Daily Dispatches:

July 20, 2002 – Winding down at Tarangire National Park

I’m calling you now on the 20th of July from deep inside Tarangire National Park, in northern Tanzania. This is one of my favorite places in the world. It is certainly the land of the most beautiful sunsets that I’ve ever seen. We’ve pulled up here at Sopa Lodge in the heart of Tarangire in the late afternoon. People are relaxing and wandering about.

This lodge has got a staff of a lot of old dear friends of mine, the group doesn’t know it yet, but I think they will be treated to a very celebratory and joyous congratulations tonight for their success on Kilimanjaro not that long ago. And certainly now that we wind down on our safari adventure, we’re feeling very successful and accomplished about that as well.

We began today at Lake Manyara, as you know we were situated above the lake itself, a very beautiful lodge (unintelligible communication), for once we slept in until 6:30, had breakfast and we were down inside Lake Manyara National Park at about 7:30. Beautiful ground water forest here, very different environment then anything we have experienced so far. Along the shores of the lake, we got out and walked around. We saw hippopotamus, more flamingos, we had seen a lot of beautiful pink flamingos over in Ngorongoro, but we saw even more in Manyara.

Very relaxing morning, we took a great lunch in the lodge again before we drove over this afternoon to Tarangire. Inside Tarangire we finally got a good look up close at a lot of giraffes, one of the animals we hadn’t gotten good photographs of, and just drove around the expanse of Tarangire. I was driving with Dennis and Becky, along with Adam. Adam was showing us more birds than I could even begin to remember. Yellow Bills, Horn Bills, Black faced Sparklers, (unintelligible communication), and my favorite Lilac Breasted Loler. Becky really liked the Yellow Collared Lovebirds. Everywhere we went there were little beautiful birds that Adam was naming right and left.

As the afternoon went on, the safari drivers are always very conscious of our interest in photography and beautiful scenery. Adam was really good in finding good light for us, Dennis and I, of course, had our big lenses that we had been talking about using for months now, and we enjoyed the photography of the late evening light, in this beautiful place, Tarangire National Park.

We have a short drive tomorrow, back into Arusha for Richard and Katherine, they fly back to Europe, then on to the US. I’ll give you a final dispatch as we get back to Arusha and call this Berg Adventures Trip a success. We have one more full day of game driving in Tarangire, relaxing time in the wilderness of Africa and we will keep you posted on how our day goes. As I said earlier, they don’t know it yet, but back at the Lodge a tradition of presenting them with congratulations for their successful climb of Kili, which in some ways seems a long time ago now after all the great times we’ve had out in the safari land of Northern Tanzania. But it is sure worth the trip, great accomplishment for the six folks that are still with me as well as Karen, Mary, Charles and Deke who went back to North America. I know that they are going to savor it all. Some of us have already headed back home; some of us are lucky enough to still be here in Africa.