Not gonna lie, it was a long journey to get to Tanzania. Our flight was from YYC (Calgary) [8 hours] to AMS (Amsterdam) then down to DAR (Dar es Salaam) [9 hours] which is the biggest city in Tanzania with a short stop in Arusha, where we needed to get to the next day to start the safari. We landed in DAR at about 11pm at night, got a small hotel near the airport for about $30. We knew what we were signing up for… dirt roads, run down buildings, lack of lighting… the culture shock is REAL! but I love it! and it makes me excited!
We had the pleasure of staying at Planet Lodge the night before we set out on the safari. I must say, it was VERY nice! A bit out of the ordinary, as the rooms are round and painted in what you would say are typical African colours. Comfy and sophisticated.
This was such an exciting day! immediately heading into Tarangire National Park it was animals galore. Starting out with warthogs, impalas, water bucks, and various birds… these are hence forth called “common animals”… within a few minutes, we encountered our first of the Big 5, a lonely male elephant…. Dang… big boy! A few meters behind him were the first giraffes that we saw.
The big land cruiser was fairly comfortable overall. A little “used”, but I can’t complain about an 8 seater vehicle that we got all to ourselves 🙂 The roof could pop up, providing fresh air, shade and a better view of the animals and scenery. Sidebar: Noticed that there were a lot of Japanese vehicles in Tanzania.
We encountered a herd of elephants after crossing a small river. A HUGE herd of elephants, within single digit meters of where our car was stopped. This was probably the most exhilarating moment of the trip. BABY ELEPHANTS!!!!! I was captivated watching the baby elephants and how the moms were pushing them towards the middle of the herd as if they considered us danger… I’m pretty sure this was the moment that elephants became my favourite animal of the trip.
The “Big 5” refers to a group of animals that are seen during safaris in the African savannah. The Big 5 include: Elephant, Lion, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino.
We were lucky enough to see 4 of the 5 on our first day. The lion, buffalo and leopard were kinda far away though… Spent the night at Bougain Villas….meh