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Kilimanjaro: Hahn & Team Visit Maasai Boma & See Tarangire National Park

Another big day out in East Africa. It was tough to leave the comfortable Plantation Lodge this morning, but we had things to do and places to see. We stopped for some plain old tourism in the morning--shopping for gifts and souvenirs. Next up was a visit to a Maasai village. The Maasai are famous among the many tribes of Tanzania for holding onto their traditional ways. The villagers demonstrated their chanting and singing. They showed how high they could jump and invited our team to join in the competition. They brought us into the central corral, built of thorny branches and trees arranged in a tight circle, where their cattle are protected from predators each night. After demonstrating building a fire without matches, they explained a little of how their families are structured and welcomed us into their well-built but very small homes made of sticks, mud and dung. Our team tried bargaining for some of the handmade craft pieces the Maasai women were offering and then we got on the road for Tarangire National Park. Tarangire is a vast park encompassing three parallel river courses. As soon as we were past the giant baobab trees that mark the park entrance, we began seeing zebra, impala and wildebeest in such numbers that we began taking these animals for granted. We got selective, only wanting to slow down for giraffes and elephants. None of us were casual or blasé about seeing a big sleepy leopard draped over the branches of an acacia tree. He or she (there was some debate) was exceedingly beautiful. We spied a lioness watching the world from a camouflaged clump of brush on a riverbank. And we saw many elephant families of mothers with their young ranging from 6 months to a year or two. We watched them feed and rest in the shade, we saw them using their trunks as straws to pull water from underground. We saw grassy savannas and thickets of trees and palms. Essentially we saw wildlife and wilderness from horizon to horizon. When we were deep within the park, we entered Balloon Camp, our lodging for this, our final evening together. We savored an evening watching sunset, moonrise and “bush television” (a campfire) before dinner. The adventure isn’t finished just yet, we still hope for new discoveries in the morning...but everyone has airplanes to catch at some point tomorrow. Best Regards, Dave Hahn

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