Our final days on safari found us waking late at the Endoro Lodge, enjoying their tasty breakfast, and hopping in our car for a drive to Lake Manyara. On the way we stopped at a few roadside stands and open air shops; I was on a mission for a painting. Ended up finding beautiful one that was larger than I expected, but negotiation is one of my favorites! So, I was able to bring him down from 145 to 40… the seller seemed to have fun with a customer who knew how to bargain.
Lake Manyara was interesting; its a large but very shallow lake that was quite full when we were there, but apparently gets very very small during drought years. The area around it has very accessible groundwater which is great for farming, but also means a lot of flooding during overly wet years. The Lake’s claim to fame is tree climbing lions, which we did not see. And, to be honest, we had seen so many lions the previous days that we weren’t bummed. We did see a lot of baboons, plus the regular grasslands grazers. It was a pleasant few-hour tour around plus a nice picnic stop.
We then returned to Arusha – another couple hours in the car to this regional hub. This is where we said goodbye to our wonderful driver, Danny, and stayed at the Equator hotel. It was just fine, but all seemed so funkily sad compared to the excitement of being on safari.
The next day we slept in and then took a taxi to the local Arusha airport where we discovered our seats were sold to a different airline. So we waited and waited. Bryan even went and spoke with the a kiwi at the local bush airline to get some info about flying here. It would be exciting to go land at the dirt strips with zebra’s on them! Eventually, we were informed that our flight was later than our original one, so we waited even longer. The kids shopped and finished off their money. The prices at the open air airport were surprisingly reasonable.
The flight was fast and we soon landed on Zanzibar. We met Kibabu, our arranged car rental, and were off to our resort. Zanzibar is interesting; a former Omani Muslim sultanate, a spice island, and paradise full of resorts – both active and run down and abandoned. The beach is beautiful and the Moonshine Resort is lovely, but the stars are most amazing! We have finally seen the southern cross.
Zoe’s Animal List Day #5 (Manyara Lake)
- blue monkey
- cape buffalo