The day finally arrived it was safari time , I really was so excited and found myself wide awake in the early hours of the morning counting down to launch. What was so exciting about the operator Tim had found me was that he has his own tented camps in the national parks , and what made it even more unique was the fact I would be solo safariest as I had booked my trip when the camps had no guests except me .
Jean the owner of the Safari company collected me with a few of his friends as they were driving up to Lake Manyara and offered me a lift to the camp . It was about a 2 hour drive and we arrived in Mosquito town , were I met Chrisple who was to be my guide and game companion.
Our game drive started as we jumped into the jeep , Chris giving me an in depth understanding of the surrounding area , the park and what I could expect from my time in Manyara . The park has woodland , forest , plains and of course the lake , so the game diversity in one area is amazing.
Millions of flamingos on a lake is a sight to behold , it truly is a once in a life time experience , the amount of colour that lines the horizon resembles the pink of a sunset or sunrise not a million birds feeding , I stood on the jeep field glasses in hand , mouth a gasp with wonder as the line of pink went on kilometre after kilometre un broken in colour and amazement . My mind took me to a national geographic card my sister had given me before I left to cross Africa , the card a picture of a million Flamingos , a wonder on the card a wonder in life. Once again I felt the gift of this experience , the words of encouragement my sister had left for me on that card and now the picture brought to life.
After our time enjoying the plains game and the spectacular bird life on the lake it was time to head for camp to un pack and have some lunch before we set off once again at 16h00 for yet more of Manyara.
It was just perfect , the camp on the river bank , the elephants drinking , the tents nestled in the greenery , I felt my heart lift as I was welcomed by Seti to his camp on the river.
I had lunch on the beach followed by a nap , only to be woken by the gentle voice of Chrisple calling me to our evening drive , and what was to be a wonderful first day in the bush , Tanzanian style. Enjoy the pictures of Manyara.
What a great day out , we drove back to camp in a midge storm , arrived back in camp covered in a million midges both dead and alive as Chris and I rolled with laughter at the sight of the midge covered humans. Time to shower , dine and dream , for tomorrow we press play and the wonder starts again.
We would spend most of the day out , just driving , sitting in wonder at nature and her beauty or quietly observing life around us. The pictures from that dreamy day , enjoy.
After dinner it was off to bed , the waterfall inducing sleep . Tomorrow we planned to do our game drive early because I had to fly up to central Serengeti for the next leg of my safari later that afternoon , and what a swan song it was going to be.
We had been out for about an hour when we came across a pride of about 8 lion and spent the next hour with the mother and her cubs playing around us , just Chris and I with these beautiful cats at play.
Sadly we had to get back to camp to pack and get to the airport by 14h00 , Chris said that we would drive back this way to the airport to try and see them again. The lions of Manyara are world famous for their life in the trees , they escape the flies by leaving the ground and spending the day up a tree in the shade dozing above the flies . I was so hoping to see it before I left.
Back to camp a quick lunch then farewell to all , packed up and then back to the jeep for my final game drive in Manyara.
So we drove in search of the lions to say our farewells and the final hour drive to the gate , What a wonderful place , with fantastic people , so sad to go , but thank you .
And so a wonderful experience runs out of time as Chris and I make our way to the airport , Within hours I will be in the Serengeti , flying over the crater en route to a new destination and experience.
Until we meet again.