Emergency Safari Evacuation - Maasai in Serengeti National Park

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Serengeti National Park Emergency Exit: Part 4

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I never dreamed this would happen to me. My emergency exit from Serengeti National Park by plane felt very scary, “Oh, Why me?” did cross my mind several times. I never planned on getting hurt and having an Emergency Exit from Serengeti National Park by plane. After all, I am healthy and fit. But life happens. As I look back on my life, I realized I was always meant to go to Serengeti National Park. My only regret is once I got to the Serengeti, I wished I had experienced more the sights. But, even though I was hurt – I can tell you that it is a place to see. Tanzania should be on your bucket list because it is breathtaking.

Travel tip: Go to Squaremouth Travel Insurance Exchange or other travel insurance sites. Buy Travel Insurance before you leave home.

Leaving Serengeti National Park

Are you asking, the question, Why? Why were the Maasai, Serengeti, and Tanzania so important to me? When I went to the University of Colorado, a long time ago, as part of my art history studies I learned about the Maasai and Serengeti National Park and the tribe’s wearable art.

Next, my post-graduate dream came true. My scholarship came through to study the Maasai. I felt excited beyond my wildest dreams. Receiving an Art Scholarship to study the wearable art of the Maasai validated me. Even though, I got my dream scholarship but never got to see or study the Maasai in Tanzania.

But, for good reasons, I didn’t go. I didn’t go, because, at that time in my life, I was also madly in love with an amazing artist, and about to marry him. So, I declined the scholarship to study in Tanzania so that I could marry. Because of this choice, throughout my life, my goal was to see Tanzania, Africa and to recapture my dream. My hope and dream, to see the Maasai and to go to Serengeti National Park was the reason I took this trip to Africa. This trip – the trip of a lifetime, was now, anything but a dream vacation. My journey that took me to Africa, Tanzania to see my beloved Maasai became a medical emergency evacuation.

Journey to Arusha

So, First I want to start at the endind or what’s the moral of my story? Make New Dreams. Travel won’t rescue old dreams. Count on the fact, that new experiences are about to happen. Travel creates new experiences, far different than your old dreams.

Travel tip: Dreams don’t always come true. But, really cool experiences do. The good or bad are just part of life. Changing situations help set dreams.

My Story Part 4

The story continues… Now, in so much pain, hobbling down to the Serengeti Hotel’s front desk I am in tears. I demand a doctor. Without any power or ability to influence my situation, somehow, they believed me, and they agreed to find me a doctor. The following day a Massai midwife examined me. My doctor was a Maasai mid-wife. Ok, that was good enough in my book because maybe she had the famous influence they are known for in this part of the world. Next, she did something to my foot, just as Jennifer walked into the room.

Leaving Serengeti National Park

Leaving Serengeti National Park

Jennifer said I looked like the girl in the Movie ‘The Exorcist.’ I levitated off the bed. Jennifer knew I was going home. The woman said, the foot inside is broken, like a broken bone, but, not a broken bone, things broken ‘inside’ her ankle. Yes, I was bleeding under my skin. I had been bleed for four days now. I had to go home. She drove to the bush camp where the tour guide stayed and demanded to go home. She got me out of Africa. The next day, Jennifer’s friend carried me to the Land Rover which was taking me to the airport to go back to Arusha.

Many thanks to Jennifer for sticking with me during all this drama.

To give perspective – here is a Maasai Map showing Kenya and Tanzania – we are in Tanzania. We ere in the Serengeti.

Next time I would go to Kenya to see the Maasai.

Tanzania Africa Maasai

Tanzania Africa MaasaiTanzania Africa Maasai

Or …. How Did I Make It Home

On the prop plane, four other people were on the plane when I arrived. Carefully, with the help of a lot of great people, I made it into my seat. This journey is all about the people. So let me tell you about some of the great people on that flight. By no means is this all of the people who helped me.

There was a travel agent with a broken foot who helped, She got off the plane and told the tour guide they could not just dump me in Arusha. Someone had to meet me there. She was outraged. Because of her insistence, she demanded to know and insisted that my guide tells her who would meet me at the Arusha local airport. (it is very dangerous there) Next, there was a woman on the plane from Denver who wrote a prayer. She handed it to me and told me to read and say over and over. I did that. Lastly, there was Anna Estes. A genuinely good remarkable woman. She saw and later learned that I had no help from the Travel Tour. I will recommend some great Tours that won’t let this happen to you.

Anna Estes made sure I got into the car at the airport by finding the right person and helping me get into the vehicle. Then she insisted they take me to the hospital. After seven attempts, no hospital would take me, so we went to The Arusha Hotel, the original scene of the accident and the place with no ice. Remember this is the best hotel in town, and actually has some security too.

Anna’s Skype Account to the Rescue

She went into action using her Skype calling plan, called Delta Airlines and notified them I had to get home, immediately. She told the Delta agent, where I was, and to charge my American Express. At this point, I didn’t care how much it cost to get home. I just wanted to go home. Anna happened to mention that we were calling American Express and to charge the surcharge to my card when the phone disconnected. Next, she called Amex and told them what was happening and her minutes ran out. She was disconnected, again. I offered to pay for her cab home, but Anna refused and said she would be back in the morning

At 2:00 am I got a call from Delta, I was on the next flight out to Seattle.

Next Day, Leaving Serengeti National Park

The next morning Anna was back, got me to a hospital – that wasn’t like any hospital I had seen before. It didn’t matter I was going home. She left me with the travel guide contact, who parted the car a long way from the airport entrance, so I hopped to check in. A Norwegian man, a nurse, helped me to the gate and was on my flight. He took care of me on the flight to Amsterdam where we went our separate ways. I got home, saw a doctor and stayed in bed for a month, until my next trip.

My next ticket is taking me to Australia, so I had to get better quickly.

Travel Tip #1: Bad things can happen. Plan for injuries, risky health conditions, and worse case scenarios when traveling. Because Bad things can happen on your dream vacation.

Travel tip #2 –– when I don’t have many photos – I am a hurting cowgirl!

What Happened? African Safari Injury: Part 1

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Kate started traveling for work. Now with grown children, who are travelers, she travels for pleasure looking for great travel experiences. Currently, her home is in Bellevue, WA, and lives with her cat Angelina Jolie. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts, Studio Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado, and from City University, Seattle, an MBA and Master of Arts, Management. Her favorite things are exploring cultures, traveling the world, creating a painting and sour foods.