Tag Archive: Lake Manyara



It’s a wrap! Done with my blogs on my recent trip to Kenya and Tanzania. And here’s the blog summary. Just click away.

 

Nairobi

Treetops Lodge in Aberdares

Lakes Nakuru and Bogoria

Hippos of Lake Naivasha

Balloon Ride Over the Maasai Mara

The Day My Camera Jammed

Not Exactly Roughing It

A Visit To A Maasai Village

The Great Migration

Safari Woes

Ngorongoro

Lake Manyara

 

Twelve blogs? I was on a roll πŸ˜‰

Here’s more. Mi apologia, but can’t resist waxing poetic πŸ™„

 

I drifted through my Safari dreams

Long-kept, nurtured and cherished

Stayed awake through the long flight

Landing like a Zombie in Nairobi.

 

From Treetops Lodge to the famous lakes

Nakuru, Bogoria and Naivasha

We finally reached the savanna

Stretching from Maasai Mara to Tanzania.

 

Stopped by to huddle with Maasai Villagers

Just as well to jump with the lion slayers

Then off the next morn for a balloon ride

Over the plains, before another safari drive.

 

Lions feasting on a wildebeest

And another with a zebra foot

Circle of Life may seem harsh

But such is the nature of life.

 

Ngorongoro is so refreshing

Animals too happy to be migrating

Exactly how I felt in our luxury camp

It’s just too good, I wish not to move.

 

But alas, there is one last game drive

Not just off to the plains nor the lakes

Manyara has a little bit of all, around

Plus a swamp where hippos abound.

 

Maasai Mara and Serengeti

Jambo, Jambo can’t forget thee

Dusted and wasted we felt

Asan Masante, these memories won’t melt.

 

 

Kwaheri, Africa! πŸ’•


No big deal, really. But if I were to do this again, I’d likely do this just a little differently. Like I’d concentrate on just Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara to save on those lonnnng, bumpy rides. In my book, the first 2 are what Safari dreams are made of. Bite the dust and enjoy the game drives! The last 2 is like “safari the easier way” because Ngorongoro area is such a vast expanse the animals are in plain view! Hide and seek kept to a minimum. The animals happily co-exist here. Well, for sure, there are predators but there are nearly no tall grasses where they can hide. Manyara on the other hand “completes” the deal, in a lush vegetation way. It’s good for tired nerves and limbs. No regrets waking up early for these animal sightings. Except that the tree-climbing lions went into hiding. Such a glorious experience. But a safari holiday can surely benefit from more time spent in the camp and lodges we’ve stayed in in the last 3 places. These are my woes. Would have relished more time spent here.

Ole Serai Luxury Camp

(Turner Springs, Tanzania)

This is clearly our favorite. Newly-opened actually, part of the Wellworth Collection, a chain of luxury camps and hotels. It is a luxury camp with all amenities except a bath tub. Acacia trees all around, an impressive bar lounge and perfectly-designed semi-permanent luxury tents with both sunrise and sunset views. Beautiful during the day, even more beautiful when the African sky bursts into starry nights and the walkways to the lounge are dimly lit. I only wish they had steak or veal or venison for dinner πŸ₯© to go with my cab sav on those cool nights. For more details and photos, check out this link to my earlier blog.

Ngorongoro Oldeani Lodge

Tented cabins, is that what it’s called? Not really roughing it, considering the opulently-designed main hall where breakfasts and dinners were served. Plus the bar lounge and pool area overlooking the crater rim. Fabulous view. If you’re lucky, you’d even enjoy a cultural performance by young Maasai adults — get ready to be floored by a la Cirque du Soleil acrobatics! Not to be outdone, our cabin has a huge balcony with magnificent views too. The sunsets viewed from here are particularly enchanting and relaxing. There’s a tub, again with a view, and an outdoor shower for those brave enough.

Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge (Tanzania)

Another Wellworth Collection Hotel. Another tented cabin. The room’s layout can be a bit confusing but just like the previous hotel, there’s the tub, an outside shower and a huge balcony to enjoy. On a clear day, you can spot Mt. Kilimanjaro beyond the gorge. If not, you won’t feel cheated enjoying a stunning view of Lake Manyara or Mt. Meru, nestled right on the rim of the Great Rift Valley. The best balcony views we found here. Such a pretty sight to wake up to. I can get used to this 😊

So there. Three great hotels/camp but not much time to enjoy them. The itinerary can be tweaked to skip the lesser attractions, save on long road trips and spend more time in luxurious environs after a game drive. Or, if you’re a smaller group and you’ve got money to burn, take the small planes to shuttle you from camp to camp! And yeah, spend more time in those balconies. Front seats to stunning views. Have a flute of champagne, enjoy late breakfasts, go use the outside shower or just soak in the tub. The dinners in this part of the world can be improved but they’re not bad. Maybe I was looking forward to more African dishes, or better carvings, but they’d do. If only for the view πŸ˜‰ Make time to do NOTHING!


We’re on the last leg of our trip. And I thought that somehow, I’d miss the “aroma” of Africa, the iconic red-garbed, jumping Maasai men, the distinct chirps, groans, snorts and roars of wild animals, and the savannah dust! Ernest Hemingway once said Manyara is the loveliest lake in Africa. Perhaps because Manyara is more intimate compared to the vast expanse of the Serengeti Plains, and more green, more lush as compared to the open spaces in Ngorongoro Crater. Consider this: Laka Manyara is 127 square miles vs Ngorongoro’s 3,205 square miles and Serengeti’s 5,700 square miles. In fact, it feels more like a jungle. Also, it is home to the tree-climbing lions of Tanzania. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky to spot even a single tree-climbing lion. Instead, we saw more or less the same game from the previous safari drives plus an abundance of baboons and monkeys swinging from tree branch to branch, or feeding on the abundant grass.

The bird lovers will love Lake Manyara. The “jungle” adventure here guarantees many bird sightings including pelicans, cranes and other waders in the very shallow lake which easily dries up certain times of the year. But hardly any flamingos. At least not as much as we saw in Lake Bogoria. Or even in Lake Nakuru. But this is Africa. Each park is unique. I’d venture to say this one is for the birders and tree lovers. There is a “treetop walk” where you can walk on hanging bridges between trees. And if you’re lucky, you may find the tree-climbing lions. Now that would really be one for the books.

(Bird photos from my friend Ernie Albano)

The baboons were everywhere. I’ve never seen so many in one morning. Unli-grass buffet for these baboons. The small ones looked so cute busily feeding themselves. And there were velvet monkeys too, busy swinging in the trees. Since this was our last outing, we weren’t too keen anymore to see more wildlife. You can say we’ve had our fill especially with the last 3 parks — Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. And since the tree-climbing lions were a no-show, we were underwhelmed. No Matata! The Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge with its balconies overlooking the lake and gorge were enough to give us a restful night on the eve of our departure from Africa. Asante Sana, Tanzania!