We drove about two hours into the heart of Maasai country. All along the way, we saw scattered Maasai villages, and Maasai people dressed in traditional red and blue robes working fields with hand tools and herding goats and cattle and walking along the highway.
We reached Tarangire National Park mid-morning. It was raining hard in Arusha and along the way, but not in the Park. We had a lovely, cool day with occasional showers. Tours here take the form of wildlife drives, in which the driver cruises a series of dirt roads and visits certain spots where he can expect to find animals for his clients to marvel at. When two or more Land Rovers pass, there's a brief pause while the guides exuberantly greet each other and divulge (in Swahili, so the clients don't know what they're saying) where the animals are today. Tarangire is savanna with scattered acacia and baobab trees. The air has a spicy rosemary and thyme scent. Now, in rainy season, the grass is lush, green, and about three feet high. While beautiful, this makes it hard to spot wildlife. The predators are hiding in the grass, and some of the prey leave the Park and go to short-grass areas where they can see what's going on. Still, we saw lots of animals! It was awesome!