I always thought that pictures of the animals in Tanzania took months to capture. I assumed that the animals would be hard to find and then hard to actually see. Those professional photos probably did take some work but there are infinite photo opps with many different animals. Tarangire will spoil you with the variety of animals in an incredible setting.
Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in the Manyara region in Tanzania and covers an area a little over 1,000 square miles. It was Scott’s favorite park and probably mine, but I loved the Serengeti too. We spent about two days there at Oliver’s Camp and it was perfect. Our second day was a full day of game driving and we even went on a night drive. It felt surreal being so far from home, knowing that I was on the other side of the world, driving over the bumpy roads and seeing the beautiful landscape that is just as impressive as the plentiful animals.
There are many termite mounds.
Elephants in all of their matriarchal beauty
I loved watching the kids experience something so magical.
The mix of animals hanging out together surprised us.
The lions really are as majestic as you would imagine them to be and very happy to lie in the sun be admired much like your favorite house cat.
This leopard was one of the favorite stories of the whole safari and I have heard the kids tell it many times. We were on the lookout for a leopard. The lions like to be seen, but the leopards are very shy loners and we hadn’t seen one yet. Ayoub, our guide had heard over the CB that there was a leopard in a tree near our location. We quickly arrived at the tree only to see the leopard jump down and slither off through the grass. We parked and intently watched the grass for signs of movement as the other jeeps meandered off in search of more visible animals. Ayoub slowly drove the jeep around the tree while we watched for signs of movement. Scott saw the grass swaying as the leopard quickly crawled away from us. It was almost invisible and flat against the ground. Again we drove in the direction that our guide guessed it was going. We stopped and all of us searched the ground with our binoculars. Ashley gasped and said, “It’s right there.” We looked through our binoculars trying to see what she was seeing. She repeated, “It’s right there.” The guide saw the leopard and said, “Don’t move. Be very quiet.” The leopard was not ten feet from our jeep, our jeep with all of the windows and roof wide open. We could hear the cat breathing hard and hissing at us. It shifted its weight onto its feet as if it was getting ready to jump. We were still, the cat panted and stared at us. The cat was a beautiful and powerful example of the intensity of the natural world and we were all fearful. We watched as long as seemed respectful of a creature that was not too happy with being seen. We drove quietly away.
Later the same day we saw the cat again back in the tree and still not too happy to be admired.
These Vervet Monkeys were so much fun to watch.
The Olive Baboon babies were equally entertaining.
We saw a beautiful sunset.
Went on a night drive where we didn’t see much except a Chameleon and a Hyaena, but it was exciting to drive through the dark with a spotlight and a ranger to protect us from animals and poachers.
We finished up the day with a birthday celebration from Oliver’s Camp for the August birthdays.
The nature and natural beauty that surrounds one in Tarangire National Park is inspiring and a bit short circuiting. It stops one from thinking for moments at a time. It is all encompassing and completely absorbing, something other worldly and unexplainable, something to be felt as well as seen.