Tarangire National Park Game Drive
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Hello fellow travelers,
In case you are new here, we are Will and Katy. We are a travel couple that is traveling around the world. We are currently staying in the city of Arusha, but in this travel blog, we share with you our experience from our one-day game drive in Tarangire National Park.
Our decision to do a safari in Tanzania on this trip was kind of last minute! Serengeti National Park is the most visited spot to do a safari in Tanzania, second is Ngorongoro. Which would be incredible experiences, since we would be able to see the "Big 5." But they are also the most expensive options. However, after doing some more research I found out, you can just do a one-day game drive, and there is another park in North Tanzania, Tarangire. Which is where we chose to do our safari!
We went into the safari with low expectations because you can’t really predict what animals you will see. The one animal we knew we would see and were most excited to see was an elephant. Tarangire National park is the park with the largest amount of elephants in Tanzania, and it was the only animal we didn’t see on the Safari Walk in Nairobi.
I don’t think we could have asked for a better Safari day! It started off with an early pick-up at 6:30 am from our hotel in Arusha. It was about a 2-hour drive to the park and on the ride, there our safari guide, Malaki, shared with us about his experiences growing up as a Maasai warrior, which is one of the most well-known tribes in Africa.
A safari guide can make or break your safari and Malaki was exceptional! He was so knowledgeable on his animal facts, he did a great job looking for and pointing out to us the different species! He was really funny and just a joy to go on this game drive with. He even had his safari jeep customized for us! Mind you, we didn’t see any other jeeps customized as we drove around the park that day.
For lunch he didn’t just pack a boxed lunch like we saw other people on safaris have, he had a FULL African meal for us, with rice, cold salad, sides, and even wine and coffee! What was more amazing was that he found a safe and secluded spot where we could see the animals at a distance as we ate! And towards the end of our lunchtime, a handful of elephants were about 10 feet away!
We saw our elephants, who are absolutely stunning creatures, and in addition so many birds, and even insects! And yes, I’m highlighting the fact that we saw a dung beetle rolling a ball of animal poop, it was so interesting; he even fell backward and we watched him try and turn himself over, which took him a few minutes before he was able to keep rolling his ball of 💩.
One other moment during this game drive that was incredible to experience, was when we were stopped watching an open area filled with elephants, it was so quiet, we could hear the flapping of their ears, the drinking of water through their tusks, and even some powerful elephant noises. As we were admiring these majestic animals, we could see a herd of wildebeests rushing down a hill, with zebras following right behind them. This was hands down, a breathtaking moment.
After lunch, we drove to some open plains to see if we could spot some cats! Which is very hard to do in this park. After driving around for 30 minutes we were able to see, at a very far distance, 2 lions laying in the shade of a tree. Good thing Malaki had binoculars for us! We kept driving around to see if we could find anymore closer, but time was running out.
As we were driving on the road to exit the park, Will spotted a leopard on a tree! These are one of the hardest animals to find in general, because they blend into the trees, and it’s one of the rare animals to find in this park! But we saw it!! It was just the perfect ending to our safari! We saw 4 of the big 5 animals: elephant, cape buffalo, lion and leopard! The last one is a black or gray rhino which unfortunately is critically endangered.
We’ve seen so many animals, between zoos, safari walks, Animal Kingdom and Bush Gardens, but it’s a completely different feeling seeing these animals in their natural habitat, the way God intended it to be. If you ever get an opportunity to do a safari, we highly recommend it!
Until next time…
What could possibly be next?
Come with us as we shop for items we needed for our Safari: