Blogs from Tanzania, Africa - page 3


Africa » Tanzania » North » Arusha August 12th 2019

Abfahrt von Nairobi bei 14 ° - wahrscheinlich hatˋs in Gauting mehr gehabt. Und als ich u 8.30 endlich auf der Straße war, schlief diese Stadt noch immer. Also nicht direkt Tiefschlaf, aber doch Schlaf. Die Fahrerei war dementsprechend angenehm und ich kam ohne größere Angriffe auf Pauls oder mein Leben davon. Ein paar Marabus glotzten mich an, dann war ich aus der Stadt draußen und es wurde sehr ruhig. Die Straße zur Grenze ist neu ausgebaut aber wenig befahren. Es geht durch Maasai Gebiet, große Kuh Herden ziehen dahin und wirbeln hohe Staubfahnen auf. An einem Brunnen warteten mehrere Herden geduldig, bis sie dran kamen - so gesittet wie Engländer an der Bushaltestelle. Die Maasai Männer haben alle einen Stock dabei, schon die kleinen Jungs. Die Frauen hier waren mit Halsreifen und Ohrringen aus bunten ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City August 9th 2019

I had to pinch myself that Alex and I were actually about to land in Zanzibar. We were looking forward to this exotic spice Island, not just for the dream destination but for a rest. After many one night stops, fourteen flights, and early morning bumpy game drives, this was our first four night stop. Our hotel was located on the beachfront so we were able to enjoy the seabreeze each evening having a sundowner from our balcony. Zanzibar had a very colourful history of Portuguese and Omani Sultan rulers, a British protectorate followed by independance then a revolution and eventually joining with Tangayaka. Zanzibar even had the shortest war in history lasting between 38 and 45 minutes. We wandered the maze of streets and narrow alleyways in the mornings, lazed by the pool in the ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Ngorongoro Conservation Area August 1st 2019

So lucky to be staying on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 metres deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometres. Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from 4,500 to 5,800 metres high. We set out with our guide Suleiman at 6am for a seven hour game drive, we were lucky to see a number of lion prides. Early morning we were able to watch the lions eating and roaming the park, by midday they were all sleeping, a couple just on the side of the road. The crater is home to numerous zebra, elephants and wilderbeast among the thousands of other animals. After two nights at the ... read more
Ron and our guide Selemani

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 4th 2019

Our first breakfast at RUCU went similarly to our first dinner; we were told to be in the classroom to start at 8 AM, but when we arrived at the dining hall at 7:30 and strategically Google translating some questions, we discovered that the cafeteria doesn't even open until 8. Class was promptly moved to 8:30 permanently, and we enjoyed the standard breakfast of maandazi (sweet fried dough balls) and very sweet chai. Today was also our first Swahili class; our instructor Paulo is hilarious and knowledgeable, so the hour flew by. In lieu of our lecture period, we all participated in the "selfie challenge," a 2-hour long group scavenger hunt around the city of Iringa. Two hours felt like enough time to get a feel for the small city and I'm now much more comfortable ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 3rd 2019

After our first full night's sleep in Tanzania, we were rudely awoken by some roosters crowing in a coop right below the hostel building. Even with this interrupted sleep, the ensuing frigid bucket shower was good enough to jolt us awake. This day was set aside for "orientation," and no actual classwork was to be done - instead, the entire morning was spent setting up our classroom router and personal modems for internet, a valuable commodity. With an otherwise uneventful morning, we played card games until a lunch trip to Neema Crafts and Restaurant, the expatriate hangout in town. This unique establishment has won worldwide recognition for employing only disabled people. The menu wasn't exactly authentic Tanzanian, but the burger I had was very good, and the habanero and pili pili sauces added an East African ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Centre » Iringa July 2nd 2019

The next morning started bright and early at 4:30 AM in order to complete our 12-hour cross-country trip from Dar es Salaam to Iringa, in the Southern Highlands. While wrangling 17 college students to wake up before 5 AM is usually a near-impossible task, most of us slept very little anyway on account of jet lag, torn and ineffective mosquito nets, and wildly fluctuating temperature in the rooms. Before leaving, our driver warned us that police stopping buses (especially those full of wazungu) are extremely common in Tanzania (verbatim, "The police in this country are crazy!"), and to make sure we were always wearing our seatbelts; our professors then directed us to predict the number of times we would be stopped, with the winner receiving bragging rights (final count was 7!). While the official purpose of ... read more

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

"Karibu!", greeted the Emirates flight attendants as we got off the long, but comfortable 18-hour plane ride. The Swahili word, meaning "Welcome", was emblazened on the roof of the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, and it concisely captures the warmth and hospitality we repeatedly came to expect of the Tanzanian people. The sterile airport entrance, coated with Western-style excessive security, begat a disorderly stampede reminiscent of an Indian temple or train station at the visa office. This was the location of the first snafu of the trip - we had been told adamantly by our program directors to ask for an ORDINARY visa, yet the officers insisted we obtain a STUDENT visa, which was $50 less expensive. After ~10 minutes of pleading our case to a guard who spoke little English, another kindly ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar June 28th 2019

A visit to the island of Zanzibar has always high been on my bucket list, having heard many times of the great sandy beaches along with atmosphere of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Stone Town, and this desire was only further increased after my visit to Oman a couple of years ago when I learnt of the historical trading relationship between these two countries. Given its colourful history, you can see evidence at times of each of African, Indian, Arab and European cultures, within each of the architecture, the cuisine and the people. While I declined to take one of the offered spice plantation tours, having experienced a similar tour previously in Granada, there was plenty of evidence of the presence of their products in the various markets, thus giving rise to Zanzibar being known ... read more
The front facade of the Old Dispensary
The evening food market at Forodhani Gardens
A local game of soccer at sunset

Africa » Tanzania » North June 25th 2019

Once again, we were treated to a quite different terrain from that of the previous safari parks. The Serengeti National Park (pronounced See-ren-geti, so we were told) is huge and while the western region comprises savannah, sprinkled with umbrella-throned acacia over a black clay soil, and the northern region is covered in open woodlands, the majority of the park is dead flat and almost treeless and seems to extend for ever. This gives rise to the name Serengeti, which is Maasai for ‘endless plains’. Before reaching Serengeti, we had an overnighter and a brief visit to Lake Manyara National Park. This is quite a small park, of which about two-thirds is covered by the lake, although this is ... read more
Vultures fighting over a buffalo carcass at Serengeti ...
... and what remains when they have finished
Would you call this a 'pool of hippos'?

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro June 24th 2019

Is there an upper age limit to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro--a cutoff point when the physical body is tapped out and refuses to haul itself one more step up a 19,340-foot mountainside? Is there an age when you hit the wall on such high-altitude stunts? The question was on my mind recently—in May 2019--as I prepared, at age 71, to test myself on the mountain via the popular Machame route. If all went well and I reached the summit, I could check off another big adventure on my bucket list. Surely, I thought, there would be kindred company on the mountain, other baby boomers hoping to check that box on their lists, and they would leave a record (name, nationality, age) at each camp site register en route. But my unscientific perusal of such records surprised me: ... read more
Uhuru Peak
On the Trail

Tot: 2.288s; Tpl: 0.034s; cc: 15; qc: 81; dbt: 0.0374s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb