Because Tanzania is more a third world country, it is not recommended for tourists to travel alone. Especially the roads inside the conservational areas are only dust and dirt and it demands a lot of driving capabilities to keep the car on the road - not to speak from watching out for wildlife. So we decided to book a 7 day guided safari from Ranger Safari, Arush, Tanzania and get some extra days before and afterwards.

The tour included visits in the Lake Manjara Conservational Area, the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Tarangire Conservational Area.

For some more Details look here:
www.rangersafaris.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55:simba-safari-b-featuring-sopa-lodges&catid=35:seat-in-vehcile-safaris&Itemid=57

June, 3.


We arrived in the early evening at Kilimandjaro intl. Airport. The immigration procedere was very lengthy and finally they took our fingerprints. Seems to be normal though.

The transfer from airport to our first accomodation lasted about 1 hour and it was dark when we arrived in Arusha at Mountain Village Lodge.
www.travelweekly.com/Hotels/Arusha-Tanzania/Serena-Mountain-Village-Lodge-p4268091

June, 4.
Then next day the weather was a little bit coudy and we used our time to investigate the closer surrounding. In the afternoon we took a short walk down to lake duluti, a drinking water reservoir. We were not allowed to walk alone, but had to hire a ranger, who accompanied us.

June 5.
Today our safari starts. We were picked up at noon from our guide Amos, a native, who was in business for nearly 10 years and who spoke aside some african tongues also english and very well german. After a short stop in Arush Coffee Lodge, where we picked up our fellow travellers, we were ready to head to Lake Manjara.

Because there are a maximum of 7 passengers per vehicle, we were very pleased to see that our group consisted just of 5 people. There were 2 Brazilians, one guy from Switzerland and we two Germans. To keep communication simple, we chose english as language.

What now followed was a so called "african massage". Free of charge. After driving about 170km over very rough and dusty detours we finally arrived at Lake Manjara
Serena Lodge. Very nicely locatet near the Rift Valley with a fantastic lookout.
www.serenahotels.com/serenalakemanyara/


June 6.
Early in the morning we started to visit Lake Manyara Conservational Area.
lake manyara ntl. park en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Manyara_National_Park
Located near Lake Manyara, a salt Lake, at the foot of the east african rift.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_African_Rift
It is surrounded from tropical bush and habitated with giraffes, buffalos, elefants and lots of monkeys.



There weren't much other tourists around. So we had time to enjoy for the first time the encounter with monkeys near the road and some elefants walking slowly along.
Later a herd of buffalos took our interest and we also fetched a glimpse of a giraffe through the woodwork. During that stay we opened the roof of our vehicle, to get an unrestricted view. To leave the vehicle at not specially marked places is not allowed. Its too dangerous.

Time passed really quick. And we had to head back for lunch to our accomodation. After lunch, we took seat in the car again. The way guided us along the ngorongoro crater and a few villages of the maasai. We didn't stop today, left this for the way back.

After entering the serengeti national park, the vastness of this place fascinated us all and there were nearly no talk in the car.

Besides it was really loud because of the rough road. Our first sightings of wildlive were some antelopes. After that a few giraffes and then suddenly very close a running giraffe near the road. giraffe on the run


Meanwhile it was afternoon. Suddenly Amos, our guide, stopped the car and yelled: Look!! - just to the left!! - three brothers!! We rushed to the left windows and saw three lions in the high grass!! Just a few meters away!! Close thogether they enjoyed the evening sun.

Because we were really late now, we had to hurry to arrive at the serengeti sopa lodge
before darkness. Details of the lodge see here:
sopalodges.com/serengeti-sopa-lodge/overview

June 7
We spent the whole day on a game drive in the serengeti. Herdes of elefantes, zebras and giraffes crossed our way.
The guides were always in contact with their radio and suddenly Amos heades straight to a group of trees, about 200m away from the road and told us: Look! over there in the tree there is a Leopard!
It was very difficult to spot. Just four hanging legs showed where we had to watch.
I was so sorry not to have a much longer glass for my camera. The 280mm was way to short....

After lunch at a special location in the desert, we proceeded our game drive. This time we took a stop at the waterhole, where a big herd of zebras was drinking. A few elefants further away under a tree, and much Hippos in the water and outside.


The landscape was very varying - one time lush green near water, other times dry, yellow, sunburnt straw. Far away smoke of a wildfire took sight. Temperatures were moderate about 27°C, dry wind and blue sky.

