January 12, 2007
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Stone Town, Zanzibar
No pictures let alone words can do justice to my time in Africa… but I wanted to document a few occurences to give you an idea of what my trip here has been like. I think I’ll reflect a bit more on the 40 hour haul I have home (ugg!) and write a bit more when I arrive back in AZ (ugg ugg ugg… can’t believe I’ll be back so soon!)
– We saw so many animals, trees and our Safari guide particularly liked the birds.
– The first day at Taragire we were amazed when we were literally 5 seconds into the park and there were 3 elephants 15 feet from the dirt road…. along the way we discovered that EVERY animal (see comments below) is EXTREMELY close in proximity.
– Giraffes are gigantic near-by or from far away…
– Lions growling 20 feet from the car definitely warranted an “oh shiza”
– You can’t imagine the scene of what seems like a gazillion zebras, wildabeasts, Impala’s, water buffalo all playing with eachother in the middle of the Ngorongoro crater. They’re everywhere.
– Within a 20 minute period we were in the middle of a 10 pack of female lions (about to hunt the zebra that were less than a 1/4 a mile away) literally the lions were rubbing up against the Land Cruiser (our guide says this is only the 2nd time in the 3 years he’s been traveling that he had the opp to be so close ) then having lunch not too far away next to a pond with Hippos when an Eagle swooped down and stole Rachel’s piece of chicken right out of her hands.
– Even our guide got excited when we saw the Cheetahs napping in the grass…
– Only 13 Black Rhino’s in existence and I’ve now seen 2 of them.
– The ascent out of the Ngorongoro Crater is hair raising to say the least
– But, again, whole new appreciation for Toyota and the Land Cruiser (of course, I would have prefered a Land Rover!)
– The first place we stayed at Ngorongoro Farm House was amazing…. and the stars!!! Though we never could figure out where the Southern Cross is located…
– The second place we stayed was a made-up Masaai village where hot showers were a scarcity but the camp fire was excellent
Then onto Zanzibar…. which is a little island off of Tanzania – a slice of paradise:
– The beaches were amazing – crystal clear water and white sand.
– Thursday Happy Hour was relocated to Baobob Beach Bar on a secluded beach on the far side of the island where the drink special was the “snakebite”: i.e. rum, lots of crushed lime and a cup of honey. Pass and choose the Kilimanjaro beer.
– We ended up snorkeling (the “ocean safari” portion of on this trip) in the Indian Ocean where the fish were not exactly abundant but it was fun none-the-less. Of course I could have passed on seeing the 3 eels.
– The Serena Inn where we stayed was right on the Indian Ocean. There’s just something peaceful about going to sleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean.
– Of course one night I woke up to mortar fire and machine guns (with blanks in them) – apparently the locals were celebrating their revolutionary independence. The front desk called to let us know there would be “fireworks” at midnight… apparently “fireworks” is another word for “firearms” here.
– Then the flight back to Dar from Zanzibar was filled with 1/2 the government (Vice President, Minister of Cabinets, etc.) who were apparently on ZZ for the independence celebration. We’re still wondering how Martin Warioba knows SO many people here including too many people in the government.
So now I have 5 minutes left on the Internet so I better go… My long trek home starts this afternoon – lasts about 40 hours on 4 different planes so I’ll be back later on Sunday. I can’t wait to share the pictures…. though I’m still not quite ready to come back yet I have to admit. Just seems odd that it’s the weekend and school starts on Tuesday! My has time flown……
Hope all is well back home!
P.S. I do miss everyone and have thought a lot about individual people that would have liked parts (or all) of the trip. JVB (my bro) HAS got to Safari one day… a fisheries and wildlife major can’t pass this up! And the pooches…. every animal reminded me of them 🙂