Blogs from Tanzania, Africa - page 4

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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

Africa » Tanzania » North » Ngorongoro Conservation Area April 28th 2019

Feeling sad! Yes, this would be the last video blog of my epic journey across Africa before my unceremonious exit from the continent. Yes, I fell in love with the continent that attracts me like a magnet with its rugged but beautiful wilderness, it’s fascinating wild life and its legendary Masai tribe. This is a slideshow of the Masai village in Ngorongoro. Let me admit it, I have an obsession about the Masai people. They continue to fascinate me from my childhood. Allow me to rewind a few decades. My father was a great storyteller and he lived and breathed into the wilderness of Assam in North east India. I recall the days when I was a kid and I used to curl up to him listening to his stories of the wild world in rainy ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Lake Manyara April 19th 2019

If you are in Manyara in Tanzania, you have to spend a night or two in the Gampling Lodge in Manyara…just amazing. It is fenced from the open meadows of the wilderness and the tented lodges are spread across the huge compound covered with large trees,- a peaceful world of solitude. There are tourists here and there, but it’s not a typical hyper tourist lodge. When the darkness falls, all go quiet except the distant wilderness. 8 pm is quite a late evening here, 9 pm is the ‘sound of silence’! We finished our Kilimanjaro Lager in the open pub overlooking the darkness and turned on the headlamps walking through the dark compound to our lodges. From the porch, I looked across the fence,- a dim light from the half moon made the open meadows and ... read more
The reception of African Glumping lodge-1
Red-and-yellow Barbete
Cutie!

Africa » Tanzania » North » Tarangire National Park April 5th 2019

The KLM Airbus landed like a huge nightjar in the semi darkness of the Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania. I checked my watch. It was 9:30 pm. I looked out the window; the distant hills in the moonlit night were a mystique sketch in the horizon. Lovely! Instantly I fell in love with Tanzania. Love at first sight. Little did I know that I will be wheel chaired to a flight halfway around the world from the same airport in the next few days. No, I am not going to talk about it in this video blog. I want to share the stories of beautiful Tanzania that I have loved and been loved by the people; Tanzania that has emptied its love and wilderness to me from the day one. And no regrets! The immigration formality took ... read more
Tarangire River bed is dry
He has the right of way!
Landscape of Tarangire National Park

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
Mbeya
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
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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=https://www.booking.com/hotel/tz/mama-pierina-restaurant-and-annex.en-gb.html?aid=311984&label=mama-pierina-restaurant-and-annex-EHc6xU543Vm%2AodaAYd%2AKvAS267243797164%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atikwd-340642062868%3Alp1010225%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm&sid=3e56f1da2f1e9deaf95aad2a6d91d074&ucfs=1&srpvid=c5ea827d3fd50072&srepoch=1548441210&hpos=1&hapos=1&dest_id=-2569841&dest_type=city&sr_order=popularity&from=searchresults;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
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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
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