Day 2: Arusha National Park Safari

If I was to sum up today's safari drive through Arusha National Park in northern Tanzania, it would be with one word..... 'Monkey!'

With our safari guide and driver Ben at the helm of our Caracal Tours and Safari's 4x4 truck, we set out this morning for a small park north of Arusha. The park has an interesting mix of dry landscape and lush greenery, providing a home for a variety of animals. Since our travels will soon take us into the dry Serengeti, I was most interested in the lush greenery as the animals we see there will not be found again later. One of the trademarks of this park is the black and white Colobus Monkey, which is relatively rare for visitors to see, but we were fortunate to catch twice. Along with hundreds of baboons, the monkey crowd certainly stole the spotlight and were the highlight of our day.

Monkey business was not the only thing we enjoyed as Ben also took us to see some Zebra, Giraffe, Warthog, Buffalo, birds and flamingos. While we eagerly eyed for Hippo and our first African cat sightings, neither made an appearance, but Ben promises an abundance of them in our future! With Ben's re-assurance that the other animals would come in due time, I focused my energy (and camera) into capturing the magic of the monkey.

Here's a selection of shots from the monkey business we observed today. All shot with the Nikon D610 and Nikon 80-400mm telephoto lens.

Momma and baby baboon sitting on a rock in Arusha National Park. The mom was preening while the youngster kept a nervous eye on us.

Another mother baboon breast feeding her young

I love the big orange eyes and the smile on this baboon!

The Colobus Monkey is less common for visitors to spot, so we were very fortunate to have some cooperative monkey business to watch. The Colobus Monkey is known for being a great jumper and we witnessed our fair share of that being demonstrated.

A little Sykes Monkey eyeing a branch and contemplating if he could make the jump for more leaves to nibble.