February 7, 2013

After meeting our guides (Steven, Maulidi, Yuda, Emmanuel and James) for the first time at the Mountain Village Lodge near Arusha, we climbed into brand new Land Cruisers for our 2-hour trip to Tarangire National Park. Arusha was crowded and full of traffic with very few traffic controls. On the way to Tarangire we drove past Mt. Meru (14,977 ft) and watched the Maasai walking, walking, walking with their cattle and goats.
Tarangire is famous for its huge African Elephant herd (something like 2500) and for baobab trees, dense brush and tall grasses. Tarangire is a bird watcher’s paradise, particularly noted for rollers, kingfishers, shrikes, multi-colored starlings, lovebirds and the hornbill. The park entrance introduced us to some of these birds, especially the beautiful cordon bleu. Low and behold we bounced past some of the park’s more than 90 mammals, especially the elephants and giraffes.
After lunch at the Tarangire Sopa we headed down to the Tarangire River to photograph more elephants, giraffes, monkeys, impalas and dik diks, just to mention a few. After dinner we got little sleep because a big bull elephant was bellowing and snorting right outside our room most of the night.

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