It was 6:30am on the dot when our driver/guide Kent showed up at or hotel just as planned. He was a very likeable guy and made us feel comfortable straight away. We set off , as soon as we had the Land Rover packed up with our stuff and I had brought my large backpack too as they had said they could drop me to Arusha on the way back, which was very convenient for me. We stopped off in Arusha along the way to have some breakfast and pick up two other safari goers- one man from Japan and one guy from the USA. We all had a chat and got to know each other on the trip before each slowly fell head first back into a car nap.
When we finally got to our first stop Tarangire National Park, we stopped briefly to check in and use the washrooms before we headed on into the park itself. We spent a few hours driving at our own pace around the park and stopping for good amounts of time to watch the zebras, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, baboons and impala. The amount of animals we were constantly surrounded by was surreal and especially when we got to the river and saw the groups of elephants including tiny babies digging for water (they drink 100L a day, imagine). We had the top of the jeep down as we drove around the park and the sun beamed on us as we in turn beamed with excitement of what we were experiencing. In between the drive, we stopped at a picnic area where we ate our packed lunch boxes provided to us, looking out over the beautiful view of the landscape in the distance. From here we had caught the first glimpse of the elephants down by the river.
We had some super close encounters with the animals especially the elephants and the baboons- one of the elephants walked so close to us that we slightly panicked and Kent started the car immediately, but it was totally fine, I guess the elephant was playing our edges. We watched the baboons in the trees playing around and looked in awe as the giraffes gracefully strolled through the dry African grasslands.
The day was full of adventure and a lot of surrealism which was incredible for us all and even included a bit of Karma yoga as we stopped to help some locals reload a truck that had accidentally unloaded their timber all over the road. There we were amongst a dozen other safari goers teaming up to transport this wood in the blistering heat. It was something epic!
The day ended at the Twiga Safari lodge where our tents were set up for us and we had a pool to take advantage of. We all freshened up and had a beautifully cooked dinner later on before we headed off to our respective tents for a good nights sleep after a day of adventure. The only bad thing about the day and night were the Mosquitos but that's life. Tomorrow would be our first sights of the Serengeti- the chance of a lifetime for a lot of people including me.