Recently, the SFS Tanzania crew went camping for 5 days and 4 nights at the Wild Palm Campsite, only a few miles away from Tarangire National Park. We spent 2 days in the park on game drives and counting different wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, ostrich, baboons and many other awesome animals. This took lots of patience as well as cooperation between the groups of students. On other days, we spent a lot of time interviewing locals and gaining an understanding of human-wildlife conflicts.
Another day was spent in Manyara Ranch where we continued to do animal counts and were lucky enough to see a herd of about 100 elephants walk right in front of our cars! During this time, it was gently raining which allowed us to cool off and made the overall experience INCREDIBLE!
Life at the campsite had its ups and downs. There are hundreds of tiny little thorns that stick to everything and are pretty painful if you accidentally step on one. Additionally, there are lots of large moths, centipedes, mosquitoes, and the coolest spiders I have ever seen. (I was quickly able to appreciate all the insect’s and a group of us would go night-time insect hunting before bed.) Thirdly, the tent mates were randomized which encouraged everyone to step out of their comfort zone and make new friends. Every day was an awesome experience and we always got to see new animals and talk to new people!
On our way back to Moyo Hill, we stopped at a basket weaving shop and bought local handwoven baskets and other items such as bracelets and hats. Overall, the expedition was full of fun and it’s a trip that I will never forget!