Blog work trip (Marloes): Arusha NP

4 April 2018

Blog work trip in Tanzania (Marloes) March 2018 – Day 1: Arusha National Park

It’s always lovely to wake up to River Trees Country Inn, but … it’s raining hard or is it the river? I look outside: fortunately, it’s the river. I step outside on my porch, and immediately enjoy the view: it’s very green, the garden is in full bloom and in the tall trees I see black & colobus monkeys. I think they welcome me to Tanzania and I feel crazy happy!
The great thing about Rivertrees is that it’s not a “hotel”, but a small-scale accommodation, quietly located between coffee plantations. I walk from my garden cottage through the beautiful garden to the restaurant; an open building overlooking the garden, trees and monkeys. There is the group I will join for safari the coming week: Jean, Sarah, Lauren & Tracey (representatives of our Tanzanian partner Wayo Africa), Leroy (our videographer) & colleague Ard and travel agents Rob, Robyn & David from resp. Australia, South Africa and England.
After a delicious breakfast we are picked up by guide Prim and we set off for the Arusha National Park, less than 30 minutes’ drive from Rivertrees. It is a cloudy morning, but both Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro show themselves! The day starts well …
During a short game drive en route to the ranger post we already see colobus monkeys (beautiful black and white frills), zebras, buffalo and giraffes. Once there, our walking safari starts through the park at the foot of Mt. Meru: first across open grassland with a river, where a herd of buffalo grazes. We go a little higher and arrive at a beautiful waterfall, after which we continue into the woods. Nature is overwhelming: rainforest with mosses and ferns; it’s like the film set of Lord of the Rings!
And then … (if you’re exhausted and sweaty feel that you’ve earned a reward) there is (in middle of the park in an open field) a beautifully laid table, with chandeliers and champagne!! The Belgian star chef Axel Janssens cooks us a fantastic lunch and tells about his career (very entertaining). This is great entertainment & enjoyment!  If the day couldn’t get any better, a group of baboons roam behind us, colobus monkeys bounce over the treetops and black monkeys scream … amazing!!
We have a break during a very relaxing canoe safari on the Momella lakes. The silence on the lake and view of Mt. Meru are very impressive and we see even more animals from the water than from the jeep. If i’m being honest: you cannot miss a canoe safari during your visit to Arusha National Park!
We have dinner again at Rivertrees Country Inn, after which we go to bed on time. What an impressive first day.