Saturday, Oct 18
4:00 a.m. wake up, 6:00 a.m. flight from Kigali Airport to Tanzania on Coastal Air. Sam pick us up always right on time and dressed up. Must be going to church this Saturday. So hard to say goodbye to this fine young man who has taken such great care of us. We wish him well and hope our paths cross again.
Welcome To Oliver’s Camp
So, our first experience with bush planes, airstrips and lack of schedules! Great pilots, small planes (this one was unbelievably COLD and we hit a rain storm), 4 stops ( N’wanza, Serengetti and 2 others, the long way around). Finally land at Arusha Airport at about 11:45 a.m. We’re tired, hungry, cold from flight and hot and muggy when we land. Traffic delays our guide but Steve, Alan’s partner in Tanzania, pulls up with his little son in tow right from the soccer field, apologetic, and right behind him is our new driver/guide, Baraka Na’wari, very apologetic.
Elephants In Tarangire
Short drive to a shaded outdoor patio area for our yummy Tuna sandwich boxed lunch. We’re in Tanzania! On our way to next camp, Oliver’s Camp, in Tarangire (which translates to wart hog river’ named by the Mbugwe Tribe) National Park. About a 3 hour drive, past Maasai tribes, villages and different landscape. Unlike lush and rich fields and crops of Rwanda, we now view more working animals (cows etc) in dry fields and lots of Maasai. We enter Tarangire National Park and see our first Baobob Tree. Karen is loving these trees. We’re officially on our first game drive, bumpy ride but the excitement begins waterbucks, impalas, dik diks, leopard in tree with reedbok kill, lioness asleep in tree, vervet monkeys (with …. blue balls), elephants, zebras, giraffes.
Baraka appears to be a knowledgeable and worthy guide – except we keep calling him Sam! Old habits – Tarangire is beautiful, serene and captivating. Oliver’s Camp is located deep in Tarangire. If you are not staying in lodging in the Park, all game drives and cars must be out of the park by 6:00 pm We’re going in the opposite direction towards Oliver’s, getting dark, late arrival. Greeted by 2 porters, carried our bags, we’re dirty, tired and been driving for hours. Oliver’s Camp, greeted by Justin and Jackie, managers, it’s Tent City On Steroids (Managers too). We have half hour to clean up before dinner but first must empty ALL gum, mints, snacks, drinks, et all, NOT allowed in our tent which is right in Tarangire, in national park with NO fences. Meet other guests, cocktail hour (So. African wine), sit down to dinner, delicious snapper and more wine. Shower outside at night, amazing, lots of hot water all solar heated – better than hotel in Rwanda. Hear lions calling outside tent at night. Not allowed to walk alone from 6pm to 6 am, use walkie-talkie to call for escort.