African Safari – Arrival in Arusha

Lodge: Arumeru River Lodge
Location: Arusha, Tanzania
Arrival day: Wednesday evening into Thursday, September 2016

Our east African safari takes place in Tanzania. The trip was 8 days long and the itinerary was a combination of visiting Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the legendary Serengeti.

We would be visiting during late September into early October, a time when the weather remains mild, save for the occasional rain storm.

Arriving in Arusha on our first evening after traveling roughly two long days of  international flights (SLC – AMS then AMS – Tanzania/Kilimanjaro), dad and I were treated to a late dinner at the lodge of cauliflower soup, bread and tea. We sat together with our new Canadian friends learning a few simple words in Swahili like “thank you” (asante) and “you’re welcome” (kariboo). I kept listening and trying to improve the pronunciation each time I said “asante san.” I smiled broadly when my pronunciation had earned the “kariboo” that followed.

I thought it was funny that some of the names from the Disney movie The Lion King actually translated into Swahili words for “lion” (simba) and “pig” (pumba). Of course, Hakuna matata is a loose translation.

Our wildlife encounters were limited today since we had essentially arrived into town at night. Animal sightings included giant crickets, geckos, mosquitos, and small antelopes on the property which we learned were called dikdik.

Our first official day was actually a rest day where we had a leisurely breakfast which involved a 15 min intermission photographing monkeys followed by enjoying touring the grounds of the Arumeru River Logde.

Our new friends Patrick and Chantel invited us for a rainforest hike. It was the most enjoyable and informative 4 hours I’ve spent hiking in a while. Namely because our guide, Emanuel, was fantastic. It was a coffee tour where we learned about and even tasted coffee beans, hiking in the mountains he showed us what plants were edible and what was not and we had our first brush with Massai who were watching over farmland. We finished out the day sampling a trio of Serengeti beers just as the Kilimanjaro group pulled up and began emptying info the lobby.

Over dinner that night we would hear that both the best and worst part of the climb was getting to the top. “Miserably amazing” was most of the feedback.

The pictures below were captured on my Canon EOS Rebel T5.

Here are a few more pictures taken with my iPhone: