Day 2: Lake Manyara National Park

I really recommend to go to Lake Manyara, if you make Northern Tanzanian circuit. Lake Manyara National Park is located nearby Tarangire, so it makes lots of sense to combine these two parks in two days, in my view it’s an optimal way!

1. Mommy Olive baboon
Sad mother baboon in Lake Manyara

2. Mommy is taking care of herself
Thinking female baboon in Lake Manyara

3. In a minute this sad mommy was looking after her playing child
Mommy baboon in Lake Manyara

4. Playing babyboon
Baby baboon in Lake Manyara

The reason to visit this great place is simple: Lake Manyara is the only place in Tanzania where you can make WALKING SAFARI. Which is a real excitement and a very thrilling thing you can ever make in african savannah. Since usually you make a morning and/or afternoon jeep trip to the park, you won’t have much time to see a lot. You mainly drive through the south-western or western part of the lake and that’s it. Depending on how much time you have for Lake Manyara, you can arrange a walking safari with a guide from the park and together with your own guide. As far as i remember the price is about 20 or 30 USD per person for a few hours. It’s really worth it!

5. Our walking safari team 🙂 In this picture you can see that i’m having something in my mouth, well it’s a piece of tree that i was learnt to use as a tooth brush! Yeah, there is a tree or sort of a bush (i forgot its name), which sticks you can use to clean your tooth, so in case you’re lost in the african bush you can follow up your hygiene 🙂
Walking safari in Lake Manyara

In our case we had a very good guide and his trainee, so in total we were 6 in our jeep up to the starting walking point. Then our permanent guide (Jolis) has left us for a few hours and we continued with our Manyara walking safari guide. What we did was absolutely amazing. We started walking through the bush and inspected some excrements from various animals. This guide and his trainee were very good at knowing all the animals and his typical behavior. We learned so much about animals that I don’t think we learnt more afterwards!

6. Our guide and I are walking through the bush
Walking safari in Lake Manyara

7. Our guide is equipped with Kalashnikov rifle (AK-47) in order to protect people if needed… But we didn’t need it 🙂
Walking safari in Lake Manyara

For instance, did you know that for hyenas it is hard to get food, so mother is feeding her child for about a year? In order to have milk, she has to eat anything she can find, even bones of the animals, that is why their excrements are white, since it contains calcium!

Did you know that those black strips that cheetah has under the eyes are for the sake of the shadow so the cheetah can hunt the prey and the sun is not distracting from it?

Did you know that african buffalos are very-very angry and mad? Especially when it is one standing in front of you? The reason? When they see some danger, they are considering about to find the their escape route. So if there is a group of buffalos, then they can sort of discuss possible danger and decide if it is worth to attack or to run away. If it is only one buffalo, he/she cannot talk to his “friends”, so he can really get mad and start attacking you!
If there is a way for him to run away, he looks and searches if it makes sense to do so in terms of his energy costs and “danger” size! If he decides to attack, then he can easily and quickly approach you and try to get you on his horns. The best strategy in this case for you is to lay down and wait. Then he can start rolling you, and that can still hurt you and bring lots of damage, because his tongue is very-very rough, so if he leaks your hand, he can leak it up to the bones for a few seconds!

8. African buffalos
African buffalos in Lake Manyara

What we did was a real adventure. We were walking and walking through the bush and the suddenly our guide bended down! And started running on his bended knees! We, of course, did the same and run like this for about 10 minutes. Then he suddenly stood up! And pointed his hand in the direction of a group of buffalos. We started looking at them standing as we were. They were lying, but after noticing us one of them stood up and started watching at us. This lasted for a bout 5 minutes. Then two other in the group stood up and also started watching at us… As the guide told us, there were discussing whether it was worth or not to attack us. We were five and they were three… And the reason we were running on our bended knees was that we wanted to stay invisible for them while leaving their escape route. So when the buffalos were sure that it didn’t make any sense to attack us and their escape route to the bush was free, they run away so fast! It was like a real BBC movie, simply stunning! Where else you can have such an experience? So really go to this wonderful Lake Manyara national park! I can tell you that my adrenaline was so much up and heart was beating so fast, oh amazing!

