Blogs from Tanzania, Africa


Africa » Tanzania » North » Moshi March 2nd 2019

Two Shakes A couple of months ago, I was hiking along the trails in my village an encountered one of many sheep here in Kilimanjaro. (If you ask, people will tell you they don’t like lamb’s meat, and they don’t harvest wool. Curious choice of livestock.) Alas, I encountered a mama sheep and her lamb, in no rush to remove themselves from the steep trail. Mama looked at me bitterly, “Go ahead… cook me.” I thought of the braised lamb I had shoveled by the forkful to my eager mouth in Barcelona. When she turned back to her own four-course meal of mountain shrubs, I was captivated not by her meatiness, but by the trophy that hung from her rump. Hear me out. We have a lot of free time. Spotty electricity sometimes provides opportunity for ... read more
finally let the mamas braid my whole head
solar drying produce at the primary school!
I won the "Most Peace Corps" Superlative at our Close of Service Conference

Africa » Tanzania » West » Mbeya January 7th 2019

The bus ride to Mbeya was uneventful once we got going. Having eventually been put on the correct bus, our seats were occupied and the man sat there refused to move. The conductor remonstrated with him but to no avail. Instead we were put in the row in front of our stubborn friend, hoping than nobody wanted to oust us from our new-found seats. We nearly got off the bus on the outskirts of Mbeya because a fellow passenger told Trish we had arrived. The journey from there to the central bus station took another 25 minutes through heavy traffic. Getting off the bus we were charged to get our luggage back. Then we managed to negotiate a reasonable taxi fare to get to our hotel. We opted to stay in the Desderia Hotel because it ... read more
The best food in Tanzania
Learning about Tanzanian coffee at the Ridge Cafe

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa January 5th 2019

We were feeling pretty grumpy when we got to Iringa. Part of the journey had been up a steep hill with many, many hairpin bends stuck behind enormous trucks moving at walking pace. The rest of the journey had been mostly spent travelling at 50kph as that is the speed limit most of the time and people seem to obey it. It was also punctuated by vicious speed humps which caused passengers to hit their heads on the roof and land back down in gaps between seats as there were not enough to go around. The bus didn't actually go into Iringa but to a small drop-off area a few kilometres out of town. We managed to get a taxi straight away and felt pleased with ourselves negotiating such a good price to get to our ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Morogoro January 3rd 2019

The coach journey to Morogoro was uneventful and fairly comfortable. We were dropped of at the bus station a few kilometres out of town and soon found a taxi to take us to url=;highlight_room=#hotelTmplMama Pierina’swhere we had arranged to stay for a couple of nights. The accommodation is very basic but then the price reflects that, and the climate is so humid that only having cold water in the shower was more of a blessing than a curse. There isn... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam January 1st 2019

So, Dar Es Salaam is not the capital city of Tanzania? Well, you learn something every day. It sure looks like a capital! It turns out that Dodoma is the actual capital but Dar is where everything happens. We opted for a bit of comfort for our stay in the city. The Tanzanite Executive Suiteswas certainly that. We had a MASSIVE suite complete with its own kitchen - not that we used it other than for washing our clothes and utilising the fridge! It was a very good choice ahead of some of the backpacking hardships we were anticipating in the weeks to come. The hotel is located very close to the city's main mosque. Although the country is not specifically Muslim, this area is. Several other mosques were in close proximity but we were never ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar December 30th 2018

Getting to Zanzibar was easy! We flew with Precision Air from Arusha's tiny airport to Zanzibar's International but not-much-bigger airport. It was all a bit rustic but it was a pleasant enough experience. Before we knew it we were in a pre-arranged taxi and on our way to our hotel just outside of Zanzibar town. The Zanzibar Ocean View Hotelwas more or less deserted! It was a little more rustic than we had anticipated for the price but it was ok and the restaurant served a great breakfast. It wasn't all good though. On our first night there was a very loud wedding party but they finished at 10pm which wasn't so bad. Christmas Day was a different matter though and the Christmas party (that us paying guests were not part of) had music so loud ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Ngorongoro Conservation Area December 28th 2018

Actually, the day started really well. We were all buoyant, excited and ready to head out to Ngorongoro. The plan was to briefly touch Ngorongoro on our way to Serengeti. Once we complete our two days safari in Serengeti, we planned to drive down to the Ngorongoro crater on our return leg to Arusha and make a night stay in Ngorongoro. Perfect plan! It was a bit cloudy when we hit the road, but we knew weather could change very quickly. We found the Ngorongoro entrance was busier than Tarangire or Lake Manyara; anyway, that is expected….this is the main gateway to Serengeti when traveling from Arusha. As we drove in, the serpentine mountain road picked up altitude quickly and it became foggy at the higher elevation. Roads are narrow and baboons were everywhere, waiting on ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Lake Manyara December 22nd 2018

“When you go away... you don't always go on safari, do you? Just want to be away.” Meryl Streep asked Robert Redford in the movie Out of Africa. That’s exactly what I felt when I returned to Africa only after a few months I came back from Kenya. Now I traveled to Africa once again, because I fell in love with the continent. I just wanted to soak into its careless, rugged beauty. Safari? Well, yes…but for me safari is an opportunity to blend into the unforgiving wilderness of the continent. I take deep breath in the boonies, and I feel at ease. When we returned from the Tarangire last evening to the picture perfect African Safari Glamping lodge in Manyara, it was the right fit for my state of mind after driving around all day ... read more
Loveness - the manager at the reception of the Glamping Lodge
A beautiful view of the swamp
Red-and-yellow Barbete

Africa » Tanzania » North » Ngorongoro Conservation Area December 21st 2018

The third and final leg of our safari took us into the Ngorogoro crater.That meant a very early start with breakfast ready for 6am and departure soon afterwards. It’s quite a drive up to the crater and there’s a lot of altitude to be gained so to maximise the time in the park, sacrifices have to be made. That means sleep is less important! From the rim of the crater the whole world seems to open up before you. It’s hard to imagine that you are in fact looking down on a volcanic crater. Technically it’s a caldera as part of the crater wall collapsed many moons ago. As you approach the crater floor the road gets pretty rough in places. We were so thankful to have Josh from Joash Africa Wilderness Insight at the wheel ... read more
Two warthogs go head to head!
Buffalo licking its nose!
We couldn't believe how close we were to the lions

Africa » Tanzania » North » Serengeti National Park December 20th 2018

"Live as if you were going to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were going to live forever." Mahatma Ghandi Africa. If I were to assign one word to describe this continent, it would be “dangerous”. Hostile deserts, rain forests, animals, and peoples are just a few things that come to mind. But to counterbalance that there is also incredible beauty and awe to be found in its diverse landscape, peoples, and animals. Our 9 day visit to the Masai Mara and Serengeti game reserves was a dream come true for this “learning junkie”, showing us just a scratch on the surface of the abundance of both the danger and the beauty to be found in Kenya and Tanzania. I’m pretty sure that Ghandi would have smiled on this use of our time on earth. We ... read more
Croc taking down a zebra foal
It's mine!

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