DAY TWO – October 18
We left Arusha which is a very busy city and our environment changed to dried grass lands and trees. FACT: We saw the Masai people who are nomadic. Their clothing is totally different from locals. They have wraps on the upper and lower part of their bodies. They have their herds of goats and cows and the men are allowed to have several wives depending on the number of cows they have. They drink cow’s milk, and cow’s blood and meat. They only eat meat; nothing else. And get this, the wives all have their own huts, but they have to build the huts themselves.
FACT: The Masai who have the most cattle are those who are able to have several wives. Your wealth is based on the size of your herd. About one hour from Arusha on our drive to Tarangire Park something happened that I have never experienced. It was as though a veil opened up and we entered into a new and wondrous world. Wow what were we in for?????
When we finally arrived in Tarangire Park, it was magical. There was a family of elephants numbering 15 complete with babies of varied ages. A mama elephant and 2 young ones greeted us…….how wonderful it was to see that the wild animals can also be greeters like our domesticated animals are. Again it was simply magical. Gennifer now understood that every time she had a Safari, the elephants were the first ones to see…..now knowing that they were the greeters made so much sense to her now.
It was truly a new and magical world……we saw Monitor lizard, (FACT) pelican (didn’t know they were in these parts), gazelles, hartebeest, ostrich, kites, frankolins, zebra, wildebeest, more elephants, a large heard of Cape buffalo, and we nearly passed by a lovely leopard that Gennifer spotted.
She was on a dead branch of a beautiful tree right next to the road side lounging in the crux of the branches watching the vehicle fly by without noticing her. We backed up slowly and had such a lovely sighting. She seemed to be showing off for us, getting up to stretch and pose in the setting sun. She then jumped down and hid behind the log just as a 3rd vehicle drove up loudly and honked its horn, people laughing. They got a quick glimpse of part of the lovely leopard, then drove off in a puff of dust…thankfully. She then came back out to pose a bit more for us before walking just past the back of our vehicle where she laid in the sand and rolled over showing us her furry white belly, then got up and sauntered over to a large acacia tree leaping gracefully as though defying gravity, becoming invisible in the green of the tree canopy.
Our camp was new, having just opened in June. It seemed to sit right in the middle of 2 fires burning to keep the foliage under control. There was a lovely glow at night, if a little eerie. The staff was super friendly welcoming us with big smiles and such. Tents are spread out with lovely views of the valley below.