Ruaha National Park (2nd largest park in Africa)

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Tanzania  , Iringa,
Monday, October 22, 2012

Ruaha National Park

Up bright and early. Our "guide" is on time, and we have coffee and lunch packed for our day's outing.

Arriving at the gate to Ruaha, we have to wait for a while as we seem to be there before the official.

Worth mentioning is that the cleaning team was hard at work mopping floors and the toilet was cleaner than any toilet I have been to in Tanzania.  Well done!  Ngorongoro management can take note and make a huge effort to clean up their act.

Again, $40 for the car and $20 for each of us.  The irony is that the roads in these parks are all in need of serious work.  Where and on what do they spend the $40 charged per car?

Anyway, our “guide” promised us Sable and Roan Antelope so that would be our focus for the day.

Shortly after entering the park there is a big bridge over the Ruaha River.  This is a lovely spot and the only green one, with water enough for hippos to live in. Hippos are not the only inhabitants of this precious pool of water.  We counted 6 big crocs, and fish, too many to begin to count, all live here. Birds of all kinds sit around on the rocks as if they were spectators to whatever drama was about to unfold.

We drove on and tried to stick to the river bed as far as possible.  We saw Giraffe, Kudu, Impala, Zebra and Elephants.  Lots of Elephants.  Exceptionally shy elephants.  They shied away as soon as we were noticed by them.  Mostly young elephants.  Either that, or just a small type of elephant. At one point we drove past a mother and baby – she got so spooked that she trumpeted loudly twice and made sure that we knew we were in her space.  The so called “guide” nearly shat in his pants

The Baobab’s are mostly in flower.  A wonderful picture in this very dry time of year. They look like giant Chinese blossom tree paintings. 

Our guide – not only did not know his ass from his elbow – but spoke so softly that when we could hear what he said, it made no sense.  Note to self: Do not take just any person as a guide!

We saw a Trap Door Spider's Nest at one of the pic nick spots.  This, thanks to another guide showing it to his guests.  He was of great help in terms of where we should go if we were to see the buck we wanted to see.

Another ranger from a camp further away (he is originally from the Hoedspruit area) told us that in all the years he has been here, he had never seen Roan Antelope.  We kept the faith and continued looking for it anyway.

Much later we gave up the search.

Back at the bridge, some of  the hippos were now out of the water.  We spent a while there before leaving the famous Ruaha.
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