African Safari - Tarangire Park
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
We checked out at 8:30 today and headed out with Freddy to Tarangire Park. It took about an hour and a half, back past Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara. We also stopped along the way at some local villages to purchase a few souvenir items.
We went straight to Tarangire Park from there. This park is very different then the other two. It has more of the Serengeti feel, with the tall grass but it also has lots of Baobab trees and other shrubs and bushes which the elephants and giraffe’s feed on.
This park is massive – 600 square km’s in size. We drove and drove and drove. There are so many ways to go and its impossible to know where you will encounter some activity. It’s all in chance, but just like any other park really.
We lucked in by seeing a large male giraffe and he was right beside our jeep. He was at least 18-19 feet tall! Such an amazing creature.
And a ton of elephants of course. Love this mom and baby shot.
We saw only one lion today. She was trying to get some heat shelter from the tree.
The best part was seeing a baby elephant playing happily in the water and chasing a bird. He was so darn cute!
I love the Baobab trees.
The unfortunate part today was that it was extremely hot, over 35C and we were there in the early afternoon, so it’s the worst part of the day to see any action. The animals hide in shaded areas and it’s really hard to spot them. We still hadn’t seen a leopard or cheetah, and I was constantly looking across the plains or up into the trees in hopes of seeing either one of those.
We headed out around 3pm to our next and last lodge, which we would be staying for the next two nights. We passed by many Masaai homes along the way.
Arriving at another Kirurumu but this one was a tented lodge, very similar to the Lemala. Extremely nice and luxurious and again setup right in the wilderness. We were guarded by the Maasai again and were warned that there was a family of elephants hanging around the property and that animals do come here often so were given a whistle in case we needed assistance at any point.
Once we settled in, we headed over to the dining and bar tents, where once again we were welcomed with a bonfire and chairs gathered around. It was a gorgeous evening and a full moon tonight. There were a few people here tonight and we met Peter and his wife who just happened to be the owners of Hoopoe safaris and this Kirurumu lodge! We enjoyed some great conversation and then a delicious dinner in the dining tent.
During the night, I was woken up by some loud thrashing noise just outside our tent. I jumped out of bed in panic as it seemed like it was right behind me and we had nothing but screening behind our heads! I looked out trying too see what it was but all I could make out was a large dark figure feeding on some shrub. I am assuming it was an elephant and it was only about 30 feet away. It appeared to be content so I eventually got over my panic and decided to just take the experience all in and go back to bed!
In the morning, we were woken to an extremely noisy and loud chatter of so many different birds. Some of them make a really weird call and sounded like screaming kids. It was impossible to sleep but I didn’t care, as it’s a once in a lifetime experience. John heard an elephant trumpet and when we went outside, sure enough there was the family of 6, over in the bush about 100 -150 feet away. So surreal to see.
After breakfast, Freddy picked us up a 7:30 and we went back into Tarangire for our final day of safari. But today was a bit of a strange day and for some reason there was very little activity in the park. We saw all the same animals we’ve already seen, but no leopards or cheetahs, not even lions. Big BUMMER on the lack of leopards and cheetah’s. I guess we’re going to have to go back to Africa and do the Serengeti next time.
We spent the final part of the day back at the lodge, enjoying the surroundings and sitting on our patio with cold drinks. We watched the family of elephants and they were even closer to our lodge this time. Of course I had to be brave and wander out to get a closer look even though I was told not too!
Tonight the place was full and there were many people at the bonfire area and dining tent. We met John and Ann from Australia and we compared safari stories. They had been in Kenya and were traveling around for quite a few weeks. They lucked in and got to see a cheetah and her cub at the Serengeti a few days previous. They even managed to see lions in Tarangire today.
It was great to hear other people’s stories and hear their experiences. Dinner was fabulous this evening and the full moon was so bright. Walking back to our lodge, we were escorted by the Maasai as the elephants (and who knows what else!) were all too close. Earlier, we had a beautiful sunset view from our deck.
It was sad the next morning knowing it was our last day in Africa. The birds were very loud once again and we had two warthogs run past our deck. I sat outside enjoying my coffee, taking in the morning sounds and sunshine. Dik-diks ran past us and there were a few waterbucks in the bushes not far away where the elephants were. And my favourite, the warthogs.
And then it was time to leave the safari. I said good-bye to my two Maasai friends at the lodge.
We still had the option to do the safari this morning but we skipped it due to going to the local Maasai school and donating our school supplies (SEE STORY HERE). After the school experience we drove back through the countryside and into Arusha.
I still couldnt get enough of the local life.
Here are some live chickens going to the market.
And one dead one going home for someone's dinner.
Freddy dropped us off at the KIA hotel at the airport. It was tough to say goodbye to yet another friend we made in Tanzania. Thank you Freddy for a great safari adventure! The KIA hotel was fabulous and it was a shame we didn’t get to stay here. It was just a day visit, so that we could shower & freshen up, eat some food and chill out for a couple of hours before our flight out of Africa. The hotel has a big Caribbean flare, very plush and tropical and a beautiful large pool. We sat at the bar area and enjoyed our final drinks and nibbles in Tanzania.
It would have been nice to see Mt Kilimnajaro one more time, but as usual it was cloud covered and we flew out in the dark, so did not get to see it leaving Africa.
Good bye Tanzania! You were fabulous and the best experience of our lives. We shall be back! I hear the Serengeti calling…