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Ruaha National Park - Tanzania, WW
mini location map2015-07-25
104 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Ruaha National Park - Tanzania, WW 
Ruaha National Park - Tanzania, WW
4x4 Trip avatar Jul 25 2015
4x4 Trip130.00 Miles 3,188 AEG
4x4 Trip130.00 Miles   14 Hrs   12 Mns   9.15 mph
3,188 ft AEG
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Linked none no linked trail guides
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Our first day of two on safari to Ruaha National Park in Tanzania.

We were supposed to be picked up at 7 am in Pomerini, 35 miles SE of Iringa but due to a mix-up by the driver, we grabbed a ride with the Global volunteers minivan, which luckily for us had to make a trip into Iringa for supplies. We would begin the safari at 9 am from the Tatanca Safaris office in Iringa. While the locals refer to it as Iringa town, with a population of 1.7 million it is a city... with no traffic lights!
Ok, we meet our guide Essau and in moments we are on the road to Ruaha. It seems like we traveled barely ten miles when water began to spray on the windshield. Oh no! Is our safari going to end here?
Within moments of stopping another Land Cruiser from Tatanca Safaris stopped to see what was wrong. Thankfully it was just a loose radiator cap, and once secured, we would experience no further trouble throughout the safari.

Back on the road for another 2-1/2 hours before reaching the park entrance. For an idea of what it was like, think Four Peaks Road, except rougher and three times the distance. Man, you gotta love these heavy-duty Toyota Land Cruisers... as rough as the road was, the ride was quite good. But it still doesn't allow for any dozing.

Once in the park, it was nothing but non-stop wild animals, especially elephants, which makes sense since Ruaha has more elephants than any other national park. Our guide Essau knew when to go where, which is a result of 27 years experience as a safari guide. During our travels in the park we would see an inexperienced guide from a competitor get stuck while crossing a river... he didn't have it in 4WD. The moment he started spinning we yelled for him to put it in four wheel drive, but by time he understood it was too late and he was STUCK!

Not willing to get stuck trying to pull him out, our guide simply called his company and told them what happened and where. (The other driver did not have a cell phone) We would later hear it took hours and two vehicles to get him out. But enough about the other guys.

We continued on through various loops at just the right times to catch almost every animal there was. Eventually we were driven to the banda (circular metal-walled 'hut') where we would stay overnight in the park. We would take just enough time to get the mosquito nets down before grabbing a bite to eat and wait until the night safari begins. But with elephants feeding less than a hundred feet from our banda, we decided to watch that for a while, getting some nice photos and video.

We were told not to walk anywhere from our banda after dark, so before sundown we headed over to the gazebos near the building where we would be picked up for the night safari. Hearing some splashing, we looked down at the river, and not 30 feet away was a hippo in the river.

While the night safari was fun and we saw a number of the nocturnal animals, with no photos there isn't much to show for it. We did see seven lionesses come from all directions to form up around a single male in preparation for the nights' hunt.

It was almost midnight when we got back to our banda and we were beat... it was a long a rough riding day. Tracey would sleep soundly but I left the window open so I could hear as various animals passed by during the night. It was too dark to see anything, but it was fun attempting to determine what each was by the sound they made, even if it was just their footfalls.

Wow, this was great! So many animals... too many photos... well over an hour of video already... and we have another 12 hours left in the park. I can't wait until tomorrow!

All videos have been posted:
Elephants #1
Elephants #2
Elephants #3
Elephants #4
Elephants #5
Elephants #6
Elephants #7
Elephants #8
Lions Mating
Monkey eating from elephant dung
Stork Fishing
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