Tree climbing lioness in Lake Manyara national park Tanzania

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September 12th 2018
Published: September 12th 2018
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Tanzania day 4
Tree climbing lioness in Lake Manyara national park, Tanzania
The day began with a hot shower. That might not mean a lot to you but it’s our first since we got here; let’s hope it’s not the last!
Our stay at Arusha Holiday ends in less than an hour when we will (hopefully) be picked up to go on safari for 6 days. There is no sign of breakfast yet or anyone to pay and we haven’t paid for the collection from the airport last night either. Oh and the wifi has gone off as well. The cockerel is giving it a bit of a rest though thankfully.
So we were ready for 8 which is when we were supposed to be being picked up. Tea, coffee and breakfast did arrive but Claire ate all my breakfast and left me with nothing... He brought us out two slices of eggy bread each. I was already feeling a bit queasy and one mouthful of something I got so fed up of last time I was here had me heaving. I managed to swallow it but couldn’t eat any more so Claire enjoyed mine. Did you really think she would nick mine? Shame on you.
After much confusion and our driver from last night having to drive us to meet the car who couldn’t find us we going...
Our driver took us to the bank where we met someone else. The safari company is based in America and they have struggled transferring some of our money across so they asked us to get some out and then pay us back at the end. Yes, I know... None of our credit cards would work so we couldn’t get as much as they needed. The money is for park entrance fees so let’s see what happens...
We were then taken to a supermarket where we got some drinks to take with us, then our safari vehicle turned up and we really were finally on our way.
There’s only us and our driver at the moment and we are heading to Lake Manyara national park, home of tree-climbing lions. The land we are passing through is Masai land and there are many of them about herding their livestock. It’s nice to see people carrying on as they always have done without the need for modern encumberances. And imagine living in a world where you’ve never even heard of Donald Trump...amazing...!!
Lake Manyara national park is famous for its tree climbing lions. Climbing trees isn’t something lions do as a rule but here I read they do it to get away from the insects. Our guide later said they do it to look for prey and also that in five years of guiding here he’s only see them four times....
Lots of the park is dense bushes with trees rising out of them which makes game viewing tricky. We did however have some luck so let’s start with the highlight....a tree climbing lion!! Yes, we saw one! It was at a distance and mainly facing away from us but we saw a sizeable lioness sat up a tree. We went to it twice as it’s a cat so it’s far too bone to move of course.... The second time the prime spot with the least branches in front was taken by one vehicle and two Trump-voting American women (I might move on from using peckerhead as Trump-voting is far more insulting!). They spent ages there when the decent thing would be to let someone else have a turn. We glared, we tutted, we put our cameras down for goodness sake but still they stayed. Trump-voters!!
When we finally got to prime position we spent a reasonable amount of time there before giving someone else a turn....
So what else did we see I hear you cry. Stop moaning and get on with it. Early on we saw one hippo a long, long way away and then the hippo pool yielded no more sitings. But then later, as we were watching herons, a pelican and some other birds I spotted a hippo in the lake....and then another one, and then some more until there were about 10. Still a bit of a distance away but with no other vehicles with us it was awesome even if the photos turn out to be crap.
We saw some other birds as well, some of them were even mildly interesting.
We saw a lot of buffalo, a few giraffe, impala, a monitor lizard, wildebeest, zebras, many baboons, blue monkeys (so called because of their blue testicles, honest, wait for the photo!), mongooses and, just before we left, a hyena ran across in front of us. Claire saw an elephant’s backside but that could just have been me bending over. So all in all a pretty good haul!
We spent a few hours driving round and stopped at a picnic site for a huge packed lunch. Even though I’d had only a mouthful of eggy bread all day I still couldn’t eat all mine....especially the eggy bloody bread!! COLD eggy bloody bread!! Yuck!! The rest was a good variety of various things, some of which I have no idea what they were.
We left the park just after 5 and stopped at a viewpoint which was excellent as it overlooked the park and lake we’d just driven round. We were then driven to Panoarama campsite where we are staying in a kind of stone igloo. The campsite does have tents but most of them are under rooves.... Each group has their own chef all working out of the same kitchen but some chefs have more than one group. How they work out what the hell us going on I have no idea, paricularly as the kitchen looks tiny.
Tomorrow we have more people joining us would be just my luck that it was the two Trump-voters from earlier!

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