Monday, 6 February 2012

Honeymoon Pt18 - Safari - The Serengeti

On our afternoon off safari-ing we had a nice chilled out time at the hotel.  We enjoyed a yummy lunch in the bar (included instead of our packed lunch - oh I forgot to mention on safari each day we were given amazing lunch boxes by the hotels!) and while we were sat there enjoying some ice-cream a herd of elephants showed up at the watering hole next to the pool.  As in RIGHT NEXT TO the pool so about 20m away from us on the terrace!

I foolishly forgot to take my camera to lunch so this was taken on Nik's Ipad!

A Better view - Image Source
After watching the elephants until they wandered off again, we went exploring the hotel and settled in the (empty) library where we found a good wireless signal for our phones and we managed to Skype with my Mum & Dad in Saudi and then with Nik's parents back in England. We then sat there for a while reading and checking facebook (looking to see if any more wedding photos had gone up - so much fun!) before I went to ask if there was anywhere in the hotel I would be able to take pictures of the sunset.  I had noticed the night before that the sun seemed to set behind the big rocks by the walkway to the rooms and when trying to get down the end to get a good view we found only more rooms and big rocks blocking it.

I wasn't sure if we would be able to get to a suitable place due to the surrounding area being wild and open to the animals but I was told someone could take us somewhere with a view and told to return at the time I wanted to reception.  After collecting my camera bag and tripod, we went back to reception and were introduced to Frieda, the head of house-keeping who took us down to the end of the walkway filling us in on the hotel's story and some of the suites available.  When we reached the end, she took us into one of the villas and out onto the balcony.  A. Mazing!  The villa was huge and had it's own pool on the balcony, the master bedroom had another balcony higher up which she suggested might be the best place for me to take my photos and let us out there to set up - the view was fantastic.  The whole time we watched the sunset she was happy chatting with us and asked if we were on honeymoon (she got very excited when we said we were) and seemed to delight in telling us more about the hotel and her job there.

Sunset taken from the villa

African sunset

After the sun went down she asked if we wanted to see around the villa which we did (we are so nosey and love looking at interiors), there was a MASSIVE outdoor shower and a huge bed, double sinks and decadent decor.  She told us at that time of year it would cost $10,000 per night to stay there!  Crazy!  

As we walked back along the walkway she asked if we would like to see the presidential suite.  Hell yeh!!  This place had just been occupied the week before by the president himself and has it's own big pool, stunning views, huge rooms, including his own massage room and amazing bathrooms!  I even stood in his shower (again imagine a funny pic of me in the president's shower - lost with the camera sadly along with all our other photos of the cool rooms!)

Presidential Suite - Image Source

Frieda was a lovely guide and really seemed so proud of the hotel and loved telling us all about it and showing us round!  She asked to see our wedding pictures and met us in the reception area before dinner to see them and say goodbye.  She also asked for my email address but I've never heard from her since.  After dinner, we explored the rest of the hotel taking photos as it was so lovely and I knew I'd want to write about it later but again, these photos were lost so here are a few more I've found on-line so you can see how stunning the place was....

Stairs - Image Source
The stairs down from the reception to the bar and the walkway to the rooms was a big open space with a hole in the roof. 

Bar - Image Source

The bar was also really nicely decorated and modern.

Unfortunately while standing at the bar while Nik took some photos, I experienced more bad luck as I suddenly felt a sharp pain between my first two toes on my left foot.  Almost like a splinter suddenly punctured my skin.  I was wearing Nik's jeans and my flip flops and when I removed the flip flop I saw an ant between my toes and tried to brush it away but it was stuck fast!  I had to pick it off!  I have never been bitten by an ant before and was surprised by how much it hurt!  I then thought I felt another one a bit further up my leg around my knee so grabbed Nik and tried to explain as I dragged him as fast as I could down the walkway as I was brushing away at my leg to no avail!  I wanted to get the jeans off asap!!

When we got to our room I immediately stripped and started checking my leg and did find two more ants I had to remove (Nik stopped laughing then - he thought I was going mad 'til he saw them!) so we began checking the jeans for more as we didn't want them getting loose in the room to attack us again later!  In the end we found six more and they were a bugger to kill!  We had to crunch them with our key-card!  One particularly huge one managed to get on my hand and bite me before I got it off!  Such a horrid and creepy experience!  They must gave crawled up between the planks in the walkway by the bar where I was stood.  I still shudder when I think about it!

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