The Dense Foliage of Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania

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.

Our Land Cruiser at the Park Entrance
Rugged Nature Within the Park
Greeted by Baboons
Giraffe and Zebra
King Fisher with a Tasty Crab
View of the Lake

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.

Elephant as the Light Faded
Monitor Lizard
Colorful Red-and-Yellow Barbet Joined Us for Lunch
We Crossed Water Many Times
Yellow King Humbert Flower
Giraffe Posing for Us

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.

The Dense Foliage
Our Room at the Lodge
Sustainable Gardening
Baby Baboon
Beautiful Trees

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.

At the Picnic Area
Antelope Hiding in the Trees
Local Beer from Tanzania
More Elephants at Dusk
Dinner at the Lodge
Getting Close to the Lake
Another Tropical Flower

Enjoying Amazing Scenery While Driving Through the Colorado Mountains

The mountains of Colorado are certainly quite stunning and there are lots of destinations to head to where you can be surrounded by incredible views. As the saying goes, it isn’t always about the destination, but about the journey as well and that is certainly true when the journey includes a drive through Colorado’s high country. There are some areas that aren’t particularly that interesting, but for much of it there are literally beautiful scenes around every corner.

Driving Through the Mountains
Looking Up from the Road
Boats on the Lake
Mountains in the Distance

During our drive to Telluride not that long ago, we captured as much of the drive as we could. It was a long drive, so we didn’t stop to take photographs, so all of these images were taken through the windows of our car as we made our way through the different mountain ranges until we finally reached our destination. Along the way, there were mountain peaks, national forests, as well as lakes and rivers. Seeing the rafters navigating the white water of the river certainly reminded us of our times rafting here in Colorado.

Rafters on the River
Colorful Rocks and No Traffic
Rocky Hills
Dramatic Mountain Peaks

The scenery of Colorado really starts with the Front Range and then heads west towards Utah as the drive eastward towards Kansas is certainly nothing to look forward to. Whenever driving through Colorado’s high country, it is important to be sure to be aware of weather conditions from rain and snow as well as potential fires that might be in the region. Fortunately we had beautiful weather during our drive, which made the scenery that much more enjoyable.

The Start of Our Drive
Even in July, You’ll Find Snow on the Peaks
Boulders on the Hillside
Red Rocks
We Truly Enjoy Driving Through the Mountains

Burro Trail in Breckenridge, Colorado

We spent a long weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado and one of our main priorities was to get out and do some hiking. Breckenridge has many options for hiking trails, so we chose one that was near where we were staying called Burro Trail. The trail is considered moderate and has some beautiful scenery, including following a stream for much of it. The overall elevation gain wasn’t too bad, although it was steep in some places, which is pretty normal for any hike in the Colorado mountains.

Hiking Through the Woods

Crossing a Stream on the Way to the Trailhead

Looking Up Through the Trees

Roots Across the Trail

Purple Wildflowers

In order to get to the trailhead, we had to take a smaller trail that wound its way through the woods near our condominium. Although not part of Burro Trail, it was also quite beautiful, winding through meadows, woods, and crossing several streams. Once on the actual trail, we hiked through pine tree forests and saw a variety of wildflowers as well as some wild berries. The weather was absolutely perfect with mild temperatures and sunny skies. Burro Trail is an “out and back” trail that is a little over 6 miles in length if you do the entire trail. We didn’t go to the very end, but close enough to give us a good 3 1/2 hour hike.

Wild Berries

Hiking Along the Stream

Getting into the Mountains

One of the Flat Areas on the Trail

Rushing Water

As with many trails in the mountains, we came across a few other hikers, but for the most part we were alone to enjoy the tranquility of nature. We didn’t come across any wildlife during our hike, but we were told that moose are particularly active around Breckenridge this time of year. With such beautiful scenery, Burro Trail was a perfect hike to start our time in Breckenridge. It was strenuous enough to get our legs tired and earn a couple of craft beers.

Bridge on the Trail Before Burro Trail

Wonderful Hike

Water Flowing Over Rocks

Colorful Wildflowers

Hiking Through a Meadow