After a full day on the road from Naivasha, crossing the Kenya-Tanzania border in Namanga, saying goodbye to our great guide Charles, hello to our new guide Mike, and having lunch in Arusha, we slept in Mto wa Mbu. We included the Lake Manyara National Park in our itinerary for the same reasons as Naivasha, to break the long drive. It also was supposed to be a unique spot to see climbing lions, though we didn’t. Instead, we learned that every game drive, even when it’s looking unimpressive compared with the famous e.g. Mara, is special in some way.
We saw a lot of beautiful birds (storkes, flamingos,…), some distant giraffes, an ancient baobab, some new small mammals (dik-dik and monguls) and chased lion spurs for a bit. And we had our closest encounter with elephants, when a herd led by old female came super close to our jeep to eat leafs… she relieved herself (number 1 and number 2) and looked at us defiantly. It was a bit scary, it felt like one of them could easily smash us.
After that early morning game drive, we were energized to hit the road again and get to Serengeti.