Tarangire is great for elephant sightings, for this area attracts hundreds of them with its year-round waterways and lush vegetation. The most memorable part of our visit came well after returning from our game drives. One night, a herd of about 80 elephants wandered right through our campsite, with one coming literally within a couple of feet from the cot we were sleeping in.
Besides the fact that there’s no electricity, running water (a quick rinse is possible only after a bucket of hot water is poured into the portable camp shower bags) or posh beds, this type of incident is what clearly differentiates a mobile safari from one where you stay in lodges.
And this wasn’t the only up-close and personal encounter with wildlife we would have. At 2:30AM on the last night, my wife watched in both amusement and bewilderment as a hyena approached our tent and marked its territory right on the front door flap. On the nights we weren’t staring down the animals, we certainly heard them. Most mornings were spent comparing notes and asking the guides what certain sounds were that we had heard overnight. My favorite emanated from these large tree dwelling rodents called hyraxes, which let out a rather alarming squeal whenever their territories were threatened.