Kim’s ‘Friends & Family’ Trip Report Part III

August 27, 2012  By: Gretchen

Today, we departed early for Tarangire National Park to enjoy the wildlife at its best…just after dawn. The park was teeming with activity as the birds greeted us and a plethora of animals darted across the road in front of us…another beautiful day in Africa!

With our lunch boxes packed, we prepared for a full day in the bush. Along with the hundreds of elephants and many herds of buffalo, zebra and impala, we added some new species to our list. Thanks to Japhet’s keen eye, we spotted eland (the largest antelope), kudu (the rarest antelope in this park), steenbok, reedbuck, rock hyrax, saddle-billed stork, martial eagle, brown head kingfisher, and loads of dik dik. We also had the pleasure of viewing a lone male lion, three cheetah brothers, and hippos out of the water…another incredible wildlife count!

The past two days, we’ve seen many ostrich, especially big males with vibrant pink necks and legs, which is an indicator of mating season. All day we watched the males, hoping to witness their comical courting dance. After a few strike outs, we were on our way out of the park when Dennis, a guest from Salt Lake City with eagle eyes, spotted an ostrich with wings spread in attempt to lure the female. Our vehicle cheered as the male exuberantly bobbed his head from side to side and waved his feathers. The shy female finally made her way over and accepted the male’s victorious finale of an impressive display! This is what we call “the circle of life”!

Back at camp, we enjoyed the perfect end to an amazing day with surprise sundowners in the bush. The sunset was inspring and the company was incredible.

We’re sad to end our safari tomorrow morning with a walk to Lake Manyara but anxious to meet the rest of the group and re-pack for our impending hike!