Saturday, 2 July 2011
We were in Tanzania from 1st July to 10th July 2011. We had 1 free day before our Kilimanjaro climb began on 3rd July 2011. So, on 2nd July, we went for Safari (‘safari’ in Swahili means journey).
To read about our Kilimanjaro climb, click here: https://imranjaafar.wordpress.com/2011/08/01/tanzania-mount-kilimanjaro/
We went for safari with our mountain operator, Team Kilimanjaro (website here), as they offered us a discount since we were climbing with them. We choose Tarangire National Park and it was USD169 per person (for a group of 4).
Initially we thought of going to the nearby Arusha National Park, but a Malaysian friend working in Arusha said that Arusha National Park doesn’t have that much animals, and he recommended either Lake Manyara or Tarangire. I did some additional research and 1 day before we left I emailed our safari operator to inform them that I would like to go to Tarangire instead.
Arusha National Park is a mere 45 mins away from Arusha town, compared to Tarangire which is a 2 hour drive. But since it offers more wildlife, we didn’t mind the distance. Our tour guide, Izido, picked us up from the hotel around 8:30AM.
On the way to Tarangire we saw a number of Masai villages. It seems there is a weekend market going on where people from nearby villages would come and trade.
If you don’t have the time to go through this entire blogpost, check out the video below. It’s a compilation of the main photos and videos from our safari trip:
As we arrived at Tarangire, Izido registered our names at the visitor’s office. Before the tour started, he opened the roof of our SUV to give us a better view of the surroundings. It’s actually quite cool!
We saw the following animals at Tarangire:
- Warthog (“pumba” from Lion King)
From our video above, you can see how the animals are free to roam in the park. Izido explained to us that it is a common mistake to think the lion as the most dangerous animal in the safari. Lions, if they are well fed, would just be chilling around and couldn’t be bothered to come near humans (in safari parks at least). The most dangerous animal is apparently the hippo. Izido was telling us the hippo isn’t the smartest of the bunch and is easily spooked. Once spooked, they can charge and ram into vehicles.
Around noon, Izido took us to this visitor resting area for lunch. It’s an open area with toilets and tables. Food was provided by the the tour operator.
We had lunch overlooking the great plains of Tarangire. It was an amazing sight.
All in all I was very pleased with my safari experience. The number of wildlife I saw at Tarangire exceeded my expectations and I am very impressed with the hospitality and friendliness of the Tanzanian people.
I plan to return to Tanzania in the future for a pure safari trip, to visit the Serengeti. They had a 4 days 3 night safari which includes the Serengeti but the price was around USD 1300 and that was too expensive for us as our priority was Kilimanjaro.
Hakuna matata (no worries), I’ll visit this wonderful country again in the future!
To view all our safari photos, check out my Flickr page here.