After my Kilimanjaro experience and Phi’s week in Sri Lanka, we were reunited in Tanzania for a 3-day, 2-night safari. Going on a safari was a lifelong dream of ours. Tanzania is a great place to do a safari as you’re able to see the big 5 and many more. Rather than write a lot about the experience, I’ll share some brief highlights and lots of pictures!
Day 1: We safari’d in Tarangire National Park. The drive form Moshi to Tarangire was a bit over 4 hours, so we started right after lunch. We saw elephants, giraffes, lions, zebra, ostriches, warthogs, wildebeests, impala, many kinds of antelope, etc. Our highlights of today were:
- Elephants: We saw a lot of elephants within a few feet of our car. They are such amazing animals. It was awesome to see how they use their trunk and tusks. We got to see them digging water from a dry riverbed and then using it to drink/bathe themselves.
- Giraffes: Both Phi and I thought giraffes were some of the most fun animals to watch. They are really beautiful and unique animals. It was cool to see how their long necks are an advantage with eating from trees, but a disadvantage when trying to drink water.
- Lions mating: We were lucky enough to see lions mating. They mate every 15 minutes for 2 weeks. The entire mating process takes about 5 seconds. This was also our first time seeing lions in the wild.
Both nights, we slept in a basic camp that provided breakfast and dinner. It was sort of “glamping” as our tents had beds and basic bathrooms.
Day 2: We safari’d in Ngorongore Conservation Area. Today, the drive was only about 30 minutes from camp, so we spent the whole day in the park. Since our vehicle pops up on top, it gets pretty hot and tiring. Today, we saw rhinos!! We also saw lions, hippos, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, hyenas, a golden jackal, plus the common creatures (zebra, baboons, antelopes, wildebeest, impalas). Our highlights of today were:
- Rhinos: Less than 50 rhinos live in all of Tanzania. We were lucky enough to see 2 of them! They weren’t ride beside our car, but we were able to watch them for about 30 minutes from a medium distance. We’re currently in Namibia for 3 weeks and hope to see some more here! (Sadly no pictures, but stay tuned for Namibia post for Rhino pictures!
- Hippos: First time seeing hippos in the wild. My siblings and I have shared many conversations about hippos and how dangerous they are!
- Hyenas: As Phi said, they look like the town drunk. They are real loners and sort of bumbled around. Still, fascinating (and really vicious and ugly) creatures. We didn’t see this, but that same day some other groups saw a pack of hyenas kill and eat 2 baby zebra.
- Lions: We saw more than 10 lions today including 1 big, beautiful male with a mane like you would imagine. He went into the bush about a minute after we got there. As we drove away, Phi saw him come back out so we got to watch him more.
Day 3: We safari’d at Lake Manyara National Park. To be 100% honest, today was a bit of a disappointment. It was the hardest park to see wildlife, because there was so much tree coverage. It was also really hot and the tsetse flies (horrible biting insects) were particularly bad. Phi and I were both ready for a good shower! Today, we saw giraffes, buffalo, hippos, and wildebeest, about a million baboons, zebras, antelopes and warthogs. We spent a lot of time looking for leopards, but no luck. The highlights of today were:
- Giraffes: Even though we saw giraffes each day, we had our closest encounters with them today. This allowed for some good photos!
- Baboons: Neither of us really care for baboons, but we got to see baboons mating and cleaning each other today.