We only had to be out of Tarangire NP by 12H00 as they apply the 24hr rule, so we had time for a leisurely start to the morning and set out to see if we could find the lions that that been roaring through the night towards the river, fairly close to public campsite no 1. No such luck. After driving a few of the river loops and enjoying the herds of zebra, wildebeest, elephants and impala we decided to explore the far north of the park and see what public campsite no 2 (Simba Camp) looked like. As reported no 1 is far better, not only is it in a better game area but no 2 has many tse tses.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Tarangire sojourn. It is a classical East African savannah reserve and although relatively small the animals do abound. We were a little disappointed that we did not see more of the dryland species but would probably have needed to head even further south within the reserve to do so. I think 2 nights (perhaps 3) are enough here though. I would certainly advise including Tarangire in any tour in the area and would definitely stay in public campsite no 1.
We were next heading for nearby Lake Manyara National Park and decided to book into Panorama Camp for the first night. Based on information obtained there we will spend tomorrow night in the park at Endabash Public Campsite before moving onto Arusha to resupply comprehensively and try and sort out Special Campsite bookings for Serengeti. We would sort out our time in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area at the NCA HQ in Karatu. Because of the considerable costs involved this needs careful planning.
Panorama Camp has the advantage of being out of the town of Mto wa Mbu when compared to camps like Twiga and is situated a few km beyond the town and the park gate, right on top of the escarpment with a marvelous view down onto Lake Manyara. The most important attraction was the free, relatively fast wifi enabling me to update this blog at long last. The camp itself is slightly ramshackle but more than adequate. The hot showers were in fact only lukewarm but this was most welcome as we are experiencing something of a cold snap. They mainly seem to cater for those wanting to stay in pre-erected tents or “igloo” chalets. They have a pub and restaurant and I am sure this will serve us well until we move into the park tomorrow. Camping costs US$10 pppn and we found a level surface to park. Most of our time is spent either taking advantage of the superb view or in the restaurant/pub area. This was going to be a day taking things easy, doing some housekeeping and generally taking things easy. It is all too easy to be caught up in the crazy hurly-burly of continuously travelling.