Once again I find a local wearing a IU shirt. This time it was right outside the Flamingo Hotel as I was leaving for my safari.
Had two great flights on Precision Air....first from Zanzibar to Dar and then on to Kilimanjaro Airport up north. Funny thing was my flight to Dar was a bit late due to weather so upon arrival, there were Precision Air employees holding signs with my name who then rushed me through the airport and out onto the tarmac to get onto the connecting flight to Kilimanjaro Airport. It was the first time in a while I have seen someone in an airport with my name on a card.
Upon arriving at the Kilimanjaro Airport, I took a cab to Arusha (which is about a 40 minute drive). I got a room at the Flamingo Hotel (lonely planet recommended) for $10 per night (my own bathroom and shower with hot water). I immediately set off to town to try and track down a safari. My plan was to look for white people and hook up with a group already planning a safari. I was in town only a few moments when I was approached by a guy who said he had a couple already signed up and they needed more people. Back in his office (Victoria Expeditions), I listened to his
Our 7-day/6-night safari began in Arusha with our first stop at Lake Manyara. We slept in a lodge there and headed out the next day to the Ngorongoro Crater (we did not go down into it), through the Ngorongoro Conservative land and into the Serengeti. We lodged at the far West tip of the Serengeti. The next day we drove around the Serengeti and then backtracked to the Crater where we spent the evening in a lodge on the crater rim. The following morning we descended into the crater and then headed to Lake Eyasi in the late afternoon (we tented two nights at the Lake Eyasi Bush Camp). We spent the next day and night in the Lake Area (were we went hunting with the Bushmen) before heading back to Arusha the following day. The next day we took a day trip to Arusha National Park.
pitch and then bargained him down $300 and signed up. Spent that evening having dinner and a few drinks at Via Via (it was Reggae Night) with Maren, a German girl I met on the street earlier in the day.
I was awoken at 5am the following morning by the Muslim prayer calls (ughhhh) which, like Stone Town in Zanzibar, felt as if the speaker was located in my room. No worries as I had to get up anyway for I was being picked up for the safari at 8am. I quickly learned that I was joining two Americans on the safari. They turned out to be two doctors who have been dating for about 8 months. Now living in Boston, Chip (a Marine who served in Gulf War #1 and raised in Tenn) and Katie (Irish girl from Boston) were great safari partners.
Our 7-day, 6-night safari was laid out as follows:
From Arusha, our first stop was at Lake Manyara. We drove through the national park at the lake and encountered lots of baboons, monkeys, birds and giraffe. Although we paid for a 'camping safari', we mostly stayed in nice lodges since it was low-season.
Three Maasai men walk in the Ngorongoro Conservative Area
That night we slept at the Lake Manyara Serena Lodge lodge. It was five-star quality and provided a wonderful dinner. The next day we headed out towards the Ngorongoro Crater (we did not go down into it), through the Ngorongoro Conservative land and into the Serengeti. We saw the migration of the wildebeest and zebras, lions and giraffe. The sky was the most spectacular blue I had ever seen, the tall grass was lucious green and the entire experience was mind blowing. It was better than I ever imagined. The sheer number of wildebeest and zebras was more than I could comprehend. I have never seen such wide open land and so many animals. I will never forget the vision as long as I live. That night we lodged at the far western tip of the Serengeti at another great lodge. The next day we drove around the Serengeti and spotted a leopard in a tree, more giraffe, hippos and even drove right up to a cheetah which was eating an impala it had recently killed. Later in the day we backtracked to the Ngorongoro Crater (once again we saw the wildebeest and zebra migration and the numbers seemed to
have increased vs. the previous day) where we spent the evening at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge which was situated on the crater rim.
The following morning we descended into the crater where we spotted hyenas, black rhinos, a cheetah, cape buffalo, flamingos, ostriches and many other animals. We climbed out of the crater by late afternoon and headed to Lake Eyasi where we tented two nights at the Lake Eyasi Bush Camp. We spent the next day and night in the lake area. One day we met the bushmen and went hunting with them. They shot a monkey with an arrow and then cooked and ate it right on the spot. It was "the most real thing ever" as Chip stated. The following day we headed back to Arusha for one night and then spent the following day at the Arusha National Park where we took a 2.5 hour hike and walked among baboons, giraffe and warthogs.
I spent the next two days at McMoody's in Arusha posting photos from my trip since South Africa on the internet. I arranged a flight to Uganda (via Nairobi) with Precision Air (great airline).
My time in Tanzania was some
Baboons all around
During our first drive, there were baboons all along the roads. Here a few jump on our 4x4.
of the best I have experienced so far. This is a wonderful country with so much to see. I highly recommend it to anyone.
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