Friday, July 25, 2008

Day Two: Tarangiri

-A great start to the day. Had a big breakfast at the Arusha Hotel with many exotic, fresh fruits and odd but tasty pancakes. I went outside to take some photo's and was immediately surrounded by artists selling their work. Aggressive salesman and I couldn't say no to 3.

-I've just finished setting up the Oztent. The tent itself is so easy to set up though it took me a little while to figure out the side panels. The drive out was nice. At one point a herd of zebras were off the side of the road. I got out and stalked them for some photo's. This was before we even made into Tarangiri.

We made a couple of stops along the way for various supplies (rope at the Arusha Market, Kerosene at the house of lubricants, charcoal at a small village). Every time we stopped I was surrounded by people trying to sell me something. I bought a few bracelets in exchange for some photo-ops with Maasai women. The people have always been very kind. I'm always greeted with a warm "Jambo!(hello)" followed by "Karibu(welcome)!"

-Tarangiri Park is nice. On the road to the campground we saw baboons (too far away to shoot), a Masaai Giraffe (called Masaai because of it's distinct color scheme and pattern...I've never seen Giraffes like this before). Several Wildebeest (such a strange animal). I'm very excited to go on my first Safari as the preview was awesome!

-What a day it has been! After setting up camp, Nixon and I went on Safari. Very close to camp were hundreds of Zebra's and Wildebeest. Nixon is an expert on identifying the many different species of birds that we have seen. It wasn't long before we came across large herds of elephant. They are massive in size with many babies in tow. Walking single file, the sounds they made were incredible. Trumpeting, growling, stomping...amazing! We saw a very unique Secretary Bird who gave us quite a show during the beautiful golden hour before sunset as well as a large male ostrich (you can tell they are male by the red neck vs. gray on the females) who decided the middle of the road was where he would stay laying down. A magnificent sunset with a herd of elephants walking away...awesome day!

We returned to camp and Swalehh (the cook) had dinner waiting. An incredible Celery Soup followed by fried Tilapia, potatoes, herbed spinach and a banana crepe' for dessert. All made from scratch at camp using the ground as his barbecue pit...delicious!

As I am writing this, I am under a mosquito net listening to millions of crickets with the occasional elephant trumpet and hyenas laughing, growling and making all sorts of shrieky sounds. This truly is an incredible experience.

-It is the middle of the night and I haven't been able to sleep a wink this first night in the tent. Al I lay her listening to the night sounds of Tarangiri I am thinking about the sounds of the day. The two male Impala fighting over the rights to the harem were so close I could here their antlers crashing. The Zebra's making horse like breaths, the ostrich making his sounds by inflating his neck like an elongated balloon. The elephants trumpeting and their ominous growls as well as the sound of the feet crashing to the ground while walking and the sound of them chewing the foliage nearby. The splashing of the Wildebeest in the pond. The numerous bird calls. Tonight the hyenas started screaming. It's a chilling sound next so close to you when sleeping in a tent. I'm sure it was my imagination but I could've sworn I heard the distant grunt of a lion. Very near to my tent has been an intermittent sound made by an unknown animal* It's almost a screaming sound and I'm guessing it's some sort of primate. I can hear the snoring, coughing and farting in the nearby tents clear as day. It would be nice to fall asleep.

-It's about 4:45 AM. Still no sleep. Had to pee...bad. Many animals noises outside. Screw it! Got my thongs on and went outside. Pitch friggin black out. My piece of crap flashlight only works when it wants Scariest pee of my life! :)

*I later figured out the screaming primates were baboons.

A Coffee farm on the way to Tarangiri.
Coca Cola bottles stacked high.
A young Maasai boy herding goats.
A small Maasai village off the side of the main road.
A friendly Maasai Woman selling her jewelry at a small village.
An intense looking Maasai woman not disguising her stare.
The first Zebras I saw on the trip and we weren't even to Tarangiri yet!
A distinct pattern and dark colors are found on the Maasai Twiga (Giraffes)
My home in Tanzania.

Two Male Impala fighting over the rights of the harem. One male per 30 or so females...busy guy.

Wildebeests enjoying a refreshing beverage.
Break time at the watering hole.
Death in Tanzania.
My Guide for the week...Nixon. Everyone in Tanzania knows Nixon!

Zebra support group.
Wildebeests and Zebras that stayed in Tanzania instead of migrating to Kenya.

There is nothing in the world like a beautiful herd of elephants walking towards you.
Who doesn't love a baby elephant?
This picture reminds me of the elephant march in the Jungle Book Movie.
This Secretary Bird was my favorite bird of the entire trip.
A Male Ostrich Vocalizing.
It is believed by some that God was angry at one point and yanked the Baobob tree from the ground and stuck it back in upside down.
A herd of elephants walking towards an amazing sunset.


Richard said...

Wow, absolutely stunning photos! I'd love to go on a trip like this some day.

Jan Klier said...

Amazing shots, Mat. Not only stunning subjects, but also exceptional work on the compositions - depth, framing, moment.

You're sitting on quite the portfolio there now.

Mat Hayward said...

Thanks Richard! Go! Start planning right now and save up. Even if it isn't for a couple of years it is so worth the expense and the time! Make it happen!~

Jan...thank you so much my friend. I am excited to dive into the rest of the photo's as well. Those of you reading this, be sure to check Jan's blog out. He is a more commited blogger than I am and travels extensively to capture his amazing photo's.

Thanks again!


Cory Parris said...

Beautiful work! Now you need your own stand at all the local art fairs!

Anonymous said...

Mat- I am having a blast checking the progress of your trip and enjoying your photos! These are amazing!! -Jayme

Steve Brown said...

Hi Matt. Welcome home.
My wife wants to go too! - you may have to sponsor a trip after showing us really cool foto's like these!
Well worth difficulties one would expect on a trip like this (flashlights excluded as they don't work anywhere:)
Our mutual observation is that this is clearly the work a gifted photographer!

Anonymous said...

All are great! I like the marching feet of the elephants the best. - orchidpoet

Anonymous said...

Awesome!!! Love the Zebras. You should start on a book about your adventures. I would have not been able to go outside and pee.Prob would s--- my pants. Great story and photos
Photobug (Deb)