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Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

Ottawa, Canada
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Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

I am doing a 10 day northern circuit safari with my mom May 2-12, 2014 and I need some help in deciding whether to do our night safari at Lake Manayara or Tarangire. Has anyone done a night safari at these locations?

We are staying at Tarangire Safari Lodge in Taranagire and the Serena lodge at Lake Manyara.

Any comments are helpful, Thank You!

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1. Re: Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

Hi, Mallorylloyd -- My husband and I did a bush dinner/night drive at Manyara several years ago (2008, I believe it was). It was a lovely evening. The bush dinner was superb and is an interesting experience in and of itself. The game drive was good, as game drives go. Wildlife tends to be reluctant in the dark, but it is certainly an experience of a different kind, to be out in the wild at night.

We leave in a couple of weeks for our next safari and will also be staying at Tarangire Safari Lodge. On this trip, we are bringing along another couple -- two people who have never been on safari before -- and so we also wanted to do a night drive. We'll do that at TSL this time -- and save the bush dinner for our last night on safari, at Mbuze Mawe. I understand that TSL has only recently been granted the right to do night drives inside the park -- which we did inside Lake Manayra back in '08 -- so I thought it would be interesting to see how that goes. I love Tarangire, and the thought of experiencing a little of Tarangire at night appeals to me.

I know that some people disapprove of night drives, as they can "disrupt" animal behavior. If one has good drivers and guides, the disruption is, in my view, minimal. One doesn't want to interfere in a hunt, as animal survival is a matter for nature alone to decide -- but the chance to see bushbabies, hippos out of the water, nightjars and other creatures not usually in evidence during daylight hours can be had without any major disruption of the animals one is viewing. You and your guides must only be sensitive to the animals' needs, not shine lights into their eyes, and keep your sightings brief. Night drives can be a very moving experience, in my opinion.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

Night drives are good if controlled as SandyLL says.

Tarangire or Manyara? Good question.

From Serena to Manyara is a drive in itself and wildlife is not confined to the park so you get more chances. Also going through the Groundwater Forest in the Dark could have real possibilities.

On the other hand, from TSL your drive starts almost before you get in the car. Habitat will all be the same but you should have fun.

Tip. Don't just go out as the sun sets. Let t get really dark, after dinner, as then the nocturnals will have got into their stride.

Oops! Not answered your question. I would try Manyara mainly because of the drive in and the forest.

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3. Re: Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

We came back yesterday from our Safari and we stayed in these same two places. Tarangire was a great park and we saw plenty of wildlife. TSL is in the park and quite centrally located. Other than baboons and elephants Lake Manyara did not have a lot of wildlife visible (we did see lions, monkeys, etc. but not to the extent that we did in Tarangire). The drive from the Serena to the park would take about 15 minutes.

We did not do either night game drive but would lean towards Tarangire based upon what we saw during our two days there.

Coquitlam, Canada
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4. Re: Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

My husband and I did two night drives while on safari one of them was with the Tarangire Safari Lodge. Unfortunately the other wasn't in Manyara so i cant compare the two for you, but can certainly let you know about the TSL drive. The night drive we did in Tarangire was no comparison animal sighting wise to Katavi(where we did the other drive), but you couldn't beat TSL for respect for the animals or the quality of the guide.

Definitely one of the pros for the TSL night drive is the guide. I think his name was Brendan( I apologize to him for not remembering!), was absolutely amazing. I do believe he is apart of the family that owns the Lodge and it showed. His knowledge went far beyond what one can learn in books. You could tell that he had a deep knowing of the park and the animals in it. I would have liked to have spent several more hours just asking him questions! We were very fortunate to have a moonless night so the park was very dark(part of the adventure) and It was nice to be in the park in such a different setting. The view of the stars was an added bonus.

I did think that the cost was a little high if it had been only us, but it does get more affordable if you have more people in the vehicle. Another con is I think that they are only allowed to go within a very small area in the park, so the animal viewing may be limited, but then again, all game drives our luck of the draw!

I would be curious as to the cost of the Manyara drive, may be one way for you to help make your decision( if budget is a consideration). Don't mean to put a spanner in the works as others have made some good points about Manyara, but if you knew that you were getting Brendan as a guide I would highly recommend the night drive at TSL.

5. Re: Night Drive in Tarangire of Lake Manyara

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