Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge 


We're on our way from Arusha to Lake Manyara, and as with any long trip, we stop for a  potty break, this time at another lodge.  As we come into this compound we see their observation tower. 


Here you see our new transportation.  Believe me, after those vans in Kenya, these are limousines.  Kenya would have been insufferable if Hodge had not been such an excellent driver.  We find Samuel is every bit as skilled.  You see the dust still stirred up long after the vehicles have arrived.    













These are more example of the stick matrix, straw cover, cow manure coated huts with thatched roofs. 

Notice the round, pointed lighter straw objects along the fence - 

they are sections of thatch for roofs.


We have no idea what this straw & thatch palace is about


The typical Tanzanian tourist stops and souvenir shops 

Nice looking yams for sale along the road 


More rice patties 

Look at all the people caring for the fields


               Businesses along the road - in this case bedroom furniture 

                                                                                                                      Bananas ready for pick up 

                                                                    with souvenir shop, bicycle repair area, clothing shop, bar in background










Road side shops



Looking down at the great African Rift valley on the way up to the lodge

      Along the path to the lodge



The lodge 


Fascinated by the ceiling and lights over the registration area








The sign and "tree" across the walk from our cabin are nothing if not both unique and strange.

As the tree is now four years old, we don't hope to live long enough to see it at maturity. 



No chance that this _________ Squirrel will ever nest in that tree



The view down to the Lake Manyara Lake from the height of our lodge 

                                                                                    Our friend Samuel and Jackie


            Samuel and Dorit from Sweden                                                               Yep, Jackie again 



We wouldn't travel without them: Pam and Charles Bullock, with Samuel 

The five of us traveled with Samuel throughout Tanzania 


Lake Manyara National Park 




One of our limousines with the top up as we enter. 


Samuel told us that while the lake water is alkaline

Fresh water comes down from the surrounding mountains in small fresh water streams


We hardly go a quarter mile and we see, and hear, the leaves moving as if alive.

We stop and look to find Banded Mongoose


Now these guys are manic - they never stop moving as they dig under leaves.  They dart and start, and I found them impossible to photograph.  These are the best shots I got - and I was lucky to catch any of them.





Down the road we go - into a troop of Baboons.  

I got fantastic films, but cannot show them as I simply cannot find a way for  the film to run on the website.

They load perfectly on my editor and run beautifully on preview - but not on-line.

So this is the only still picture - I'm open to any suggestions. 





We find some Blue Monkeys 




As we go down the tails, we see our only Boa Bob Tree in bloom!

 Crossing a small stream

Some additional Termite mounds

Another troop of baboons on the flat nearer the lake













We stop for one of the two times we're allowed out of the vehicle while in a park or reserve

I wondered at this sign, given we were looking at flamingos, pelicans and other birds. 



It was then I spotted a pool of water about 150 feet away. 

In it were a number of hippos - and we know hippos have no tolerance for humans .......





So, I kept one eye on the hippos as I walked around


One of my sons asked me to bring back some grass from the Serengeti.   As this lake is officially the edge of the Serengeti, and we would not be in the Serengeti National Park proper, I picked some grass here for him. 



The longer grass had been grazed by the area, so I had to look for some to get him.  Unfortunately, it was very close to these thorn bush branches, and very difficult to pull up.   Did get a couple scratches as I got his souvenir. 


The tree from which the branches has been torn was close by, as was a small pile of horn branches.




These thorns are nothing to fool with - after all, they will keep a lion at bay. 


Beyond the lake was a flat plain, full of animals


And again we encountered Lappet-Faced Vultures


Pretty ugly


But strangely photogenic 


Monkeys with babies - never pass up a picture of monkeys with babies.....



Samuel told us the Manyara elephants are known to come up to a vehicle and examine he interior, even passengers, with their trunks.  Not to be afraid if one tried. 


So up comes a single elephant, taking a good look at us.  We're excited.

At just that moment another vehicle comes around the bend in the road behind him.   He looks a bit startled,

turns and walks away - damn!



   The monkey at lunch 



We find a pair of Maasai Giraffes.  

This one is a tall fellow.


                                               Looks curious


They almost pose - with crossed necks - for us.



Got several good shots, in my opinion 




A troop of Baboons

As with the other group of monkeys, I got several minutes of good action film

Particularly of the young playing with one another. 


 Out on his own for a few moments

The closest I could get to a "See no evil.  Hear no evil.  Speak no evil"  picture 


Another mountain stream down from the mountain 



Our cabin room at the lodge.

Yes, mosquito nets - fortunately, never saw a mosquito the entire trip. 

Wouldn't want to sleep without a net in the rainy season. 


Yes, we took these in the morning, before we left, hence the messy beds.  No, that one fan was not sufficient.



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Off to the Ngorongoro Conservatory