The Road to Tarangire – Tarangire National Park

September 23 & 24, 2016

The next morning after breakfast we were met by Stanford Milinga our Asilia trained guide for private transfer to Little Oliver’s Camp. Stanford lived in Arusha Town, so he was excited to show us his town. We drove through the main streets of Arusha, stopping at an electronics store to buy a mini USB cable. Which I thought I had forgotten but later found. The parts of Arusha Town that we saw were very much like other 3rd world cities. A couple we met at our last camp, Alex Walker’s, had stayed at a very upscale golf and polo club. So first impressions can be deceiving.

The 2 hour drive was a very interesting introduction to every-day life in Tanzania. We saw women balancing large yellow drums of water on their heads and young Maasai herdsmen, some only 5 or 6 years of age, herding goats and cattle in the fields. We passed many, many bomas and schools. The students all wear uniforms. Different colors for different schools.

We arrived at the Tarangire gate and Stanford took care of all the entrance fees. Asilia had packed lunches for us and we ate at the picnic area at the entrance.

We thought it would be simply a beautiful drive along the park’s rugged, dusty roads as we drove toward Little Oliver’s and toward sunset. Instead we ticked off 4 of the “Big 5” in 2 hours. Elephants, lions, buffalos, and a leopard, with his kill, sleeping in a baobab. Spotting the “Big 5” has become increasingly difficult in Tanzania as their rhinos are endangered. We also spotted dozens of giraffe (Clifton’s Spirit Animal) and zebras, herds of impalas, wildebeast. Tarangire has one of the largest populations of elephants in Tanzania. Allan wanted elephants. Seeing so many elephants so peaceful in the wild is incredible.

Uncrowded and relatively unknown, Tarangire National Park covers approximately 2850 km just south Lake Manyara in the northern region of Tanzania. Famous for its vast herds of elephants and forests of the enigmatic baobab tree, the rugged landscape is incredibly diverse.

And THEN we arrived at Little Oliver’s. We were met with by the staff with cold towels and cool drinks, as we were each and every time we arrived back from a game drive. Little Oliver’s is an amazing camp in the heart of Tarangire National Park and is the sister camp of Oliver’s. The staff is amazing. Olivia was brilliant.

Most of the lodges and camps have driver and guide quarters, so Stanford stayed with us as our driver and guide at each lodge until we boarded our flight for Namiri Plains.

By the time we reached Little Oliver’s we had seen a week’s worth of African wildlife.

Today was a day of “firsts.” First game drive, first Sundowner, first night in a safari tent.  Simply, perfect! Thank you, Little Oliver’s!

Tarangire is a park for those who want to step that much further off the beaten to experience a truly wild area.

Welcome to Tarangire National Park

Click on a photo to enlarge

Elephants! Red Elephants! Maybe orange. Actually, they are the same color as every other elephant in the world, but they just appear red due to constantly dust-bathing in the park’s red soil.

Photo credit: Shelley and Clifton Levine

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