Back from a trip to Tanzania
I have finished my one week in Tanzania–3 days of holiday and 4 days of working in Arusha. It was a nice introduction to the country and I would like to return with sufficient time to reach the Serengeti and other areas. I’m an American woman 40+ and the only other African country I have visited is Botswana.
In Tarangire, we and all the other safari trucks saw lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes, storks, cranes, etc., many close to the road. As you might expect, following the river provides the greatest chance of sightings in the dry season. The picnic area provides a nice view over the river, but many aggressive monkeys stealing food. The toilets at the entry and picnic area were kept clean.
Instead of making a loop from the north entrance as most tours do, we continued on to the west entrance for the night. Stay at a tented lodge by the Sangaiwe gate was nice with extensive views, sounds of elephants and buffalo at night, etc, but the drive through the western part of the park was dry, some burned, with flies and few wildlife.
We drove rutted dirt roads through Maasai villages and forded streams to reach the southern gate of Lake Manyara. It provided an intimate look at rural life, both interesting and sad in many ways. By entering in the south, we were lucky to find lions with cubs by the road. Other visitors said one lion had been up in a tree just before we arrived.
We also saw mongoose, buffalo, etc. but the highlight was the birds–thousands of pelicans and flamingos plus storks, ibis, and many others. The flamingos tended to be out from shore, but their lines stretched as far as I could see along the lake.
The hippos were being a little shy–the cattails were 10 feet high at the viewing platform where we could hear but not see them. We could see backs and a few heads were lifted by others in wetlands and along the lake shore, but at least 50 feet from the road.
Arusha was bustling with sometimes paved sidewalks, streetlights often unlit, hawkers near tourist hubs, and cheap taxis within the city. I can’t say I would want to spend much time there.
I’d like to go back, perhaps get a clearer view of Mt Kili (no desire to climb)., spend more time with the different local peoples and reach the Serengeti during the migration. I’m not a beach person, so if I were to go to Zanzibar, it would be more for the spice history.
Glad to answer questions if I can.