Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Begin their Safari in Lake Manyara National Park
Packing for Safari is far easier than packing for a climb. Getting up and getting on the road from our hotel was a low stress enterprise… we headed west at 8:30, squeezing between Arusha and Mt. Meru. Most of our 3 hour drive was through fairly dry and dusty cattle habitat. As we neared Lake Manyara National Park, the change in climate was dramatic, with water easy to find and lush vegetation everywhere. Animals like that sort of thing, as we discovered. Immediately within the park we saw baboons and monkeys aplenty. Before long we’d graduated to elephants -up close and personal, so that one could hear their big ears swishing back and forth in the air. Manyara is known for harboring tree-climbing lions, but when we got to see the king of the jungle, he was lounging and in no mood for trees. There were hippos and thousands of exotic birds enjoying the shoreline and bordering marshes of the Great Lake. Toward the end of the afternoon we encountered warthogs among the zebra and cape buffaloes. Lake Manyara was a fine primer for tuning up our game sighting reflexes. From the park exit, it just took 40 minutes to drive out of the great rift and into the highlands, where we found the beautiful and luxurious plantation lodge. We unwound and refueled in immaculately clean and comfortable buildings set in a lush garden. We’ll strike out bright and early tomorrow for Ngorongoro Crater.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
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