Tanzania's Story

Trip Start Apr 11, 2009
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Trip End Jan 08, 2010


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Saturday, September 12, 2009

 

I had forgotten how beautiful Tanzania was. As soon as we crossed the border the scenery was appealing (although the bloody country charges Irish passport holders twice as much as everyone else....not happy Jan!!!....albeit the rest of the truck was happy because I had gloated a lot about getting into Zambia free).

After some serious long driving days, we arrived into the hectic Dar es Salaam, though Dar was just a short jump off point to the beautiful and intriguing Zanzibar island. Most of us stayed in Zanzibar for 4 nights – enjoying the historical Stone Town, with narrow-winding streets and ancient Arabic influence. Most of the locals were observing Ramadan, so they couldn't eat or drink between 7am and 7pm, but we managed to find some hotels where we could enjoy some spicy, flavorsome food.

After a very interesting spice tour, during which we learnt much about the island's biggest industry, I headed to the northern beaches. There I relaxed, ate, drank and lounged a lot on the stunning white beach. It was hard to leave the crystal blue waters and relaxing days to head back to Dar. From Dar we hit the road to drive across the country to the famous safari destinations of Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti NP.

Our 3 days on safari was outstanding – the best animal experience I've ever had. We saw 3 leopards, 2 with fresh kill in their trees. We saw 6 cheetahs, including a mum with 3 kids on the hunt within metres from us. And best of all we saw 2 male lions within a metre from our jeep. At one stage he was so close on the mound beside my window I panicked and quickly wound up the window.

Another highlight was a visit to a Maasai village. The villagers danced and jumped for us, then took us in small groups into their tiny huts to explain their way of life. Maasai are shrewd people, so of course, they put necklaces on us at the beginning and then sold them to us before we left. An interesting, worthwhile experience.

When we got back to Arusha from safari, we celebrated International Speak Like A Pirate day by dressing up as either pirates or busty wenches....you can guess which one I chose! Needless to say, it was a long night of many shots and ridiculous photos.

We left Arusha and headed toward the Rwandan border, passing along the bottom of Africa's largest lake – Lake Victoria.

I enjoyed Tanzania. Despite its multiple popular tourist sites, its people has retained a friendly and traditional approach to their lives.
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