East Africa Day 11 – Lake Manyara

I got up at 07:00 and went over to the main building for breakfast. It was quite basic, and they never specifically ask if you want bacon and sausage, just if you want egg preparing. If you don’t want egg they don’t give you bacon. It was nice to have a late start though as we weren’t on the road until 09:00. Before this we wasted a bit of time wandering around the grounds to take some last minute photos.

Serena Mountain Lodge

In the car park of the hotel we met up with the drivers of two Somak Land Cruisers and the rest of the people that would be in this group – there were 7 of us, excluding the drivers. Once loaded up we then headed out on the road for the drive to Lake Manyara.

We were supposed to be travelling in convoy, but the second land cruiser one kept stopping. We thought we’d lost them and stopped at the side of the road for quite some time expecting them to catch up at any minute. Eventually they caught up with us at a shop where it was planned to have a stop anyway.

This shop was very different to the ones we’d seen in Kenya. You could tell these ones were wealthier as the shop was clean and was better organised on shelves and well lit. This was also the first time this trip we hadn’t been constantly asked to buy something.

Lake Manyara Serena Infinity Pool

We arrived at the Lake Manyara Serena not long after 12:00 and went more or less straight for lunch. The lunch was served as a buffet which included spaghetti bolognaise. The waitress forgot to charge us for our drinks so we paid for these during the evening meal instead. After this we had a quick look around the place – the pool was right on the edge of the mountain overlooking Lake Manyara, just as each of the rooms were. The pool was what is often referred to as an infinity edge pool as the water seems to stretch towards the horizon and are often built high up in rather precarious places.

At 15:00 we went on a 3 hour game drive through the Lake Manyara National Park. It was only a few bird species and blue monkeys we saw in there that we hadn’t seen before. We’d been told this game drive would only last 2 hours so as it overrun it meant we missed the acrobatic show.

Olive Baboon (Papio anubis)

Lake Manyara

The evening meal was part set menu, part buffet; but it wasn’t too bad. This was the first time the whole group had eaten together and was a chance for everyone to discuss their experiences so far. Whilst we ate we could hear a thunderstorm a number of miles away. This led to one of the hotel staff asked us what we thought they should do about the following days bush breakfast if the rain continued in the morning. I’m not sure why he thought we’d know, it’s not like we know what their policy is on the matter. They should be telling us.

Banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) crossing the road

By the time we’d finished eating the rain had arrived – we borrowed a couple of umbrellas to get back to the rooms, probably not the best of ideas when lightning bolts are involved though. The storm subsided at around 21:30 which improved the chances of having breakfast outdoors.

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