July 2019

July 11, 2019

Tarangire National Park with Asilia

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 10:41 am

Whilst many visitors rush to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, with perhaps an afternoon in Lake Manyara as a side-note, they miss out on a hidden gem. Often forgotten and dismissed at a glance, Tarangire National Park is the secret that we keep close to our chests. Located a short drive (or an even shorter flight) to the South-East of Lake Manyara, Tarangire is perfect for people who have the time, the budget and are wanting a private and exclusive safari with no one else around. To be the only game drive vehicle in an area is a very rare experience indeed in modern Africa and it makes Tarangire all the more special.

An elephant photographed by Africa Specialist Sam on his stay in Tarangire

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is a National Park often over-shadowed by the infamous Serengeti, yet its charm shouldn’t be overlooked. For those wanting to escape the crowds and have a wild, untamed and authentic safari then this is the perfect place. For elephant lovers, this is the place to go. With a huge annual migration which sees thousands of elephants descend upon Tarangire, you can be sure of some fantastic game viewing. We recommend visiting Tarangire between July and October for the dry season. This is when the bush is at its lowest and water is scarce. The results are huge congregations of elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and a multitude of other plains game in and around waterholes.  And of course where there’s prey, there are predators; lions are frequently sighted in Tarangire at this time of the year as are leopards, rounding off a fantastic safari experience.

Tarangire Safari Lodge

When it comes to visiting Tarangire, one of our favourite companies that we work with is Asilia. They are the proud owners of two camps: Oliver’s and Little Oliver’s. With their exceptional local guides and sustainability being at the forefront of their ethos, you can be sure that you will remember your stay for a lifetime.

Game viewing in Tarangire is a wonderful experience.

Oliver’s is Asilia’s main camp in Tarangire. Made up of ten luxury tented rooms which also have all the amenities you need including sun-loungers in front, your time at camp can be spent in comfort. Whilst at camp, you can also relax in the library where sinking into soft leather sofas will make time fly by as you delve into one of the paperbacks off. Alternatively you can sit, watch and listen to the comings and goings of the wild fauna in the area. There are special honeymoon and family tents allowing the camp to cater for everybody’s needs, however children under six are not permitted.

Oliver’s Tented Rooms are beautiful and traditional.

Located a mere one kilometre from Oliver’s is the smaller and private, Little Oliver’s Camp. This is generally used for larger groups and families who want exclusive use of the accommodation. It is made up of five tented rooms and is situated upon a hillside which grants you beautiful views of the bush below.  Just like its big brother, the rooms are spacious, spread out and with private decks that stretch out in front of the rooms, it is a beautiful place to spend a sundowner.

Communal dining is always special on safari. Stories and adventures are swapped between guests.

Both camps are located in a special wilderness area where walking and fly camping are offered which is something that can’t be offered at every camp in the National Park. To get a true sense of the wild, we would certainly recommend taking part in a walking safari, and if your time allows hot air balloon safaris and night drives are a perfect addition to your Tarangire safari.

The best way to find out about Tarangire is to visit our website or simply contact us. We would love to tell you more about it.

February 24, 2013

The Northern Circuit – Tarangire National Park – Babati

Filed under: Babati — Tags: , , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 5:25 pm

Tarangire National Park – Babati

Meriting the long, hard journey to get there, the Babati region is a place of great natural beauty and interest, much of which is provided by its unusual combination of resident peoples. Three main distinct tribal groups live on these hills and plains in the shadow of MountHanang, most of whom settled here following unfortunate conflicts with the Maasai tribe elsewhere. This is the land of the Barbaig, Nilo-hamitic-speaking pastoralists with similar social structures to their successors, the Maasai, historically reputed for their power as rainmakers. It is also home to the Tatoga people, who are renowned for their skill in developing terraces and in agriculture. It is hard to get either tribe to admit to being the subject of a local story which tells how a certain local tribe became known as ‘Man’gati’, and this region called the Man’gati plains, until they made an eventually successful public appeal against the name, which, tellingly, translates as ‘cattle-stealer and trouble-maker’. This does seem to point to one tribe in particular, as one group consists of nomadic cow-herders, and the other pastoral agriculturists.

The area also extends into the greater territories of the Iraqw tribe, who are thought to have originated from the Arabian Gulf region, and yet are also said to have migrated down  the Nile and on into the Ngorongoro regions, from where some were forced [by what/whom?] further west to settle here. It is thought that the Hadzabe people, now largely settled around the LakeEyasi region, and Sandawe bushmen ranged freely around this region before the advent of the Bantu tribes 2,000 years ago. Nowadays they tend to stay further north, but these descendants of early San-Bushmanoid groups are the most likely people to have created the unusually varied collection of rock paintings around Kolo.

