Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tarangire National Park-Africa

My dream trip finally became a reality.  I've wanted to go to Africa as far back as I can remember.  Why mama was telling me just recently that ever since I was a little girl I've always wanted to go and I have.  Mama said we would go to the zoo and would be looking at the animals that they have in Africa, the lions, elephants, baboons etc and I would say I'm going there someday.  It didn't matter where in Africa, I just wanted to go.   So when the opportunity came a knocking to go see the Great Migration, I was ready. 
 Well, actually when I found out we could only take 33 pounds total each and that included my camera equipment, I was worried as was my husband.  I'm not known to pack light, but I am proud to say not only did I, I had 10 pounds to spare!  And yes my makeup did go with me, it didn't matter that we were in the bush everyday, a girl still has to represent as my youngest daughter Lora Beth would agree.

Our first night in Africa we arrived after dark.  We flew into the Kilimanjaro Airport.   After what seemed like hours to get through customs we were on our way to our accommodations for the night, the Lake Duluti Hotel.  Not for sure why the twin beds every place we stayed in, but the rooms were nice.

 Up early we made our way to the Arusha Airport where we chartered an aircraft.  A single engine turbo prop Cessna plane to depart for Tarangire National Park.

 As you can see I was co-pilot 😎

Our guide for our stay in Africa.

Luggage loaded we set off for our safari adventure.  First stop the Tarangire Safari Lodge to drop off our baggage.

Tarangire Safari Lodge

Accommodations at the lodge are tents that include a toilet and a shower.   We were given a tent number and instructions to use the monkey locks otherwise the monkeys will join you in your tent.  There was only electricity from 5:45am.-10am. and from 6pm.-11pm., otherwise you use a flashlight.

One morning Stone was up early, 5:30 to be exact to go out on safari with Ricky.  I chose not to go.  They were only going to be gone for 1 1/2 hours, then back at the lodge for breakfast.  I on the other hand laid in bed until the electricity came on.  As I was getting ready for the day I kept hearing what sounded like elephants eating.  It was as though they were just behind our tent.  I crawled on my bed and tried looking out the side screen but couldn't see anything.  It was twilight not quiet daylight yet, but it was light enough that if they would have been there I could have seen them.  As I backed off my bed I just happen to look out the front of our tent and lord have mercy.  There were five elephants standing just outside the zipper of the opening.  I will say it made my heart skip a few beats.  Here I am all alone, its barley light out and there are five, yes five elephants right within touching distance.   At first I grabbed my camera, then I was scared the noise would frighten them.  I wasn't to keen on dying in Africa, yes I've always wanted to visit, but not be trampled by elephants while there.  So I stood and watch very quietly, to afraid to move, not wanting to either.  As the sun was rising I could hear local men coming, making a swishing noise to get them to move on. Very slowly they walked over the edge were they remained for several hours destroying a tree.  Once it was full daylight I walked out and took this picture of three of them.  
When it was time for Stone to return I walked up to the open air dining hall to join him for breakfast or rather get a diet coke.  Right before I told Stone of my morning I had asked what he saw on the morning drive and was told only birds.   I began recounting my morning escapade, at first I was not believed.  So when one of the lodge employees came by our table I asked if there had been elephants on the property early that morning.  He proceeded to tell the whole story, how many, where they were.   It was kind of like the fish that got away story only mind story was true.   Like they say, sometime the best adventures are right in your own back yard.  In my case right in front of our tent!  

Monkey Lock

Me and Stone



Tree damaged by elephants.

 He may be small but you can tell by the previous picture above, he is the boss.

Termite Mound

 Our view from the lodge.