February 9: Overland to Tarangire National Park

After a full breakfast buffet the group now fourteen strong is divided up into three Jeep Cruisers for the trip to the Tarangire National Park outside of Arusha. Tarangire is the one of six national parks in Tanzania and covers an area of approximately 1100 square miles. The Tarangire River flows through this area of the Manyara Region, thus giving the park its name. "The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit. The hilly landscape is dotted with vast numbers of Baobab trees, dense bush and high grasses." Wikipedia.

On the way out of Arusha a quick stop at the Arusha Cultural Center and then on to a stop at the local "farmers' market" where the Masai have brought their goods to sell or trade. Hundreds of men and women barter their wares from animals to food supplies to clothing to shoes. The recycled rubber from truck and automobile tires seem to be the favorite sole. Simple and efficient to keep one's feet off the hot ground. If your size isn't in stock, no problem. The seller will just cut off a piece of the tire and make you a pair right on the spot.

The Masai are a semi-nomadic African tribe that resides predominately in the Kenya and northern Tanzania. Their distinctive red and black cape can be seen for miles and is worn with the belief that it wards of animal attacks. The people of the Masai today follow very closely to the traditions of their ancestors. The society is highly patriarchal with the man's wealth defined by the number of cattle that he has. It is the duty of the wife to care for these animals, thus the more cattle gained, the more wives are needed! A successful man will have eight or nine wives and proportionally a large number of children. His first wife is selected for him by his parents and then he can chose each one after that as his needs grow.

Another tradition held very closely is the rite of passage to manhood. A young Masai boy needs to prove to his tribe that he is brave and worthy of being considered a man. At an early age he is sent to the fields with others to learn how to tend the herd and protect it with merely a stick from predators such as the hyena. Every seven years the young boys ranging in age from 14 to 19 are gathered into a group for a formal initiation. The rite of passage from boyhood to the status of junior warrior is a painful circumcision ceremony, which is performed without anaesthetic. Following this surgery the boys are dressed in black and sent on a walkabout for approximately three to six months. During this time they are to survive on their own in the wild to prove again that they are worthy of manhood.

Young girls are also subject to circumcision although considered illegal in both Kenya and Tanzania.

Home for the next two night is the Lake Burunge Tented Camp.

Animal sights of the day:

***Elephants Mongoose
Giraffe Red Billed Hornbill

Arusha Cultural Center

Arusha Bike Shop

Masai Market

More Trading

Making a Deal


Tarangire Landscape

Baobab Trees

Termite Hill

Banded Mongoose

Elephants Passing on the Right

Red Billed Hornbill

Room Key! Notice Whistle attached!! Suppose to Blow if in Danger!!!!!