After leaving the Ngorongoro Crater, we headed for Tarangire National Park – another game reserve in Tanzania. This park is famed for its elephants (there are more than 6000 in the park alone). In fact, there were so many elephants there, that we saw at least 100 during the short ride from the entrance into the park to our lodge.
The highlights of Tarangire were as follows:
• Seeing hundreds of elephants up close, including a baby elephant calf so small it couldn’t use its trunk yet. We watched as it tried to pick up grass and eat it, but each time, its little trunk flopped back down to the ground. We also had a hair-raising moment when a herd of elephants came within metres of our safari truck. Thankfully, we got out of the way in time… elephants (and buffalos) unlike most other animals actually go for the trucks rather than ignoring them and can knock them over without too much effort!
• Seeing a pride of 6 lions snoozing by the side of the road. One of them woke up, saw that it was surrounded by half a dozen or so safari trucks within a few metres of it, rolled over and went back to sleep!
• Visiting a coffee plantation
• Seeing bikes in the street laden with impossibly heavy loads of anything and everything imaginable
• Being entertained by our great tour guide and tour group; and
• The short rains most mornings and evenings – they swept away the bugs!
And the lowlights…
• Being attacked by tse tse flies during an evening safari in Tarangire – these blood suckers can drink double their body weight in blood and their bite can cause a disease called sleeping sickness (daytime slumber / night time insomnia) which can be fatal! Aaaarghhh… (note: although they were landing on us we didn't actually get bitten and are quite ok!)
• Encountering zillions of insects, bugs, flies, mozzies, beetles, cockroaches and the list goes on – they are simply everywhere… some are so big, they have to be seen to be believed...
• Finding a scorpion the size of a banana in the bathroom near the toilet – again dangerous to humans… but not after John dismembered it into 4 pieces using a golf umbrella!
• Paying $5 per 15 minutes to use the internet – ouch…
• Taking 3 very turbulent propeller plane rides from Arusha to Kilimanjaro to the Masai Mara in the space of 4 hours (including a 12 minute flight).
• Paying US$1 for absolutely every service performed for you
• Not seeing Mount Kilimanjaro (which stands at about 6000m above sea level) despite flying over Kilimanjaro 3 times (due to it being enveloped in thick cloud each time)!
Next stop - the Masai Mara.
Photos of Tarangire attached.
John and Jada