After enjoying a day and a half in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, we made our way to the border of Tanzania where we were to change guides and take a COVID Antigen test in order to gain entry into Tanzania. The cost of the test was just $25 US dollars per person and only took about 20 minutes, but the border customs process at the border was not particular easy to understand or follow. So, in all, it took us about an hour to get through the border checks and make our way into Tanzania where we met our guide, Shabani, for this part of the safari. We made our way to Lake Manyara National Park to spend several hours in the park before going to our lodging for the night.
Lake Manyara is the seventh largest lake in Tanzania and is known not just for the wildlife and famous tree-climbing lions, but also for the fish that is found in the lake. The scenery of Lake Manyara National Park couldn’t be more different than that of Amboseli and shows the diversity of different ecosystems that exist in East Africa. We entered the park late in the afternoon, so we only had a couple of hours and the it was getting dark before we exited to go to our lodge. We were immediately greeted by a large number of baboons as we started along the road that winds its way through the park, but we knew from our guide that seeing wildlife in the Lake Manyara National Park isn’t easy as they hide in the lush foliage of the forest that is the park. In fact, we passed another Land Cruiser exiting the park as we entered that had not seen any animals during their visit.
We were a little more fortunate as we saw giraffes, zebras, elephants, as well as a monitor lizard and a king fisher bird eating a crab. This, however, was the first time using our new manual telephoto lens and it would be the first lesson on using it in low light conditions. We would master the lens within the next couple of days, but it was definitely learning on the job, so to speak. We were quite content with seeing what we saw, including the amazing landscapes that included the enormous lake.
Our accommodations for the evening at the Pamoja Africa Lodge were quite different from the tent and camp that we’d spent our first two nights in, but we would be back to tents very soon. The landscaping of the property was quite nice and the owners believe in self-sustenance, so they grew their own herbs and vegetables for the meals right on the property. It made for quite a relaxing evening before our adventure would continue the following morning and our next day would once again be something completely different.