game parks, brings greater safety from the wildlife, quite perversely as there are fewer mosquitoes, but the alternative to flying, the long distance bus, lands one back into the hands of the drivers. The bus trip from Dar-es-Salaam is an interesting journey but if you choose not to fly, do check in advance about the entertainment; watching the musical “Annie” as you cross one of the poorer nations of the world is gut-wrenchingly sickening, you may as well stay at home and import banana beer.
Once you’re in the game parks, cape buffalo, crocodiles, snakes, hippopotami, elephants and lions all occasionally kill people; it’s not that they really want to; three of these species are strictly vegetarian. The closest I came to death was in the Tarangire National Park where a game warden had been eaten by lions the night before, he’d been drinking with his mates and had slipped into the bush to urinate in private; bad mistake! Of the carnivores, the lion isn’t that keen on human flesh, snakes would far rather slink away and only the crocodile exhibits an almost complete indifference to the contents of its palate, anything that moves too close to its mouth gets eaten. Don’t worry too much about the leopards, although they’re huge, almost the size of donkeys, I didn’t hear of an adult being killed by one. The worst leopard story concerned a man who had his face bitten off and apart from the fact he had great difficulty telling his tale, he was getting by. However, leopards could be regarded as a family planning tool; it’s not without careful thought that one should leave toddlers outside for any length of time when they’re around!