Tarangire vs. Lake Manyara
To be honest, I had never heard of Tarangire National Park before I arrived in Tanzania. (Bad travel blogger!) The itinerary for our Tanzania safari with Shadows of Africa stated we’d be heading to Lake Manyara National Park, so that’s what I had researched prior. Okay so maybe I just Googled it quickly to see some pretty pictures of what I’d be getting myself into, but still, at least I made an effort, however small that effort may have been.
The reason for the last-minute park swap? More animals. Turns out animals like to be on the move. And although Tarangire is a bit further afield than Lake Manyara, word among guides in the know is that today more animals have elected to set up stakes there. So Tarangire-bound we are. And on this particular day, it’s evident the switch is well worth it. There are critters and creatures everywhere.
Small critters like this one. (Can you see the snakes’s head poking out?)
And his little lizard-y pal.
And bigger creatures like my favourite, the Zebras.
I’m not a huge bird enthusiast or anything, but I gotta give this little fella props for the blue feathers and for his name — Superb Starling.
Rounding out the bird-spotting in Tarangire are the Yellow-necked Spurfowl,
the Red-billed Hornbill,
the White-headed Buffalo Weaver,
and this guy — the Marabou Stork — who wins hands-down (or is that beaks-down?) for most original pose.
There are plenty more birds of course, but I’m too slow on the draw to capture photos of many of them — you know, them being birds and all, they do have an maddening propensity to fly.
There are scores of baboons too, both big and small.
And now all of a sudden I’m bothered that the plural is mongooses and not mongeese.
There are plenty of Grant’s Gazelle.
And more Elephants than I know what to do with.
Including this chap. Originally I had thought we came upon a rather lame attempt at pachyderm hide-and-go-seek.
Turns out he was just eating the tree out.
So what’s the point of all this? I suppose it’s that sometimes plans change for the better, and a knowledgeable guide is definitely better than sticking to an itinerary.
I later find out that Shadows of Africa does the visit to Lake Manyara from December to March, and Tarangire from October to June, so months where there is an overlap, the park you visit depends on where the animals are. Makes sense to me.
Have you been on safari? What was your experience like?
Note: I was a guest of Shadows of Africa during my time in Tanzania, but all opinions are my own.