Well you heard from Danae about her experiences last week. Next up is Julie Cheng. Julie and her new fiancee (you did not tell me Julie – Congrats!) went on a mini trip with us before meeting up with friends who are in the Peace Corps in Tanzania. We took them to Zanzibar and Tarangire National Park. From her blog posts (read more at www.sweetlybalanced.com) they seemed to have an awesome time. But I will let you be the judge of that. Here are her thoughts on Tarangire. Thanks Julie!
Tarangire National Park
by Julie Cheng
For those of you that missed it, this is Part 2 of Jimmy and I’s Tanzania Adventure. I started off talking about our excursion to the island of Zanzibar as we embarked on our post engagement vacation to Tanzania. After Zanzibar, Jimmy and I had one more stop on our tour with Infinite Safari Adventures. This was to Tarangire National Park, which our tour guide Julius informed us has a nickname “Home of the Elephants.” You will see later on that this park certainly lives up to this name.
While here, we stayed at Tarangire Safari Lodge in the “tents.” I say tents like that because these are unlike the tents you’re thinking. They have a queen size bed along with a full bathroom, easily the most luxurious tent I’ve ever been in. Upon arrival I instantly noticed the incredible views overlooking the park. Each night the hotel offers snacks and cocktails to enjoy on the patio as you look out and watch giraffes and elephants roaming about. The views from this patio were completely breath taking. It’s hard for me to describe the feeling I got when I first saw this, probably because I was actually speechless and awestruck for a while.
The instant Jimmy and I took off in our jeep with Julius we were blown away at the beauty that is this park. I couldn’t get over how big it was, looking into the horizon all I could think was that we were not in a zoo. There were no cages keeping these animals in, it was simply their natural environment where they live every day. Being that we were in the “Home of the elephants” the first animal we spotted was of course some elephants blocking our path. I probably took a million pictures of those first two elephants, little did I know it was just the beginning…
Most of this (the photos) was taken on the first day at Tarangire! Our next day we were ready to see more animals and our amazing tour guide Julius did an incredible job showing some to us…
The baby animals were by far my favorite, every time I saw one, whether it was giraffe, monkey, elephant, I almost died from how cute they were! I just wanted to take them all home with me!
Jimmy did a great job spotting this lion (see photo labeled "Yup… We were about 10 feet away from a lion"). It’s actually pretty rare to find lions in this park because of all the tall grass. He was laying under a tree with another female lion. We almost drove right past them, but Jimmy suddenly started screaming lion! lion! It was amazing to see- our driver Julius told us that he almost didn’t take us down that road because it’s so rocky. He said that most tours don’t go that way, but he was determined to find us lots of animals- (FYI, if you ever take a tour with Infinite Safari Adventure, make sure you get Julius as your driver!). He told us they were mating, that's why they were hanging out together- while we didn’t get to see any action, it was still awesome!
In total we did two full days at this park and I have to say it was my favorite out of all the others we visited (Check back in the next few weeks for recaps on those parks!) We saw so many elephants, zebras, giraffes even a couple of lions up close and personal. These really are such beautiful animals and words truly can’t describe what if feels like to be so close to wild animals like this. I never in my life could have imagined the beauty of this place. While we did not want to leave, we were more than excited to finally get to meet up with Sara and Jon to the second half of our journey in Tanzania.