June 8
Time has come to leave serengeti. The way back was the same, but this time we took a stop at the maasai village.

After leaving the maasai village, we stayed again on the road to Ngorongoro crater. At the crater, we were awaited from a guide, who took us along a walkway on the crater rim where he explained several plants and birds. The guide was armed and told us that he had to use his rifle against an raging elefant a few weeks ago. This made us very aware of wildlife, but we could not spot any. During the walk some maasai accompanied our small group and offered to show us how to make fire with just two sticks. They started full of enthusiasm but failed finally....

The walk lasted about 2 hours and afterwards we drove to our accomodation at Ngorongoro crater rim at about 2400m.
sopalodges.com/ngorongoro-sopa-lodge/overview

Temperatures over the day do not exceed 24°C, in the night they drop to 12...14°C
This was the only occasion where I could watch our guide wearing a woolen cap.
As europeans we felt very comfortable.
Ngorongoro evening
After dinner a guide with torch escorted us to our room. He told us that sometimes wild animals cross the rim and may harm tourists.

June 9
This day is totally devoted to Ngorongoro conservational area. The crater floor is at about 1700m, the walls are about 600...700m hight. Ngorongoro is swaheli and means "especially deep".
More information here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ngorongoro_Conservation_Area

We left the lodge very early in the morning, at about 7:30 and had a fantastic light on our way down to the bottom. On our way herds of gnus crossed the road, many buffalos were in the hills near the road and a chacal slept directly at the road.

Our first desination was a restroom near a picnic-area. Amos told us to stay in the next vicinity of the car and not to go away. After our group gathered again in the car, we drove just around the corner - and there was a male lion with his breakfast!!!! So thrilling to know that he was just about 100m away - and no fence between him and us.....

The only wild animal that we could not spot until now was a rhinozeros. They are very rare. In Ngorongoro crater there should be a population of about 45, so we hoped to watch at least a few of them. But luck was not with us. The day passed without seeing one of them.

The landscape here is a little different to serengeti. Water runs down the slopes of the crater walls and is collected in two lakes. These lakes are salt water, whereas the streams are sweet water. At the lakes are lots of flamingos, which love to filter out some algae with their bill.


In the early afternoon we watched again some female lions near the road snoozing in the shades of the tourist vehicles! So close, one could nearly touch them!!


At early afternoon we had to leave the crater. Some Zebras on the road made us laugh - zebra crossing!

June 10
The day is devoted mainly to transfer from Ngorongoro Conservational Area to Tarangire National Park.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarangire_National_Park
The road is rough - "african massage" - and Amos laughs....
Near Tarangire, we visit a small workshop of woodcarvers. Here we have a great opportunity to buy some souvenirs.

At Tarangire, we are welcome from a lot of monkeys at the parking lot. This is the place where you should keep all doors and windows of your vehicle thoroughly closed!! They catch what they can - do not expect to get it again....

The way to our lodge leads straight through the park, and we can watch lots of giraffes and elefants besides the road.

Details of the lodge:
www.sopalodges.com/tarangire-sopa-lodge/overview
At the lodge, we take lunch and have a small break at the pool before we start for a late afternoon game drive through Tarangire National Park.

Again we watch herds of elefants, crossing the road directly in front of us. Giraffes eat leafes from nearby trees. The light is awesome. And again we have the chance to watch a leopard in the high grass, barely visible.

The way back to our accomodation is in mixed mood. On one hand we were so glad to watch a wonderful sunset in Tarangire Ntl. Park, on the other hand this was our last day on safari.


June 11
We have to leave the park and rush back to Arusha. We are all very tired and partially we sleep in the car. Only Amos is full awake and happy to see his family soon.

In Arusha then big goodbye and hugs from Amos, our guide and friend. Our travel compagnions from switzerland and brazil stay with us on the transfer flight to Zanzibar. They too take a few days off after this wonderful and amazing safari.
Late in the evening, after darkness we arrive at Zanzibar.
bluebayzanzibar.com/sultan-sands-island-resort/

June 12 - 16
Just relaxing. In the evening we can sort out the best shot to show at home. Now, when there are no new encounters and experiences we feel how challenging this short trip really was. The time was well spent to let the all this impressions sink in.

June 17
Flight back to germany. Meanwhile the summer arrived here too!

PS.:
My equipment on the whole trip was just my Olympus E-PL5 plus the Panasonic Lumix Vario 14-140mm.