If spending a long time surrounded by nature at her purest, one tends to tune into the subtle changes of the bush, her inhabitants and the climate. The shady acacia trees are already showing promising signs of new growth with tiny feathery green leaves adding a splash of pleasant colour other than the golden burnt bush we have been seeing for the last 4 months. Wild berries are fattening on loaded scrubby bushes, with the winds of change knocking on our door bringing through cold fronts and humongous angry-looking cloud formations like something out the latest Indiana Jones movie!!
I have been getting into the habit of grabbing the camera every time I jump in the car as I have kicked myself so many times when seeing something unique and only having the phone to shoot off a fuzzy image!! On such an outing whilst moving through to the small bustling town of Mto wa Mbu, bordering Lake Manyara National Park I drove in the path of the below dust storm that was moving in fast as I cut across what will become a wash of swaying green grass in the weeks to come. By the time I had shot off a few images the dust and wind was picking up and already stinging my eyes!! A further 10 minutes down the road we were driving through a surreal sandy brown world leaving the sun and blue skies blanketed out until the storm passed through to Lake Manyara N.P. with a distant low rumble and a few roads side puddles to show for all its wrath.
Other than seasonal changes, clients and drivers alike are enjoying early morning game drives of Tarangire – not only seeing 9 lions on a buffalo kill but also a pair of cheetah some time later!! These cat sightings were all before breakfast!! What better way to begin the day and top off a few days of exploration and game drives in Tarangire N.P.
Reasons to make sure you have Tarangire National Park on your wish list
- Location – only 120km out of Arusha on good tarmac roads make it a first choice for day trippers or weekend getaways. If heading out on an extended 7-8 day safari, beginning with Tarangire will allow you to find your feet after your international arrival into Tanzania. We recommend a 2 night stay if time is on your hands. This means you can unpack, unwind and begin to forget about work and what was happening at home before your departure to East Africa. The beginning to any safari should be well planned with the right combination of game drives and time set aside for relaxing out there in the parks and wilderness locations. This allows you to fall into holiday mode without your safari feeling like a marathon. Early wake up calls are part of the rhythm of your time on safari and offers the best time to catch a new day and hopefully some wonderful wildlife sightings.
- Variety both wildlife and birdlife are a big attraction to the park. Game drives are very rewarding without having to head too deep into the park before coming across a whole range of varying wildlife. Around the park gate itself one can identify and photograph at least 15 to 20 wild, wonderful coloured feathered friends. There is a game viewing tower to be scaled offering a bird’s eye view across open plains where majestic giants wade through a swash of golden grasses. The topography of the park changes continuously adding a sense of adventure as your driver navigates through river crossings and hilly game tracks. For those who want to head out for a whole day of mixed game drives and relaxation then there are some magic picnic spots overlooking the Silale Swamps tucked away in the south of the park and others overlooking the Tarangire River.
- The park is sizable, covering 2850 square kms ! So plenty of space to lose yourself without having to tail a dozen other dusty safari vehicles. Tarangire simple has everything for everyone including the young family members out there with several lodges and camps offering swimming pools and lazy lounges to pass the time away between game drives.
- Accommodation is also on the healthy side of things with tented camps beginning at the mid end range of things so somewhat pocket friendly with enough choice to suit all needs. There are several top end properties located outside the park boundaries further adding a flavour of activities that can be experienced if opting for such accommodation. These activities that are run by the lodges/tented camps include walking safaris and nature trail hikes allowing one to get a hands on experience at identifying the smaller things in wildlife kingdom. Night drives are also permitted due to the properties being located out the park boundaries, this does not stop wildlife however from roaming freely throughout these wildlife management areas with night drives allowing opportunities of viewing some of Tanzania’s nocturnal walkers and stalkers!!
Safari News and developments
Tanzania National Parks have now published that park fees will raise again throughout all parks – this will come into effect from 1st July 2013.
RTTZ (Responsible Tourism Tanzania) since the very first meeting back in March 2012 things are moving steadily in the right direction. RTTZ recognized that the market in the UK and Europe are becoming more aware of ‘sustainability’, the term is used every day, the market expects to see responsibility and organizations, corporations and events are reacting to these demands. The growing responsible travel markets are requesting Responsible Tourism packages as a matter of course in the host destinations. According to research by the Association of British Travel agents (ABTA), 87% of the British find it very or fairly important that holidays do not damage the environment and 71% of British consumers would like tourism to benefit local communities. RTTZ aim is to bring fellow operators such as Bush2Beach and hoteliers together to work in harmony giving Responsible tourism in Tanzania a clear and unobstructed path forward as to achieve such goals and standards for one and all to enjoy.
Whale Shark season is on and will continue through to December. If you are considering a getaway on this side of 2012 to Tanzania and after sometime of viewing Wildlife you would like to swim next to these majestic creatures of the ocean then when you drop us a line be sure to add Mafia Island and whale shark safaris to your safari basket. We will be only too happy to craft a suitable dynamic safari/beach holiday for you and the family. If your timing is correct you can also be witness to a sea turtle hatch. There are several Sea watch programs that monitor these known nesting sites throughout the archipelago of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia along with other sites stretching up the Swahili coast. I just learned last night of a successful hatch of 80+ little guys on a quiet beach location near Pangani. These eggs were removed from their natural nest site which may have fallen prey to poachers and carefully relocated to a hidden location by a Sea care team to be looked over by the village carers. A great result and a first time hatch for this particular area of the Swahili coast, we look forward to having these turtles return as adults to do it all again and establish themselves a flipper hold in the sandy beaches of Pangani.
Till next time – stay tuned to the latest from the Tanzanian bush.