Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Tarangire National Park, a wonderfully varied land of savannahs, riverine forests, set-piece rocky kopjes, and rolling hills, is famous for its tree-climbing lions (tree-snoozing might be a better description), its stately baobab trees, and what is probably Africa’s largest population of elephants (who “pace along like they had an appointment at the end of the world,” Isak Dinesen memorably wrote), making game viewing at Tarangire Sopa Lodge especially exciting. The lodge, lovingly designed to blend with its lush surroundings, is a model of the modern bush lodge, offering Micato guests a deep African experience and a bountiful range of amenities and signature African hospitality.
All of Tarangire Sopa Lodge’s 75 spacious, brightly designed rooms feature a sitting area, a couple of queen-sized beds, a mini-bar, en-suite bathroom, and sliding glass doors leading to a private veranda from which to relax and gaze at the animals who wander freely in the lodge’s environs.
The exceptionally large public area, marble-floored, airy and inviting, contains a gift shop, a billiard table, and plush sitting area. And upstairs: a wooden-roofed dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the forever fascinating bush. The lodge’s large swimming pool (with a cozy island in the middle, reachable by a sweet little bridge) is surrounded by thatched-roof gazebos for outdoor dining and relaxing.
Game viewing in Tarangire National Park and its adjacent conservations areas is, in a word, spectacular. The iconic Big Five are almost invariably to be seen, along with a full and equally intriguing compliment of not-in-the-least-bit lesser creatures, rare (but commonly seen) oryx, giraffes, hippos by the podful, zebra, wildebeest, and more than 80 other mammals. Tarangire is also a bird-fanciers Eden, with 550 or so bird species in regular residence.
And while game viewing from well-equipped four-wheel drive vehicles (as always, accompanied by your Micato Safari Director) is Tarangire’s great, soul-enriching lure, optional balloon rides are available, along with night drives, expertly guided nature walks, and that sometimes overlooked safari highlight: great repose in a natural environment under “the high, bright Kenya sky,” as John Gunther wrote, “foaming with enormous pink, cream-colored, and slate-blue skies, so incandescent they look as if they have fires inside.”