Tarangire

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tarangire

Tarangire Park lies next to Lake Burunge, although try as we might we could not get to the lake. It was visible at a distance but none of the roads in the park led up to it. The lake is outside the park boundary.

Tarangire, like Lake Manyara, is very organized and professional.  The information boards are original and show much initiative.  They have a fast food restaurant (did not try it) and a tourist shop.  Outside the park gate they have a Masai Women craft shop in support of the locals.

We went straight to public campsite #1 after arriving.  We would set up and then go for a drive. The camp is very close to two water holes which makes seeing game a guarantee.  A Fish Eagle lives at the one hole and can frequently be seen in the tree on the bank. We saw it the first time just after it caught a hare and was eating it seemingly unperturbed by our presence. Up to now we have only ever seen the Fish Eagles from afar, so this was it treat.  He did not once during our stay make its most famous Fish Eagle Cry though.

The park is very dry but there still are a number of water holes and at least one river with some water.  The animals also migrate from Tarangire so the ones here at the moment are more "residents" as they call them. Many wildebeest, buffalo, impala, waterbuck, greisbokkies, warthogs and literally hundreds upon hundreds of elephants.  The veldt is however not mark ably over stressed by the elephant.  There are signs of their being here but nothing like at Lower Zambezi just off Kariba. It is a surreal sight to see elephants – like ants – or buffalo – in big numbers as far as the eye can see.  The elephants are smaller in stature here.  They are not aggressive at all.  Perhaps, the fact that they can take a leisurely bath, twice a day in belly deep water, makes this so.  They have many little ones, over eager to do just as the older ones do.  It was so comical to see them rush, and trip sometimes, to do all the things they see the grownups do. It is going to be very difficult to choose which photos to upload for the blog

Tarangire is known for its many Baobab trees that tower over the landscape.  The sausage tree with its beautiful red flowers and big fruit comes second and then the Acacias, some of which are giants themselves and so typical in shape. There is an area called “small Serengeti” with more savanna style grasslands too.  A couple of higher areas enable one to have a good look around.

On our second day we had the good fortune to spot a Leopard in a Baobab not too far from camp. We could not believe our luck.  It looked so small in comparison to the huge branch it draped itself over. It did not stay there long before it suddenly got up and ran off in the opposite direction.

Giraffe, also in big numbers, grace the fields with their elegance only to be made invisible by the antics of the baboon troops entertaining the visitors.

We found about 30 or so Eland, characteristically shy and keeping to themselves. Sadly, we did not see Roan Antelope as hoped. 

The lions too escaped us.  On one of the two evenings we could hear them in the distance.  No hyena cries either. The animal that outnumbered even the elephants were the humans! A Very busy park indeed.  Not overly so though.

We met yet another couple from Holland. They travel through Africa for six or seven months at a time and then go home for six weeks.  This is their routine.  They drove their 4x4 “motorhome” from Germany and at times leave it in Dar with Echard. The same German, which we plan to leave our car at for a day or so when we go to Zanzibar. Arusha is next and hopefully some shopping, our supplies are desperately low.
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