Safari in Lake Manyara
Trip Start Jun 11, 2011
19Trip End Jun 26, 2011
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We continued driving through the groundwater forest and saw more baboons as well as blue and vervet monkeys, which the guides prefer to call blue ball monkeys. If you see a male, it is immediately clear how the nickname came to be.
As the forest began to thin out a bit we could see a giraffe grazing, then two more a little further along
Luckily I have binoculars with me so I could see some interesting birds and more large animals beyond the hippo bath, including more zebras, impalas and wildebeest.
From the baths we drove back across the floodplain and into the woodland where I spotted a large gray ass moving through the trees. Big T backed the jeep down the road and we all scanned the trees for the moving rump. The rears of three elephants emerged then disappeared into the woodland. Big T whipped the jeep around and headed along the road in the direction we thought they were headed, but they never turned up. While we were waiting for them to emerge from the woods a banded mongoose ran past our car and they asked if I had mistaken that mongoose for an elephant.
The other jeep in our group radioed us that they had found some elephants so we went to see those ones instead, which was a great decision. There were five or six young bulls and they were all fighting each other, clashing their impressive tusks together and pushing with all their strength
We also found another group of elephants, this one three adults and a baby. So cute! At the opposite end of the size spectrum we also spotted some Kirk's dik-diks, the smallest antelope species and very adorable.
It was getting late in the afternoon so we started to drive to the exit and spotted a young waterbuck. We stopped on a steep hill so we could get a good view of the distant lake and watch its massive flock of flamingos standing in the center. They were too far away to see any detail but the large mass of pink in the middle of the lake was impressive on its own.
Our campsite is really nice, with decent toilets and enough showers that queues can be avoided. There is also a bar just next door where we could charge our batteries and that had an acrobat show in the evening so we had a cold drink and watched the show after our delicious camp dinner. We met our cooking and supply crew. Our cook loves Canada and Canadians so I immediately took to him. He also happens to be excellent at making tasty meals in less than ideal conditions.