Before our trip, A. and I had both heard that a 2-3 day safari is more than enough. You get in a Landrover with an adjustable roof, and you drive. And drive. And drive. And then you see an animal — and you sit and watch it for a bit and try to get a good photo. And then you drive.
On Day 1, our guide Muba met us early at the Onsea House in Arusha and we drove a couple of hours to the Tarangire National Park, which is known for its elephants. Herds and herds of elephants play and shove grass in their mouths and plop in the mud and poop.
We admired their tusks.
as we slowly rolled through the winding, beautiful park.
For lunch, we stopped at a picnic area at a higher elevation overlooking the river below and sat under a tree and munched on our boxed lunch — chicken, hard-boiled eggs, potato chips and chocolate.
We fought off aggressive birds.
And watched monkeys steal other peoples’ lunches.
And then we jumped back into the truck to continue our drive. And we came across more elephants (and some zebras, giraffes, ostriches and one lion — but the elephants dominated).
We watched them wade through the water.
throw dirt on themselves
rub against trees
and cool off in the mud
while the little ones played.
Not too different from humans, really. And then, before the sun set, we made our way to our lodge for the night, which sits between two national parks — the Tarangire and Lake Manyara.
Animals flow freely through the camp. We were told there was a lion scaring away the other animals — so we should never, ever stray off the path and we should always get an escort between the dining hall and our cabin. We followed the men who carried flashlights and bows and arrows. The tents’ electricity runs on solar power, so they shut off it off at night to conserve energy. It was dark and quiet. And as we snuggled up to sleep, it started to pour — the rain pounded against the thatched roof.
A. and I both slept like rocks — the best night of sleep we had the entire trip — and were ready to get up and make our way to the Ngorongoro Crater.