Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Well kids.. I have been fighting a stomach bug for the last three days and our current camping location greets me with a pit toilet with only a hole and two footpads and no toilet paper.. lets just say I am REALLY glad that Kathy stuffed an emergency package in my bag before I left .. thanks!
Aside from that, yesterday we arrived at Tarangiere National park. Very different from Ngorogoro in that it is a rolling grass covered plain with a river running through it. The afternoon game drive was meant to catch the animals in their late afternoon migration to the river for a drink.. and it did NOT disappoint!
The start to the drive today was rough though as we sat at the park entrance for an hour waiting for China to get his debit card to work with the gate electronic equipment with no water and a man spraying DDT or something all over our car (and my hand that was out the window) to make sure the Tsetse fly was not being carried into the park.
Finally in we go and we’re immediately treated to some of the most scenic vistas I’ve yet to see in Africa. Baoboa trees looking like they were planted upside down and rolling hills in the late afternoon sun just wandering into the distance.. untouched by anything but the game tracks in the brush.
As we roll through the park, Elephants are the first up for the big WOW factor of the day.. at first the ones we see are far in the distance.. but that is fixed up just right around the corner where we are soon nearly petting them while they munch on grass and bushes and trees.. there is pappa, mamma and the little ones all in a row. We see a heard of them jostling for position with another herd in the river.. trumpeting and charging each other.. simply something I thought I would never witness in the wild… very hard to describe.
Next up were the Giraffe.. my favorite. seeing these 19 foot tall animals move slowly and gracefully through the savannah and then take off into a 35 MPH run is something to behold. Watching the graceful curve of the neck, the ever attentive eyes looking for trouble.. all of it just had me mesmerized, I couldn’t get enough.
There were a smattering of other small animals such as impala, buzzards and mongoose along with lions again and some warthog too… everyone loves pumba! We had the entire cast of the Lion King on had I believe.
Well that drive ended and back to dinner at camp. Now the eating arrangements are odd here.. if you are with a group you MUST eat with that group, even if you want to sit at the table of the other group that you just met… no mingling allowed.. very very odd. We had one night where it was Veronique, Chante and I and only one other pair of British women and they would not let us all sit together until we fought them on it..
But today we were up early (5am again!!!!) and on our way out for an early morning game drive in the park for sunrise.. which was really the only great stuff we saw that day.. but great it was.. seeing elephants walking into the brush lit by the rising sun with the trees in silloughetted by the sun was truly breathtaking.. if you can believe it even *I* for once didn’t have a word to say.
That afternoon we drove back to Arusha and that started the next exciting phase of my trip.. but that evening is subject for a blog in and of itself!
Pictures & Video
Zebra at the river
Elephants in the morning sun!
Local child transport