Tarangire and our very first safari delivered in a way we could only have dreamed of. The park, in the final throes of the drier than dry season – waiting for rains and for the rivers and watering holes to fill – was as alive as ever. Teeming with herds of serene zebras, beautiful, rubber-skinned, massive-eared elephants, majestic water buffaloes, statuesque giraffes, dozens of warthogs with a Napoleon complex, a lonesome cheetah or two and of course several prides of stunning lions; young females sleeping on top of each other after an early morning kill…
During the two days we spent in the park (one afternoon, one full day and one morning), not a single hour went by without several sightings of all these beautiful beasts, often together in a fragile I-could-eat-you-but-I-wont-cause-I-just-ate equilibrium. Although the tse tse flies came out in full force on a few occasions (long sleeves and bug spray seemed to do little do dissuade them from stinging you viciously), the sun, wind and soothing silence provided the perfect setting for observing the animals in their world. As Boogie put it, it felt like for the first time we were THEIR guest on THEIR land; a land where humans will only ever be observers, never the masters, ever-aware of our vulnerability (especially in the face of a herd of male elephants that almost charged our car). It had a distinctly Jurassic Park-type feel, without the dinosaurs and gruesome ending, of course.
Our guides were knowledgeable (fascinating fact number 1: giraffes make no sounds as they have no vocal chords), company thoroughly enjoyable (Hugh, Charlotte and Emily from the hostel), food excellent (cooked by none other than a man we called “Professor Delicious”) and nights in our tents surprisingly peaceful despite some jitters on the first night (there are no fences around the campsite which is located inside the park so you can and do wake up to animals roaming around).
I hope you like the photos (some of them are Boogie’s, I should add!); only the first 23 made the cut but I have 400+ more in case this doesn’t satisfy your safari fix. Just drop me a line in the comments below.
Lots to update you on in the coming days, but I figured I should get this post done asap… And by the way, if you EVER have the chance to go yourself, we can only highly, HIGHLY recommend the lost lands of Tarangire…
A dusty goodnight from Tanzania,