Sea Star 7

1998 Bayliner LeClercq

Just look at all that modern tech

The hyenas did a pretty good job of eating their way through the buffalo last night.  He looks about half eaten.

We found ourselves again grateful for the Maasai warriors that provide security here.  The whole gang lined up for a picture with their spears.  They walked us back and forth from the main lodge to our room every night.  In fact we were not allowed to roam about at night without them.  In the picture, note Dave with his more modern “spear”.  Otherwise known as the 360 degree camera stick.

When we started off on Safari today, Dave wanted to see the lodge infrastructure.  So Shabani got permission to take us to see the solar array and electrical system.  Wow.

Being totally off the grid, most lodges in the Serengeti use diesel generators for power. Not here. The Kubu Kubu lodge has a fabulous solar power system. They have a beautifully installed bank consisting of 390 550 watt cells. The cells are connected to large commercial lithium battery banks (400 kilowatt hour total), also excellently installed.

The rule of thumb is that you get 5 hours of rated power per sunny day. That is about 1 megawatt hour of power per day. To put it in perspective, it would take 100 gallons of diesel to produce that much power on generator. I suspect the total power usage is nowhere near that – perhaps 10% - giving them plenty of reserve for cloudy days.

Dave is having power envy. Sea Star 7’s generator can produce only 7% that amount of power and batteries can store only 3%.

Then it was off to see the animals again.  The plains are just filled with zebra, wildebeest, and antelope as far as the eye can see.

We spotted another leopard in a tree.

There was a heard of female elephants under a tree with their young.  They clump together like this because it’s easier for them to protect the young from predators when they can see the predators coming from any direction.

We went to a known hippo watering hole where we got to watch the hippos for a while.  One and only time we got out of the Range Rover to see the wildlife.

We came across a trio of cheetahs – a mom with two young.  The young are just about ready to take off on their own.

Having been on safari for 8 days now, we can say that we have developed a 100% accurate way of finding the big cats.  We call it the RRC method.  That stands for “Range Rover Cluster”.

We had a long chat with Shabani about the trip.  He was looking to summarize the trip and get feedback.  We told him that we LOVED every minute with him.  Most of the lodges are Kibo guide owned though, and the ones with buffet need some help for people with food allergies.  The chef needs to communicate to people what they can eat and what they can't.  Best would be a system whereby people get a "color" and each food is labeled with that color when safe for them.  This would serve two purposes: (1) people would know what is safe for them (and so would the staff), and (2) the chef would have to consider whether there is enough variety for those with allergies.  If only one food has the "blue dot" then they know that "blue" person is not going to be happy.

We also gifted Shabani a Quik Clot.  We told him someday he would save a life with it.  Someone gored by a buffalo perhaps.  But in any case, more likely than us to need it, and we carry them in our packs and in our car glove compartments.  Those of you that follow the blog know.  Don't go anywhere without it.

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