Up in the Tree Tops

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
Trip End Nov 28, 2012

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What I did
Elelphants - and more elephants, wood carvers, baobab trees

Flag of Tanzania  ,
Monday, November 12, 2012

Leaving the Ngorongoro, we headed to one of the prettier National Parks of Tanzania, Tarangire. Realising that our safari adventure was fast coming to a close, it was time to snap some photos from our moving vehicle as we passed through Masai lands and past villages and towns, where the people were going about their daily business. Our morning comfort stop was not all that different from all the others - a shop selling various African curios, toilets (flushing, with seats) and a coffee shop.  However, at this one I made my major African purchase - a pair of Tanzanite stud earrings.  Tanzanite is only mined near Arusha in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.  They are a gorgeous blue and we are happy with the final price after extensive bargaining. A further stop was at another shop where we saw some woodcarvers who were fashioning the various wooden animals, similar to what we saw at every curio shop on our travels in Kenya and Tanzania.  They worked diligently while we were photographing them, but, predictably, they 'rested' when we 'weren't looking'!
Tarangire National Park is home to hundreds, maybe thousands, of elephants, and I think we must have seen most of them!  It is also home to the beautifully majestic baobab tree, so typical of many African landscapes.  At one point we stopped and had a taste of the baobab nut.  Consensus was that it had the powdery texture of sherbet, but not much taste.  Later in the afternoon, we spied an elusive leopard slouched over a tree branch.  perhaps knowing that he was being watched, he came down the tree to continue his lunch of some sort of kill at the base of the tree.  Sadly there was a tuft of grass in my line of sight!.  Lunch was at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge, which originally was to be our accommodation for the night, but due to renovations there, we were upgraded to Treetops.
This was a real treat.  Our 'room' was a luxurious tented tree house.  How lovely it was to sit on the balcony and watch the sunset.  The bathroom was luxury to die for, but one would want to be pretty good friends with one's room mate as the bathroom was open to the whole bedroom. We didn't have any uninvited visitors, but one lady had a visit from a bat, and others heard munching below during the night. Dinner was a banquet under the stars. What a marvelous way to spend our last evening on safari.
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