Our birding adventure started as most people’s do – at the Kilimanjaro Airport. Our driver-guide, Jonas from Fortes Car Hire was there waiting for us.
The ATMs just outside the airport didn’t like my Aussie debit card so that meant we had one extra thing to do in Arusha – find a bank! Jonas ended up taking us to Barclays which happily accepted my card. Cash in hand, we were ready to go!
The first bird we saw in Tanzania was right outside the airport – a Superb Starling. He was the first of many we would see on this trip.
There are lots of small markets like this in Arusha.
Arusha clock tower
Now why would this billboard catch my eye?
Jonas took us to the Fortes office where I paid the cash for the car/driver hire package. We also paid the park fees to Fortes as they would then pay the entry for the car, Jonas (Tanzanian) and us (foreigners) at each park entrance. After finding the main office of Ndutu Safari Lodge closed, I called the lodge to confirm they accepted credit cards and was reassured they did. Having obtained cash for spending money at the Barclay’s ATM, it was time to hit the road. Below you can see the route from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha, then to Tarangire NP.
During the 2 hour trip to the Tarangire outskirts, we saw a few Masai markets.
Superb Starling in a thorny tree.
Not sure about this one but he’s giving us a very suspicious look!
This was the turn-off to Whistling Thorn Camp. It’s about 10 minutes from the main road down bumpy dirt roads. I was glad to get there before dark so we had an hour or so to check out the camp birds – which you will see in the next post!