Published: July 5th 2012July 5th 2012
Just like what you would think Africa is like.
After a good night's sleep and a very cold shower, we left Arusha Town on Monday morning and headed for Karatu. Tanzania has districts and cities that have the same name, so if you are visiting the city of Arusha in the region of Arusha, then you are visiting Arusha Town. Make sense? We were heading to the district of Karatu in the region of Arusha, so it's just called Karatu.... I think. I get confused so easily.
The drive from Arusha (Town) to Karatu takes you through so many different landscapes. Just outside of Arusha Town you witness the scenes that so many people picture Africa to be... long stretches of desert-like settings. In this area, there is a huge Masai community, so you see them out herding their cattle. There is basically one lane going in each direction on these paved roads. (All roads where the tourists go are paved... not so, elsewhere.)
After a couple of hours, you come to mountains where the soil is more fertile and everything is much greener. We drove by the Lake Manyara National Park (home of the only "Tree Climbing Lions"). No time for a tour, but we did stop
at an lookout point to get a few pictures. Pretty amazing. This is the route that everyone takes when they are driving to the Serengeti. Very picturesque.
While on the road, our driver Mapunda, pulled over and order some food from a vendor. It ends up he ordered deep-fried fish. The clean "the stuff" out of the fish from some cavity and then deep fry it whole. It is a snack and you eat skin, bones, meat, tail and yes, the head.
We got to Karatu, found a hotel, visited the local authorities as usual to let them know that we were in the region. After that, we grabbed some dinner, played some pool against the locals and then called it a night.
We knew the next few days were going to take their toll on us. FOOTNOTE:
Karatu is only 15km from the Ngorngoro Crater. This is the second largest National Park in Tanzania. It is a volcanic crater which is home to hundreds of different breeds of wildlife. You should "Google Images" it.. pretty amazing pictures. In fact, I will be visiting the crater next year when my sister Laurie comes for a
visit to mark the end of my stay here.
There are more photos below