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Safari: Day 1. Lake Manyara National Park, December 27th, 2012

Rube and I were up  early and ready, the problem was the safari company was not.  So, we passed most of the early morning at Othman’s office at the Bank of Tanzania.

Othman, Ann, Kascha waiting in Othman's office for the safari director
Othman, Ann, Kaashu waiting in Othman’s office for the safari director

The Safari manager arrives, and shortly thereafter so does the jeep and Chester, our safari leader.

Kasha, Chester, Othman, Rube and Ann saying good by  and many thanks to Othman.
Kaashu, Chester, Othman, Rube and Ann saying good by and many thanks to Othman.

We are on our way.

Here the cattle look much healthier,  The weather is temperate, 70's. and there is much water about.
Here the cattle look much healthier, The weather is temperate, 70’s. and there is much water about.
These are termite hills.  They dot the country side
These are termite hills. They dot the country side
In fact, a storm hits
In fact, a storm hits
This is our windshield with the rain.  The storm soon blew over.
This is our windshield with the rain. The storm soon blew over.
Chester, our safari leader, is an old pro, been taking people like us to search for animals for 25 years. Driving through this storm is old hat to him.
Chester, our safari leader, is an old pro, been taking people like us to search for animals for 25 years. Driving through this storm is old hat to him.
Journeying to Lake Manyara
Journeying to Lake Manyara

We arrive at Lake Manyara National Park.   The lake, itself is about 3,000 feet above sea level.  The property includes high cliffs (low mountains) which reach to about 4,800 feet.   The lake is an alkaline (salt) lake which flamingoes love.

We are at today's stop, Lake Manyara National Park
We are at today’s stop, Lake Manyara National Park
The roof of the jeep is elevated and we start our journey
The roof of the jeep is elevated and we start our journey

 

This beautiful road began our journey with Lake Manyara
This beautiful road began our journey with Lake Manyara

 

Baboons seem to prefer dense nature.  They seem to constantly be on the move.
Baboons seem to prefer dense nature. They seem to constantly be on the move.

 

Baboon: mother and baby
Baboon: mother and baby

 

We were 5 yards from this beautiful animal. Don't you live how he lifts his feet.  Talk about a flexible ankle.
We were 5 yards from this beautiful animal. Don’t you love how he lifts his foot. Talk about a flexible ankle.

 

We journey on some and more beautiful elephants stop our journey, This time mother and child.
We journey on some and more beautiful elephants stop our journey, This time mother and child.

 

Not sure their names
Not sure their names

 

Closer shot
Closer shot

 

Now we are coming into a flat plane and what do we see but three Jariffs moving quickly.
Now we are coming into a flat plane and what do we see but four giraffes moving quickly.

 

All of a sudden we spy this beautiful bird.   (name?)
All of a sudden we spy this beautiful bird . (name?) perched on a limb very proudly.
We pass a dry sandy area leading to the lake. Suddenly we spy an lion coming out of the trees and beginning the cross to the other side
We pass a dry sandy area leading to the lake. Suddenly we spy an lion coming out of the trees and beginning the cross to the other side

 

These mama lions with babies follow the leaders
These mama lions with babies follow the leaders

 

Papa is the last to cross.
Papa is the last to cross.

 

This elegant animal appeared before us.
This elegant animal appeared before us.

 

The giraff began to pose.
The giraff began to pose.

 

Or maybe, more to the point, check us out.
Or maybe, more to the point, check us out.
Now we spy zebras
Now we spy zebras

Soon these zebras appear close to us.

Zebras enjoying the nourishment of the grass and the afternoon sun
Zebras enjoying the nourishment of the grass and the afternoon sun.

 

We see a herd of wildebeests.  In the distance check out the shimmering pink in Lake Manyara.  That indicates there are a huge number of flamingos.
We see a herd of wildebeests. In the distance check out the shimmering pink in Lake Manyara. That indicates there are a huge number of flamingos.

 

Wildebeest muching on the nutritious grass
Wildebeest muching on the nutritious grass

I love how zebras, wildebeests and elephants just happily co-exist with one another.

Widlebeests, elephants and zebras all together paying little attention to one another.
Widlebeests, elephants and zebras all together paying little attention to one another.
Close to the jeep we spy a turtle.
Close to the jeep we spy a turtle.

More elephants appear before us.

Mama and baby elephant
Mama and baby elephant

 

Monkeys cross our path
Monkeys cross our path

We were learning that you have to look in every direction as often as possible.  So many animals are about.

Gazelles in a grove of trees.
Gazelles in a grove of trees.
A flock of ostriches appear before us.
A flock of ostriches appear before us.
And, still more elephants, these on a trek
And, still more elephants, these on a trek.

Our afternoon with animals in Lake Manyara is coming to a close. This was five hours of intense animal watching.  So much fun.

As we head out to the road to drive to Karatu, for night, this mound of red soil bathed in the very late afternoon sun greeted us.

Very red soil.
Very red soil.

When we arrived in Karatu, I commented to my fellow travellers, if I lived here I would be sure my home was earth colored. It would be almost impossible to keep it clean otherwise.

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