Oliver’s Camp & Little Oliver’s – Tanzania’s Best Kept Secret
By Tony Reumerman – Trainer & Guide
I recently returned from a most spectacular trip through Tarangire National Park.Now you may be asking yourself – where in the world is that? Tarangire is situated in Northern Tanzania in the ‘Serengeti – Ngorongoro – Manyara Neighborhood’ and is often overshadowed by The Serengeti by its iconic name and reputation. Tarangire is also the home of our Oliver’s Camp and Little Oliver’s.
Tarangire is no cheap show, it’s a wonderland of animal and scenic delights and depending on the season the show comprises huge herds of elephant, buffalo, wildebeest and zebra, not to mention the constant traffic of ostrich, impala, hartebeest and of course the multitude of associated predators!
Landscapes of Tarangire
The scenery is regularly described by guides as nothing other than ‘gorgeous!’
The landscape is a diverse mix of Umbrella Thorn savannah, lush green swamps, rugged rocky outcrops and endless plains stretching out to a backdrop of mountains and steep rocky hills. All of this with scattered small and massive herds of game. The most difficult thing to do as a photographer in Tarangire is to decide whether to take a landscape or a close up photo of an animal. This state of confusion affected me during my recent visit whilst in a spectacular sighting at the Silale swamp.
An unusual sighting
A most relaxed leopard was chilling in a tree when a herd of elephant that had just been in the swamp decided to make their way past the lazy cat. The elephants sensed that something wasn’t quite right when they walked directly under the cat, but nonetheless continued with their business. The setting was amazing and the photographic opportunities were delightfully confusing.
Tarangire “Life Lines”
Tarangire has two main ‘life lines’, the Tarangire River which spans the entire length of the Park and the Silale swamp situated more towards the east. Both provide water throughout the year for thirsty animals and are the ‘hot spots’ of the park, with peak activity out of the rain season from June to October. I have been pleasantly surprised during both November and early March though with some great wildlife sightings. During the dry months, the sheer volume and diversity of mammals in this park has to be seen to be believed.
Oliver’s Camp and Little Oliver’s are situated on the remote southern end of the Tarangire river and have ideal access to the lower, more game dense sections of the Silale swamp. The camps are tucked away well off the beaten track, offering a tranquil and rugged yet very comfortable bush base from which to explore the park.
Now this is another bonus – Tarangire is an easy 1 hour trip on good roads from Arusha town, the Safari hub of Northern Tanzania. The drive takes one through serious Maasai country and offers frequent opportunities to observe these strictly traditional pastoralists, clad in their iconic red garb, diligently tending to their livestock on the open plains soon after one departs from Arusha and its glorious volcanoes. For those who prefer flying there is a quick hop from Arusha airport directly into the park.
If you’re visiting East Africa, be sure to put Tarangire on your safari itinerary and if you’re an avid photographer, take my advice, Tarangire should be on your ‘Bucket list!’
See you in Tarangire,
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