Before I tell you about today’s game drive, let me show you where we stayed last night.
At first glance, Maramboi Tented Camp seems like an average lodge located between Tarangire and the shores of Lake Manyara. But we were absolutely blown away by this place. I wish I could come back and stay for a week! We had a gorgeous cabin with views overlooking the plains and the lake.
Zebras, wildebeest, warthogs and giraffes would stroll by our windows, not even caring we were there.
All the facilities were outside with uninterrupted views of the plains. We ate dinner and breakfast here as wild animals grazed on the grass or stopped for a drink.
After dark, we were escorted to and from our tent by a guard carrying a spear, just in case any wild animals wander through, or lions make a den under our cabin. We did hear noises during the night that sounded like they are coming from right underneath us, but we felt very safe inside. Just knowing how close we were to these animals really made me feel like I was out in the wild. If I ever make it back to Tanzania, I’m definitely staying here again.
Anyway, back to the animals! As we’re driving out of camp, we see 3 giraffes right next to the road, fighting! I never realized that they fought at all, let alone seen it happen. Apparently they swing their necks against each other. I’m not sure which giraffe won or even how they decide, but after a few minutes, they wander off, none apparently worse for the wear.
We drive back to Tarangire for our morning game drive. Shortly after we enter the park, we see a female ostrich crossing the road.
Abdul explains to us that these giant mounds of dirt we see dotting the landscape are ant hills. I’m impressed that such a microscopic creature can build such a massive home.
This is an Africa fish eagle. It’s smaller than a bald eagle and has more white on it’s head. We also see a few hamerkop and a red beaked hornbill (Zazu from the Lion King, we’re told).
We see so many birds today that I start singing “Bird bird bird, bird is the word” over and over again in my head. Luckily for Amy, I don’t sing out loud.
A quick break from the animals – Tarangire is also famous for it’s Baobab trees. You may have seen them in some of my photos from yesterday. These things are absolutely massive!
The locals call them upside-down trees because the branches look like they should be the root system. Elephants love to eat the bark when their normal food sources run out. You can see the scarring made by their tusks where they strip it off.
They’re so cool and kind of creepy. I think they look like something a Disney witch would live in. During the wet season they are covered in green leaves, but we’re here in the dry season so they look dead in comparison to the acacia trees all around. We see them throughout Tarangire and Lake Manyara, but nowhere else on the safari.
As we drive along, we come across a small lake where zebras, wildebeest and a couple ostrich are getting a drink.
Sitting in a Baobab tree nearby, we see several vultures.
This means there is something dead somewhere close. We drive a little further and sure enough, there are dozens of vultures eating a zebra. A jackal and some marabou storks try to get in on the action, too. There’s all sorts of noise and squabbling going on over who gets the choicest parts of meat.
These guys up in the tree reminded me of the vultures in the Jungle Book. I could hear them saying, “So what we gonna do today?” “Uuuhhh, I dunno, what you wanna do?” I cracked myself up with this, but Amy just thought I was strange.
We drive on, stopping every now and then to watch the animals (so many zebras!).
Many of the guides in Africa like to call impala’s “fast food for leopards” because of the McDonald’s logo on their bums.
And of course we see more elephants!
After a stop for lunch, we slowly drive back to the entrance. We spot a lioness sleeping in the grass, but she is kind of hard to see, so we don’t stay long.
A few more shots of the elephants and a couple of ostriches and we have finished seeing Tarangire!
We spend the afternoon driving to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where we’ll do a game drive in the crater first thing tomorrow morning!