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Day 1: Tarangire National Park

Ok, let’s begin this journey!

From your starting point (usually, it’s either Kilimanjaro airport or Arusha airport or Arusha town), it takes about 2-3 hours to get there.

1. On the way to Tarangire National Park, view from the window
Road to Tarangire National Park

I really recommend not to skip this park, since Tarangire National Park is definitely worth visiting. You can see herds of elephants and lots of baobab trees. You can see various types of antelopes, even maybe a lion, if lucky. Since we were there during dry season, all the trees were without leaves, but anyway the landscape is really beautiful there.

2. Baobab tree
Baobab tree in Tarangire National Park

I would say that this park looked very quiet and relaxed, all the animals were a bit of lazy, and for the first day in Africa it was exactly what we needed. Just to get used to the surroundings and feel comfortable about safari.

3. A herd of Wildebeests
Wildebeest herd in Tarangire National Park

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My Big Tanzanian Journey!

Hey ya all! I’m back with lots of great photos from Tanzania!

It all started in May 2014, when I found a great offer from Turkish Airlines. I bought relatively cheap tickets to Tanzania for two and a half weeks in September and started to prepare my journey. I knew it would be an amazing experience, my first time in REAL AFRICA!

I researched a lot about the parks, routes, safari operators and other stuff. You can find useful info on this page. In general, many safari operators offer a few days tour mainly in Serengeti and Ngorongoro areas. But I wanted MORE (always do!). I wanted to have an unforgettable experience for about 2 weeks of safari to capture all the possible things in the Northern part of Tanzania.

To find a good safari operator is a tricky thing, since many of them operate not only in Tanzania, but have branches in Europe, UK or US. This increases the costs. Plus, if you consider living in a lodge or a luxury tent, you’ll end up with cosmic prices. I didn’t want to pay so much, plus I wanted to have some experience to live in a tent among wild animals right in a national park. Finally, I did and it was AMAZING!

I can strongly recommend you this great safari operator Bobby Camping. It is a local company run by a very nice guy Murtaza. You can easily contact him and be sure he will give you a reasonable price. He will answer all of your questions patiently and in details. And finally, he will give you a very good guide and a cook. Yes, you have to travel with a guide and a cook, like a king or a queen 🙂 These guys will be your family for the whole journey, so it’s important that you have a good connection with both of them. I was lucky to have Jolis (guide) and Faraji (cook). These two were really good at their business. Jolis was a super friendly and always happy to help with anything! Faraji was a great cook, he asked us at the beginning what we preferred (i personally eat lots of veggies, not salty and not fatty food). So every meal was equipped with fresh and well cooked veggies, delicious and healthy things. And every dinner we had popcorn!

1. Our team with Jolis
Bobby Camping Safari

2. Our guide Jolis and cook Faraji
Bobby Camping Tanzania

Regarding the itinerary, I wanted to see as much as possible in the Northern part. I not only wanted to see Big Five, but also to have some experience with the tribes like Masai, Datoga and Hadzabe. I also wanted to spend some quality time at Natron lake to see myself these dead creatures. Finally, all my dreams came true and we visited Tarangire NP, Lake Manyara NP (did a thrilling WALKING SAFARI there), Lake Natron, Northern Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Lake Eyasi (Datoga and Hadzabe tribes), Ngorongoro crater and conservation area. Of course, if your holidays allow, you may also want to climb Kilimanjaro or mount Meru, but we saved it for the next time! And finally, we landed on Zanzibar island to have some relaxation time.

But besides organizing your itinerary with safari operators you need to think about what to pack far in advance! To prepare my Tanzania packing list with all the essentials I used VacayKit.

So in this post i’ll show you a few pictures from every place. And then i’ll post a series of posts with photos and details about every park we’ve been to.

Enjoy! And go to Tanzania, really!

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