This trip report is a continuation of Smita’s trip to Tanzania, beginning in Zanzibar.
Tarangire National Park – January 21, 2017
After an exotic breakfast, we were transferred to Zanzibar Airport for our Coastal Aviation flight to Arusha arriving at 11:25 am. We got our luggage and stepped out to find our guide, Moses, waiting for us. In a 4 x 4 Landcruiser (with a pop-up roof) we set off for Tarangire National Park. To get to the main gate it takes approximately 2 hrs from Arusha Airport. Moses went and sorted out the park fees etc (all prepaid by us) and then we sat down in a picnic area to eat some lunch. There are monkeys around so you need to be careful!
Tarangire National Park
After lunch, we started our first game drive en route to Oliver’s Camp (this is also a very nice Asilia Africa property). Oliver’s is fairly deep into the park, not very far from the Silale Swamps which is home to huge herds of elephants during the dry season.
Game is prolific – we saw lots of plains game and huge herds of elephant. Predators abound too. Although we didn’t get to see a leopard here, we are told that just a couple of days ago they had a fantastic leopard sighting atop a tree.
At Oliver’s Camp
Tarangire River flows through the park, which is dotted with the majestic baobab trees. After a very productive game drive, we arrived at Oliver’s and checked in and were given metal water bottles (Asilia does not allow any plastics for conservation reasons) which we would use for the next 10 days on safari. We carried it back with us and I still have it. We then went to our rooms to freshen up before sitting down to drinks and dinner. While we were getting ready it started raining heavily –the rain pouring down on the tent canvas roof is wonderfully noisy.
We were escorted to the main dining tent where we sat with a drink (G&T for me and whiskey for my husband) and chatted about the day’s sightings and plans for the next day. Then we sat down to dinner along with two other couples. And guess what we were served – Chicken Curry, Rice and Poppadums!!! Maybe this had been cooked in our honour? Soon we were off to bed, cuddled under a deliciously warm duvet (made warmer by a hot water bottle snuggled inside). Sleeping in the wilderness with just a canvas around you is a surreal experience – you can hear the lions roar, zebras scraping against your tent, hippos grunting, hyenas laughing… and then amidst that, with a feeling of supreme excitement, you fall asleep only to be woken the next morning with a hot cup of coffee (or tea or chocolate) and some freshly baked cookies before you set off for the morning game drive.
Tarangire – Manyara Wildlife Corridor – January 22, 2017
The African sunrise is absolutely spectacular. At the early hour of about 6 am, we got into our vehicles (it can get quite cold at this time and it is good to be layered which you can peel of one at a time as the day progresses) along with some munchies as the crisp African morning makes you very hungry and we set off for our game drive.
Game drives are very interesting in the mornings for that is when wildlife has just woken up and are looking around for food. We saw huge herds of elephants (with matriarch, mothers and babies), herds of adolescent bull elephants, zebras, hartebeest, oryx, gerenuk, eland, impalas, gazelles, lions etc. The Tarangire – Manyara Corridor allows free movement of wildlife between the two parks. After about 2 hrs of game drive we left Tarangire Park and arrived at our next destination – Maramboi Tented Camp (owned by Tanganyika Wilderness Camps).
Maramboi Tented Camp
Maramboi is a semi-tented camp set atop stilts with magnificent views of the lake. This camp is located in the WMA (Wildlife Management Area) with easy access to both Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park. Our tent overlooked the alkaline lake and we could see a flame of flamingos in the distance. Since Maramboi is situated in the wildlife corridor you actually see a lot of wildlife moving to and fro – warthogs, zebras, impalas, giraffes, and so on. The evening soon approached, and after drinks and a lovely dinner, we fell into a night of blissful sleep.
Coming up next: A descent into the enthralling Ngorongoro Crater!