Blog work trip (Marloes): Arusha to Lake Manyara NP
Blog work trip in Tanzania (Marloes) March 2018 – Day 2: Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park
Today, we go for a safari in Lake Manyara National Park. It usually takes around 2.5 hours to arrive at this park, but due to our varied program today, we will only arrive at our camp in the park by the end of the afternoon.
The morning starts with a nice cup of coffee at the Wayo Africa office in Arusha. I can’t help but scream when I see my friend Odilia; she’s my rock at the reservation department. Where would I be without heroine Odilia?! We get a tour, meet new employees and see how Jean is constantly making the more Green Camps sustainable in the garden. At this moment, there is a test installation for the toilets, which you can flush in the future with collected shower water. (Because, uhm, why isn’t this happening anywhere else?!)
After this, we drive up to Lake Manyara. The last time I drove through this area, it was very dry and dusty; the people were craving rain. Now (after some heavy showers) the landscape is beautifully green and pans of water are everywhere. The Maasai and their cattle are doing well! We take the park’s southern entrance; a route that takes us through the real, unspoilt Tanzania, agricultural area and the village of Magara. The rain has caused for some roads to abruptly end, so we have to cross a sandy river. Luckily, Pim has no problem doing that.
17 kilometers south of the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park, we go for a picnic on a rock, at the foot of a spectacular, noisy waterfall. A stunning site, where we sometimes set up a mobile camp for customers who cycle from Tarangire to Manyara.
With full bellies we start our mountain bike tour (17 kilometers) to the entrance of Lake Manyara National Park. A super fun ride on an unpaved road past fields, huts and enthusiastically screaming, high-fiving children! In the distance we see the lake, which turned pink because of the millions of flamingos … Beautiful!
We leave the mountain bikes at the gate and continue by jeep. We make a game drive in the south of the park, where we have the park to ourselves. The afternoon light over the park and the lake couldn’t be better and we enjoy the silence of the many baboons, buffalo, zebras, wildebeest, impalas, elephants and birds.
By the end of the afternoon, we arrive at our beautiful Green Camp; this unique location at the foot of the Rift Valley and on a river bed (which I visit for the 3rd time) is never boring! The camp is under construction because of the upgrade to larger tents that will be set up on raised wooden platforms. Nevertheless, our stay is comfortable and we enjoy the place, the funny, hospitable employees, the drinks by the campfire and delicious, fresh meals. This is only day 2, but we all agree that we are experiencing a succession of highlights … it doesn’t get better! Or is it…? To be continued.