Once we left Tarangire, we were back in Masai country. There are approximately three hundred thousand of them, but this number is not accurate due to the way and where they live.
We passed through lots of small Masai villages. The villages depicted daily life. People were selling lots of local food. No supermarkets here. Everything is brought fresh from the farms daily.
We finally arrived at Lake Manyara. A box lunch was packed for us and we entered the park after having lunch. The game drive was so different than from what I was used to. We drove through dense jungles and saw lots of monkeys. The road then opened up into a flat area and we saw one elephant by himself. Wolf parked a short distance away, and the elephant started to give himself a dirt shower. He then walked over to a pool of water and sprayed himself over and over. A real show being given by this one solitary elephant. This elephant was only doing what comes naturally to him to try and stay cool. A great experience. We then drove to the start of Lake Manyara. We saw hippos on the other side of the lake, but the the road had been washed out. There were lots of wildebeest on our side of the Lake trying to stay cool in the mud. Of course, photography becomes more difficult in midday, but don’t forget, this is not a photography trip.
We then left and drove into a small village and up a long dirt and bumpy road. Wolf kept on telling us that an amazing lodge was at the end of this ridiculous dirty road. I could not believe him. There were families living in small dirt snacks and some were tending to their farm land. We finally arrived at the gate. The lodge is called “Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge”. What a place. It will be hard for me to describe this lodge. The lodge is overlooking a huge valley and there is a huge swimming pool. We had a room which was a suite. Two showers, one outdoors, and a huge tub. The main part of the lodge was decorated in decadent African style. Spears, tusks, Masai clothing and ornaments hung from the walls. Luckily, there were no stuffed animals. We had the whole afternoon to ourselves. The grounds were constantly kept up and we saw some workers trashing the grass. We decided to go for a dip. The cool water of the pool immediately dropped my body temperature.
Dinner was served on a huge table with huge chairs. It looked like we were sitting in. Castle in Scotland. The food was extraordinary, but I knew this is not the Africa I love and always come back to.
After dinner, we went back to our air conditioned suite with internet. Oh well, I needed to rough it for just one night.