What do you do if you find yourself in Tanzania with a day to kill before hiking up Kilimanjaro? Go to Arusha National Park!!! While you won't find any big predatory cats here, this little park is loaded with herbivores that just love to have their picture taken. Via our hotel, we were put in contact with Daniel, the owner/ founder/ guide of Creation Wonders, who took us an awesome tour of the park. While driving around in our sweet, ancient Land Rover, Daniel shared tons of information with us about the biology of the animals we were seeing, the history of the park, and the culture and politics of Tanzania. We snapped up our photos of giraffes chewing their cud, wharthogs rooting in the mud, and zebras doing whatever it is that zebras do. It was awesome. Animals in the wild are so much cooler than in the zoo!!
For those of you at home that want a little bit of Safari in your lives, might I suggest these two flicks:
get out of the city and into the wild!!
by far my new most favorite movie!!
Also, a note on Safari Tour Operators: While having lunch with Daniel, he told us about the struggles that he is facing in creating/ operating his business. The Tanzanian government charges each guiding company $5,000 in start up fees/ licensing and $2,000/ year to register tour cars. For Expat owned giant companies like Leopard Tours, which has hundreds of cars, these fees are nothing. To a Tanzanian local like Daniel, who operates Creation Wonders with his two brothers and with just three cars, these fees are insane. Soooo... if you ever think of going to Tanzania for Safari, do your research first and try to pick a local tour operator. I would be more than happy to give you Creation Wonders contact details if you are interested and you can go on Safari with Daniel to Arusha, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, etc!!