Apologies to my regular readers for having got a bit behind with the blog - a combination of being busy and a less than 100% reliable Internet link, not to mention, electricity supply, has got in the way. So a bit of a backlog, but the one thing above all I want to write about is Arusha National Park. I was in Arusha, in the north of the country near Kilimanjaro, last week for a conference bringing Universities and business together, and decided to stay on for the weekend. A jolly good decision this turned out to be!
I booked the services of Tanzania Experience, one of the businesses providing safaris in that part of the world. Because I was limited in time I went for Arusha rather than one of the larger parks somewhat further away such as Serengeti. Having now seen one of the smaller parks, very much looking forward to seeing a larger one!
The guide and driver for the day was Lazaro, pictured here with the 4X4:
Lazaro is a superb guide: extremely knowledgeable, and very patient with all the amateur photography going on. Please note that this is a serious vehicle. As you can see it has two spare wheels, with also two gear boxes (or at least, 2 gear sticks) and two fuel tanks (or at least, two fuel gauges). Also, the roof opens up which facilitate most of the photograph below.
Arusha NP would be worth visiting if only for the scenery, this is Mount Meru in the background:
Also the lakes are pretty dramatic:
and ANP is also home to the Ngurdoto Crater, created by a volcanic explosion some considerable time ago, think of this as a mountain with the top 2/3 sliced off:
Also of interest is the plant and tree life, the below is a tree which is being strangled by parasites. Didn't David Attenborough do a series on plants in which he argued that plant behaviour is similar to that of animals but in very slow motion?
But of course, the real selling point of national parks is the wildlife. It's an amazing experience seeing these animals in (more or less) their natural habitat having only previously seen them in zoos:
I have a whole number further images which I can make available through Dropbox on request. Meanwhile, I have a question for any under-12 readers with a deadline of 31st December 2012: there are lions and elephants in Arusha National Park, why do you think it is that I didn't see them? Let me know what you think, if you have a good reason then we can negotiate a suitable prize!
So, a fantastic day, many thanks to Lazaro and colleagues at Tanzania Experience for making it happen. When I'm next in Arusha, hopefully next time with more time to spare, I'll check your website out first!