Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Explore Lake Manyara National Park
Beds are a wonderful invention. That seemed to be the consensus view shared over breakfast at the Arumeru River Lodge this morning. Leaving for Safari was certainly easier and more casual than leaving to climb Kilimanjaro was. We drove west through Arusha starting just after 8 AM and after all the traffic and stoplights it was a relief to break into the open countryside beyond the city. Our two Landcruiser drivers are also our two naturalists and guides. Godson and Fabian began educating us on Tanzania in general, on the Maasai Tribe (since we are passing through much Maasai territory) on trees and animals and geography.
It took the morning to reach Lake Manyara, our National Park for the day. We popped the tops on the cars and stood hanging over the edges with cameras and binoculars in hopes of seeing exotic critters. We weren’t disappointed. There were Cape Buffalo and a few shy elephants. There were giraffes and wildebeest and zebra. Storks, pelicans, flamingos, vultures and ibis. We saw monkeys and baboons. Folks liked the hippos out rolling in lily-covered wallows, yawning and grunting and flipping their tails.
After a great picnic lunch, we drove a few more rough dirt road laps through forest and the lake shore and then in late afternoon drove out of the park and up the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley to our hotel -the Plantation Lodge. The contrast with our dusty camps of the past week could not be greater. Plantation is a beautiful garden surrounding with tastefully constructed and furnished rooms. The dining room and bar are comfortable enough, with such friendly service, that a few of our team are now considering simply living here indefinitely. They can do that after tomorrow though, because we’re going out exploring again… Ngorongoro Crater is calling us.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
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