Tembo Watching

Trip Start Jun 02, 2013
Trip End Jul 01, 2013

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Today I visited my second national park in Tanzania, Tarangire. It was about two hours from Moyo Hill, so we had to get up a little earlier and leave at 7:30. The purpose of the trip was to observe elephants at the park. Tarangire has an elephant population of 1 elephant per square kilometer. Even though there are lots of elephants in the park, we had some trouble finding them. The car I was in drove around the park for about an hour before stopping to observe elephants, but that was okay. We were able to see lots of birds (much more than the birds we saw around camp during our birdwatching class)! The lovebird was probably my favorite, because it was really easy to find (it's bright green and yellow)!
Near the river, the car stopped, so we could observe the elephants (tembo in Swahili). We counted the number in the group and counted how many young, sub-adults, and adults were showing stress by looking at the temporal glands. While we were counting, the driver told us to look over by the tree. There were 2 lions! It was so cool to see them walking along the riverbank!
As we went further into the park, we eventually found lots and lots of elephants! There were so many cute baby elephants, and I think I took at least 10 pictures of the same baby elephant as it ate, laid down, and stood back up!
In the afternoon, all of the cars met up at a safari lodge inside the park. There was an amazing view from the restaurant, and it was really great to look for elephants while relaxing. Then everyone hopped back into the cars and drove around some more. Today I saw giraffes and zebras that were much closer to the road, along with lots of impalas. Going to the national parks has been so much fun so far, and I'm really excited for the next trip!
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Melinda Menz on

Where is the temporal gland on an elephant and how difficult is it to tell if it is enlarged? I can't wait to see the pictures.

sarahm270 on

The temporal glands are just in front of the ears. The elephants release a secretion from them when they are stressed, so it just looks like a wet mark near the ears.

Big Cheese on

This is all so cool!!! We will have to have a night with burgers or something and just look at all your pictures.

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