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Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

Perth, Australia
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Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

Day 8 – Thrills aplenty!

Boundary Hill Lodge sits on the edge of a rocky escarpment. Each of the rooms is built into the hillside, very private, each separated by rock outcrops and vegetation, so that from your balcony, all you can see is the expanse of the NCA. This is the most isolated, quiet, and to date, my favourite location so far.

This morning we took a walk with the Maasai guides and learnt about all manner of things from recognizing dik dik “poo”, to sneaky spiders that live in a “tunnel” hole with a lid, to elephants rubbing against trees, to the Maasai guide who demonstrated his spear throwing skills. Thump! That spear hit the tree so hard, he could barely retrieve it.

Sitting on the balcony having breakfast and we see a herd of 40 odd elephants wander past below us, occasionally breaking to a run. In the distance 11 more elephants stand below a baobab.

Our afternoon game drive into Tarangire starts slowly. We followed the Silale Swamp, the most exciting thing in the first hour was being charged by a bull elephant. He stood with his back to us, watching out of the corner of his eye. Ezekial, hand on the gear stick and foot on the clutch, tentatively waiting to go, as soon as we moved, the elephant swung around and charged. Phew, that gets the heart racing! Hard to believe that yesterday we sat in Manyara, surrounded by a herd who totally ignored us.Hunting persists in this area so no surprise the elephants are a bit wary of humans.

As we drove along, not much to see at all, we turned into a trail across the swamp. We were all distracted by a secretary bird, when suddenly, somebody called “lion”. Not 30 feet away were two males sitting in the grass. Up to now we had seen a lot of lionesses but not so many males, so we were really excited to have these two beauties so close.One thing though, at first look I thought the lion was collared but then thought Id imagined it. When I got home and expanded my photos I could see he definitely had a “wire” of some sort around his neck. Im hoping against hope it is a transmitter and not something more sinister.( I have emailed the photo to TANAPA). Within a couple of minutes a black backed jackal ran right past. You just never know on safari what is going to popup and where.

Time was getting on so we had to turn back, back onto the track we’d come in on. I happened to look up into a tree beside us and there was another lion. He was just settling himself on the branch and was just so handsome! Funny thing, most of the lions we have seen this trip have been up trees, I didn’t expect that.

Tonight we took a night drive, the vehicle we used is a “converted” 4WD.The body has been removed, had a kind of “roll bar” frame, no doors or windows, open sided, bench seats – a real bush basher! We had our driver Lazzaro and a Maasai guide who held the spotlight, scanning the surrounds as we went. As well as animals we had seen through the day, we saw Bushbabies, white tail Mongoose, a Genet eating a rat and....a lesser striped Hyena.We also passed a large herd of Buffalo, which I personally found a little scary! Luckily they pretty much ignored us. It was pretty exciting banging along in the dark, sliding up and down the seat, at one point we left the track altogether and headed off through the vegetation, and wondering what was lurking nearby. Back in our rooms we all agreed that had been something else and quite a hoot!

A link to our photos:

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Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

Sounds like you had a great day. If I'd been "whole" I would envy you the night drive. You were in luck, as so often then come up with one or two little critters.

Lions in trees - during the long grasses season - "all the better to see you from, my dear"

michigan
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2. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

Not wishing our wonderful summer away BUT I can't wait until October...thanks for the preview!

NY
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3. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

What kind of sandals? They look like tire treads. Great reporting and photos.

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

BXgal1 - They are tire treads - as are those funky horn accessories on the top that the Maasai seem to love. They are indistructable and there's always a guy at the market ready to make them to fit while you wait.

midwest
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5. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

I have enjoyed reading your reports, perthlady, and your pictures! Thanks for taking the time to post.

melbourne
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6. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

Perth Lady

I also have enjoyed reading your reports and enjoyed the pics. A night game drive to me is one of the best activities to do while in Tanzania and as I have mentioned here before Boundary Hill is the best place to do it.

melbourne
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7. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

If you go to the markets in Tz you will for for sale bushes for shockabsorbers and other parts of 4 x4's. Also sandals worn by the Maasai. These are made out of old tyres-many vechicle owners prefer the locally made ex tyre bushes rather than the new ones imported from India.

Guys sit there with sharp knives and cut the sandals and bushes by hand.

Its pity apart from soccer balls they haven't found a use for supermarket plastic bags.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

yes, those plastic bags....actually, my sewing group were cutting them up and sewing them to create bags. Using fabric scraps, or plastic bags sort of like a shag rug, on one side of a handbag. I don't know if it got out of the prototype stage though.

9. Re: Trip Report May 2012, Pt. 6, Tarangire

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