DAY 1, TARANGIRE
Tarangire was our first stop on our 3 day safari. Our tour started from Arusha and there was 6 of us from TVL + the driver/guide. It took us about 2 hours (115km) to get there from Arusha. Our safari package included water throughout the whole trip, accommodation in a lodge called Jambo (located in Lake Manyara National Park), three meals per day (breakfast at the lodge, lunch box in a jeep and dinner at the lodge), 4 pairs of binoculars, fridge to keep your snacks cold and power sockets.
Tarangire is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania and it covers approximately 6,700 square kms, and lies to the south of a large open grass plain in southern Masai land. Tarangire has huge concentrations of animals in the peak months and a fraction of the visitor numbers of any of the other Northern parks. Did you know that the oldest known elephant to give birth to twins is found in Tarangire?
This park was our favorite park due the amount of elephants, there was so many of them from babies to oldies so the park is a MUST-GO for elephant lovers! There was a lot of other wildlife too, in just a few hours we spotted monkies, lions, giraffes, various species of antelope, warthogs and many different birds. The trees (especially the baobab trees) at the park were also amazing. The climate of this park was very warm and pleasant, and it was super green everywhere. There was always something to look at and discover. We were absolutely blown away by Tarangire National Park’s beauty and plentiful wildlife!
DAY 2, NGORONGORO
On the second day after breakfast we headed to the Ngorongoro crater. The drive from the lodge took about an hour. Right after we left the village we started to see baboons in the trees and on the road. There was plenty of them. On the way up to the egde of the crater we passed many Maasai settlements.
The Ngorongoro conservation area is 8,292 sqaure kilometers and is located in Arusha region. It is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa where conservation of natural resources in integrated with human development. The Ngorongoro aims for the historic balance of people and nature in a way which has not been possible in many parts of the world. Tourism is a vital element in raising revenue and has been encouraged and developed with a respect for culture and without damaging the environment. Man and his ancestors have lived in the Ngorongoro eco-system for more than three million years.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. It was established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera. It includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera, and Olduvai Gorge, a 14km long deep ravine. Approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates, live in the crater including the black rhinoceros, African buffalos and hippopotamus.
We drove down to the crater and spotted lots of animals during the 4 hours visit including the zebras, wildebeest, flamingos and rhinos.We passed the elephant cemetery and saw few elephants there. The guide told us that the elephants come even all the way from Kenya to die there, though the story don’t tell why they do it.
It’s impossible to describe the feeling when you are standing in the safari-car while listening to the wildlife and seeing the animals passing right next to the car.
DAY 3, LAKE MANYARA
Our 3rd day started with a heavy rain. We had breakfast at the lodge and hoped that the rain would stop… So it did and we hit the road! It only took us about 10 minutes to reach the gate of the Manyara National Park. The park is smallish and offers limited wildlife compared to the other parks with dense forest and low wet grounds setting. It was much greener than the savannah observed in the first two parks.
Baboon was the thing in here so if you enjoy baboons this is really the right park for you. We spent a lot of time parked in the road just watching them. They are so interesting and fun to look at! The most famous spectacle in the park would be the tree-climbing lions, which are occasionally seen along branches of acacia trees. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see them. Other animals found in the park include buffalos, elephants, leopards, baboons, impalas, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, ostrich and hippos. Among baboons we spotted a variety of exotic birds, warthogs, giraffes, monkeys and impalas. Due the heavy rain the night before, we never got to see the actual lake. The two access roads were completely flooded so we had to turn around. Therefore, we didn’t see any hippos – luckily he saw them the day before.
All in all this Safari was totally worth doing! And we have a good reason to do this again since we only saw 4 out of 5 animals in the big five (Lion, elephant, rhino and cape buffalo).
See you later, alligator!