Sunday, 25 July 2010

Consolation prizes

If not a trip to UK, then at least there is lots of fun to be had in Tanzania. As advertised, we headed down to a new tented camp Kirurumu Under Canvas near Tarangire on Friday afternoon (via a few minor errands including, any recent visitors will be pleased to hear, picking up some screws to finally fix the floppy visors in the landrover with screws and elastic bands. No more will your view disappear each time we hit a bump!). We arrived with enough time for a short walk with regulation Maasai, with a few eles in the camp and a little more wildlife in the bush around. Then on Saturday we hit the park proper. It's the dry season again:

Which means the wildebeest and zebra have finished their holidays and are back in Tarangire

It also means the grass is getting eaten down and it's much easier to spot everything else too: we manged three cheetahs and a pair of lions who'd just settled down for a snooze having killed a buffalo overnight. Friends we bumped into had seen lots too - it's nice to meet friendly faces when negotiating fords, etc.!
And there's always nice other wildlife in Tarangire too - who needs the big five anyway?

As we were in for a day trip we went for the full day drive and headed further south than Mama and the littlies had been before - down to Silale Swamp where the elephants were congregating - a quick scan from the picnic site had well over 100 in view at once. And happily there were only one or two tsetses all day - great!

A long day in the car for some though...

And in the evening we headed on out to Maramboi Camp, arriving in time for an evening dip in the pool.
And meal related silliness (to counteract the fact we got occassional moans all day about not doing things that the kids liked...)

Today we had a nice long breakfast, then took a walk through the herds of wildebeest, Thompson's gazelle and zebra (taking the weekend mammal list to 20 species - you'd be doing well to make that in the UK...)

 down to Lake Manyara for a spot of birdwatching.

and generally enjoying being out walking in wonderful places (and on crunchy soda encrusted mud, with pelican and flamingo feathers to play with...) and assorted natural history. Prize for the identifier of the mystery natural history object clutched here by Kitty: something had obviously dug up several of these hollow clay balls and broken them open. But what are they? Hmmm...

Finally, a gratuitous giraffe photo for the two big fans:
All in all and excellent weekend. And great to see Tarangire filling up with beasts again - it's a fantastic place! Haven't totted it up yet, but the bird list must be somewhere around 150 too, so very respectable. Tanzania is great, come and enjoy it with us!

PS I think my guess was right - no word from anyone on Friday, despite texting and calling, so no further news about what the army think of us...

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