As I mentioned, our first stop on the safari was to Tarangire National Park. The Tarangire River runs through this park, giving the park its name. Tarangire has one of the largest populations of elephants, which is one of the “big 5” African animals. The “big 5” is the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino and is mentioned by tour operators when advertising animals to be seen on safari. It was originally named by game hunters, who were referring to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Christian, our guide and I had lunch at the gate entrance of the park and running around the trees, picnic tables & cars were monkeys and about a football field or two away was our first sighting of the elephant.
This is a baobab tree. These giant trees store water in their trunks and elephants strip off the bark of these trees.
The male ostrich has black feathers and the female has grey-brown feathers.
We probably saw hundreds of zebras, not only in Tarangire but in the other parks we visited throughout the week. The black and white stripes are distinct to each zebra, no set of stripes is the same.
A cute little monkey chewing on a stick.
We visited during the dry season and you can see that the Tarangire River is almost all dried up. The elephants still enjoyed going down to the river to play in the remaining water and mud. Elephants spend most of their day eating and can consume up to 300 pounds of food.
A giraffe’s neck has the same number of vertebrae as a human, seven! They have long eye lashes and the lips, tongue and mouth have a special protection against thorny bushes.