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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Lake Manyara National Park

We loved our Kilimanjaro climb... but each and every night of it was spent sleeping on a tilt in one or more directions. Last night at the Arumeru River Lodge, we were on the level. Consequently, there were a bunch of relaxed smiles at breakfast this morning to go with all the clean hair and shaved faces. At 8 AM we met our Safari guide/drivers -Edson and Ibrahim and loaded up the Landcruisers for an adventure. We started out by heading west through the outskirts of Arusha. As we got away from Mt Meru’s flanks, the clouds got thinner until we were out in dry and open land under clear skies. We passed many herds of Maasai cattle tended to by small boys in tartan blankets. Even before reaching Lake Manyara National Park, we spied a few giraffes eating acacia trees near the highway. Once in the lush and green park, we began seeing wildlife almost immediately. Logan got the coveted “first pumba” prize for spotting a tusky warthog digging up lunch. Unexpectedly a small gang of Cape Buffalo kicked up dust as they charged across the road. A few minutes later, we saw our second of the “big five” with a memory of elephants eating their way through the thorn trees. There were troops and flanges of baboons everywhere we looked. After a great picnic lunch with superb starlings singing in the branches overhead, we encountered a tower of giraffes, a bloat of hippos, and a dazzle of zebras. Along the way, there were silver-cheeked hornbills, a small implausibility of gnus and a herd or two of impalas. We looked high and low for big cats but they eluded us today. Perhaps tomorrow. In late afternoon we drove out of the Rift Valley and into the highlands. It was a great pleasure to pull into the meticulously manicured grounds of the Plantation Lodge near Karatu. We enjoyed cocktails and appetizers as the light faded and the stars came out... then we moved inside for a fine dinner to celebrate Phillip and Emily’s fourth wedding anniversary. Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow. Best Regards, RMI Guide Dave Hahn

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