The Northern Circuit – Tarangire National Park

Filed under: Tarangire National Park — Tags: , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 5:22 pm

Tarangire National Park

To the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasailand, Tarangire National Park covers 2,600 sq km of grassland and floodplains, and a large area of tall acacia woodland. It is beautifully unspoilt, and the wide views to distant, variously purpled formations of volcanic mountain ranges along the drive are superb. Tarangire also has regions of quite dense bush, but with high grasses and huge old baobab trees instead of the green forests of Manyara. The land is hilly and dominated by the impressive valley of the Tarangire River, which attracts numbers of migrant animals during the dry months, especially between July and September, when the concentration of animals around the Tarangire river is almost as diverse and as reliable as in the Ngorongoro crater. Again, though, the ecosystem is balanced by a localised migration pattern followed by most animals other than lion, who don’t tend to abandon their territory. The animals mostly disperse during April and May, when widespread greenery and standing water encourages all the grazers further afield. In June the eland and oryxes begin to return, followed by elephant towards the end of the month. Tarangire has quite a reputation for elephant ‘pow-wows’, when different herds congregate in one area around the end of the rainy season, and the dominant males take advantage of the situation to sow seeds for future generations. The following 22-month gestation period is timed so that the birth coincides with the rainy season two years later. Zebra and wildebeest return through July, and by mid-August all the animals are congregating around their last reliable water source, the Tarangire River. The calving season falls in the early months of the year, through January, February and March, and so makes the most of the fresh grass during the rainy season.

But there are always a fantastic number of colourful birds swooping and strutting along the rough paths in front of your vehicle in Tarangire, with likely spots including the Paradise Whyder and endearing Yellow-collared lovebirds. There are a few resident lion, easier to find when the migration arrives to excite their taste buds. In other months they look quite mean and lean and slip easily between the grasses.

The park has become a wildlife conservation area because of its resident tsetse fly population. (Domestic animals do not have the same resistance to trypanosomiasis—sleeping sickness—as wild animals, who have become immune.) They are a pest, with an irritating stinging bite, but tend to hang out in swarms, and a well-planned ‘windows up’ approach seems to be the way to survive. They do not seem prevalent around any of the lodges. Recently the woodland habitat of fever trees, umbrella acacias, along the Tarangire river has been made more open, primarily a result of fire and heavy use of the area by elephant.

February 23, 2013

The Northern Circuit – Tarangire National Park – The Kolo Rock Paintings

Filed under: The Kolo Rock Paintings — Tags: , , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 5:26 pm

This extremely rare collection of rock paintings, at Kolo near Kondoa, remains another mystery of Tanzanian history, with no real verification for the date of their conception or the identity of their originators. It seems likely that the images were originally the work of the hunter-gatherer Bushmanoid tribes, who have an ancestral history of rock art, and some Sandawe clans claim that their ancestors were responsible for the paintings. But as the collection varies so greatly in age and style, it might be that later Bantu-speaking peoples added their own handiwork to the older images. It is estimated that many of them are between 200 and 4,000 years old[200,000 years old, or really 200 years?] and the research carried out by Mary Leakey in the 1960s identified nine different styles that may relate to different eras and artists. Some of the work is black and white and some in varying orange- and brown-tinted ochres, and many of the older images have faded and suffered through the course of time, while others have been painted over by successive generations. Many of the images could have inspired Lowry in his famous stick men paintings thousands of years later; while some are simple images, others depict oddly moving scenes, such as a group of two masked men abducting a female, while two other men try to hold her back. Others show local animals, such as giraffe and hunting scenes with antelope racing away. There are also images of people playing musical instruments and those that seem to anticipate some kind of abstract expressionism.

Some of the paintings are quite easily accessible, following a quarter-mile walk across fields, and some a bit harder to get to, requiring a rocky climb. Typically the most interesting and worthwhile paintings in the series are the most difficult to reach, but at least these are slightly better protected from the recent vandalism and graffiti and the weathering that has been the sad fate of many of them. There is a very helpful guide working for the Antiquities Department in Kolo who can lead you to each of the sites, but apart from his invaluable presence little is being done to preserve this ancient artwork. The paintings are described in detail and painstakingly recreated in Vanishing African Art which contains the research materials carried out by Mary Leakey.

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