Tanzania safari, part 3


Jul 16th, 2002, 08:01 AM
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Tanzania safari, part 3

After Seronera, we had to say good-bye to the Serengeti. But we left feeling like we had seen so much of it, and really glad that we spent 10 nights there to really enjoy the place. Our next stop was Ngorongoro Crater. Larry and I had been there on our last trip, but that was in early Sept during a drought year...and the crater looked very much the worse for wear. So, we were pleasantly surprised to see it looking very lush this time around. We stayed at Crater Lodge... the lodge is truly incredible....we have done a lot of traveling, and have never, ever seen anything quite like it. There are chandeliers and a long dining hall that looks like a royal palace. The rooms are actually 2 round areas – one is the bedroom, complete with a fireplace (that your butler stokes every night before you return from dinner) and the other is a palatial bathroom with a huge shower (surrounded by wood beams) and a bathtub with a view of the crater. We seemed to be the only people at South Camp for two of our nights there (the lodge is split into three areas) – to us South Camp appeared the nicest – and the food, again, was incredible – we even had lobster for dinner one night. Three nights is more than most people spend at the Crater...but I was glad we did....the Lodge was spectacular and the Crater was very enjoyable. We did two full day game drives here (bringing both a picnic breakfast and lunch into the crater...and the Crater Lodge did even this preparation first class). We spent one of the early mornings mostly sitting at the lake watching the flamingos...at this time of year, there were a couple of million flamingos on the lake and we found it very relaxing just to sit and watch them. Also saw male lions, lionesses in trees, 9 black rhinos, a communal den of hyenas (with some young pups), and the oldest elephant in the crater...estimated to be around 75 years old...his ears are now drooping because he doesn’t have the muscles to hold them up.

From Ngorongoro we proceeded to Tarangire. We were there relatively early in the dry season (mid-July), yet there were already so many animals there (especially elephants). It is a really fascinating and beautiful park... with scattered baobab and palm trees. Tarangire Safari Lodge was definitely below the standards of our other accomodations, and it could use renovation ....the food was also below standard. But the place was adequate, and the view from the lodge & dining area is spectacular. The Lodge overlooks the Tarangire River and you can just sit there and watch tons of wildlife coming to the water for a drink....large groups of elephants, zebras, giraffes, elands, etc. Now, we didn’t expect to see lions in Tarangire because the park is very brushy....but we were fortunate and surprised. Saw 7 lionesses in trees one evening, and a lioness with three 1-month old cubs the next morning. And, the elephants...my goodness....they were everywhere you looked. On our last morning game drive in Tarangire, we got out of the vehicle to have breakfast on the hood of the car, while watching some vervet monkeys. All of a sudden a herd of zebras came thundering out of a drainage with a lion in hot pursuit. We all jumped back into the vehicle very quickly. The zebras got away, and we felt that Tarangire and Tanzania had just given us a very fond farewell. What a way to wrap up a great trip.

I’m sure I could go on and on and on...but I will leave you with this, some of the highlights, at least for now. Feel free to ask any questions.

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Jul 16th, 2002, 11:49 AM
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Dear Laura

I have copied Part 2 and 3 into the same thread as Part 1 so that the whole report is together.

I suggest that all of us with questions post only on one thread (Part 1) so that future searchers will be able to read your report (and questions and answers in its eternity).

I hope you will forgive my presumption...

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