Yesterday morning we set off on a 2 day safari to Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation area. The first day was spent at Tarangire, which was about 2 hours west of Arusha, with the second day spent at Ngorongoro which was approx. 2 hours further west.
We bundled into a 4×4 safari truck with our driver, Richard (who was a bit of a legend), and another couple, Jurgen and Hoberta, a 40 something year old couple from Brazil. We got on with them very well having met them the day before at our guesthouse, and it was great to have them with us for the experience. Being our first safari, we didn’t know exactly what to expect from the experience, and especially as I had winged it a little bit by trying to find a budget safari option online, but nevertheless it worked out pretty well!
Tarangire was like a massive plain, filled with lots of trees and ditches making it pretty hard to spot a lot of the main animals we wanted to see. There were a shit load of impala and other small creatures dotted about like mongoose and vervet monkeys, but not much of anything else to begin with, apart from a distant silhouette of an elephant disappearing off into some trees. Things picked up around lunch time (where we were harassed by both monkeys and local school kids for our food!) and into the afternoon, with sightings of giraffes, a very sneaky lion, and a massive bull elephant violently scratching it’s ass on a tree.
All in all Tarangire was a bit quiet, but we are in the low season so it was to be expected, and we were always aware that Ngorongoro was meant to be the better place to visit at this time of year.
In the evening we were taken to our campsite, where we were checked into a weird little pod thing to stay in for the night. To be fair it was pretty comfy, and certainly an upgrade from the tent we were expecting. The food we were cooked by our chef, Peter (or as he introduced himself as – Mr. Delicious – a bit creepy if you didn’t know he was the chef!), was cracking so I was happy.
The following day we headed to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which was an incredible experience. We saw a lion attempt to hunt down a baby Buffalo (a bit brutal but very entertaining), an ostrich’s mating dance (strange!), and loads of other animals including zebras, hippos, buffalos and even rhinos. Norongoro is a massive crater, so provided an amazing setting for the second half of our safari trip. All in all Ngorongoro was, as expected, a lot better than Tarangire, and made the safari very worthwhile. I’ve got a lot of photos so have sorted out a few of the better ones, so take a look!