Manyara Park! (2nd day of Safari)
Trip Start Jul 18, 2008
17Trip End Aug 30, 2008
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The second day of safari was amazing! We got to sleep in a little bit and left around 7:30am for Manyara Park. This park is smaller and surrounds a very long lake, Manyara lake. The terrain is much more jungle like with little grasslands. A stray dog followed into the park and our driver immediatley told us not to get attached because the dog will most likely become prey. We immediately stumble upon a couple of blue monkeys, black-faced vervets and a small species of deer called a "Dik-Dik." We also saw an entire troop of about 30 baboons! They were very close to our car and we went under a couple that were checking us out in a tree. It seemed equally curious about us and didnt have a problem staring and the little ones tested how close they could get (about 10ft max from our truck). It was pretty cool to see their reaction when they saw the dog. The small ones climbed into the trees while the male and adults cautiously stepped back to get a closer look at the threat. Turns out that the dog was just as afraid of the baboons as they were of him. I stood up in the truck as we went on and got some nice pics of the forest we were in (including a Sausage Tree...haha). Only five minutes later we came upon a HERD OF ELEPHANTS! They had just taken down a tree and were making a meal of the entire thing! There were about ten to twelve of them and they were actually blocking the road, thats how close we were. The driver instructed us to be silent so that we didnt startle them or interupt their meal. Then that idiot dog decided to go towards the elephants! Two mother elephants moved their young into the brush, away from danger while three adult elephants CHARGED the dog and made the most amazing and intimidating sound ive ever heard. The driver in the front car threw a rock at the dog and it moved back to a safer distance and the elephants were fine. The poor dog then got harrassed by a family of mongoose and backed into a tree full of angry birds, silly dog. It finally rested in the nearby shrubs and that was the last time I saw it. The road-block elephant finally moved out of the way and we moved on to bird-watch and see the hippo pool. All of the birds constisted of storks, geese, cormorants, pelicans, cranes, and small sparrows. I also got to see a small hippo fight over space. Hippos remind me of my fat little dachshund at home, Dolly. After that, we went to a look-out and left the park. Unfortunately, we didnt see any of Manyara's infamuos tree-climbing lions. Maybe Ill have to go back someday.
We arrived back at the campground/lodge for lunch, packed up, and left. On the way home we stopped at an overpriced craft store (knowing whats overpriced is perk of volunteering... hehe), and then walked across the street to ride CAMELS. There were two and I rode one with Christa (Toronto). It was scary when they stood up and then when they go back to a sitting position again. I got to pet one and he was really fluffy, like wool almost.
When we got back in the car for the ride home, I instantly fell asleep and didnt wake up until we pulled onto CCS's dirt road. We tipped the guides about $20 each and tipped the cook a little too. I thanked the guides and sprinted into the house for a hot shower (a rarity around here). I napped through dinner and then had to dive into a two hour planning session for my placement. I finally went to bed around eleven, nervous about the upcoming week....
PS The computers are still on dial-up here, so sorry for the lack of pic posting! Ill try again soon!