Second Night at Kanga

Trip Start Jul 03, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Where I stayed
Kanga Special Campsite

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We awoke early, somehow your body clock seems to change so that you wake up as soon as it's light. We made a basic breakfast of muesli and yoghurt and went on a longer game drive down to the Tarangire River. On the way we stopped to photograph a posing male Reedbuck a beautiful specimen and very photogenic. Vervet monkeys were very much in evidence along the roadside looking up inquisitively as we drove by. Then just visible in the straw coloured grass we spotted our first lioness relaxing by a small bush. As we drove up she lazily got up and walked off into the bush.

By the river large Maribou Storks balanced precariously in the tall palms trees. As these birds can reach 60 inches and weigh as much as 20 pounds its seems incredible that they would choose to balance in the thin branches. Their pink naked head and neck and massive bill make them unmistakable. Above us many of them had taken to the skies and were circling around gliding on huge wings. We also spotted a lot of vultures fittingly perched in dead trees watching everything with those piercing eyes. Mainly they were Hooded Vultures with their blood red heads devoid of feathers, useful when you are tearing through carcasses.

A little later we came across a young Black-backed Jackal. He seemed completely at ease with us and proceeded to lay down on the road allowing us to get really close to photo him. We saw lots of ostriches forraging in the grass and small herds of elephants making their way down to the river to drink. Dik diks a tiny African antelope were also common here, identified by its spike like horns and incredibly large brown eyes. There were also lots of wildebeast, giraffe and zebras and we even saw the remains of a giraffe carcass stripped clean, identified only by the remains of skin on its neck.

For lunch we made our way down to the Silale picnic site. From here you get great views over the river and the floodplain and it's an opportunity to get out of the car and stretch your legs. There were toilets and picnic tables there. I was amazed at how green the countryside was here you could almost be in England except for the fact that the flora and fauna is so very different.The area is very flat except for numerous kopjes. The highest point is Tarangire Hill which is 1600 metres high.

We made our way back to the campsite and made dinner. Unfortunately we were joined by a rather unwelcome visitor - a Red Clawed scorpion who was incredibly aggressive and was not frightened by us. In the end we 'removed it' from the camp area, mainly for my benefit as I was sure it would somehow get into the boy's tent! 

That night we were woken up by a herd of impala coming into camp. As we shone the torches we were greeted with loads of eyes shining back, you couldn't make out their bodies so these eyes appeared to be suspended in the darkness.
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