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Next Up, Tanzania – Arusha National Park

After our Gorilla trekking, we flew from Kigali to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, to begin our 11 days on safari.

There are 6 major areas of Tanzania that are “don’t miss” things, Arusha National Park, the Northern Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Gnorognoro, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire. And we decided since this was probably going to be a one-time visit to Africa, we’d do them all.

The one thing we didn’t schedule was down time, and we should have. We severely underestimated the toll that the washboard, pot-holed, bumpy dirt roads, lack of vegetarian protein, traveler’s diarrhea, and side-effects of malaria medication would take on us oldsters!

But, in spite of the difficulty, we had just an amazing trip, full of surprises. We saw more animals than we ever dreamed we’d see, and many of them very close up. I really don’t know how to do the trip justice, so I’ll just jump in, area by area, and show you my favorite photos from each, adding explanation as necessary, and of course adding an off-the-wall photo from my tattered lens. I hope you enjoy.

Our first day “on safari” was spent in Arusha National Park. The first peek we got at the wildlife was an area called “the little Serengeti.” All the animals were quite a ways away from the road, but it was still exciting to see them.

We saw water buffalo, zebra, gazelle, bush-back antelopes, and giraffes right away. We knew it would only get better from there.

Our first close ups were monkeys – vervet, and blue-faced.

 

We did a couple of miles of a walking safari with a park ranger. I can’t tell you how odd it was to be walking around with the giraffes, buffalo and wart hogs right there. It was nothing like seeing them in a zoo.

 

 

Back in the safari vehicle, we looped the park, seeing scads of olive baboons and flamingos.

 

 

 

One of the most interesting birds we saw was the crowned crane (shown here with a sacred ibis, too.)

We saw quite a few colobus monkeys, too. The guide said we were lucky because they tend to be pretty shy. We came upon a group that sat still and watched us (although I did take a lot of pictures of black and white blurs jumping from tree to tree!)

From Arusha, we flew to the Northern Serengeti on a little 10-seater plane, and that’s where things got REALLY crazy! Stay tuned.

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