Trip Start Apr 30, 1970
27Trip End Dec 20, 2007
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another old travel with Avventure nel Mondo, an italian Adventurers agency in august, 1985.
We were about 15 traveling on land old rovers from Arusha, close to Kilimanjaro mountain through the National Parks of Tanzania.
We arrived by air in Nairobi, Kenya and then took a bus to the border with Tanzania.
The local agency came to take us only the day after, allowing us to enjoy the interesting experience of a little village, meeting the locals, visiting their simple houses and noting a Bata Italian shoes shop!
Then we were given only two land rovers instead of three, so we were one over the other with the gasoline tanks at our feet! and our luggages on the roof!
I remember a lot of giant baobab trees in Tarangire, some elephants and our lodge on a hill with white tents and the view on the valley below with a little lake where the wild animals came for drinking at sunset.
Lake Manyara had a great lake with a lot of birds and then wild pigs, hyppopotamus and giant buffalos.
The best was Ngoro'ngoro as being a volcano crater, the wild animals are obliged to stay in that place all the time due to the mountaneous edges while in Serengeti that is flat, we could only see a few wild animals as most of them had emigrated to the north.
We stayed in two luxury wooden lodges, one of whom had big stones around with monkeys entering our rooms from the windows and strange big mices going up and down the stones.
Our Afghan driver told us that some years before he was seated in the hall of the lodge, drinking some beers, he got drunk and saw a lion inside the lodge but thaught it was a mirage caused by alcohol, while the following day someone confirmed him that the lion had really entered the hall and everybody, except him had disappeared in few moments
This man was very funny and used to tell us a lot of stories, like the accident occured to a japanase group eaten by hyienas while sleeping in the savana without protection! Immagine how we slept that night when we were sleeping in our soft tents in the open savana and we heard all the noises and screams issued by wild animals all night long!
We also slept one night in a terrible little hotel, that wa practically a brothel, with locals going up and down and not allowing us to sleep.
I claimed to the owner of the hotel and we silent arrived but on the following morning he claimed to me, showing his dark eyes, as he had been rudly beaten by a local Schwarzenegger who did not agree with him the night before!!
Strange people, many ill of leprosy, many alcohol addicted, many poor people, so sexy when they dance in the disquoteque where I went in the capital Dar es Salaam.
Corrupted police men took our black market changer (usdollar into tanzania shilling at 20:1 in respect of official rate of exchange) into prison. They made him crying, declaring him ten years conviction and after that kick him in the ass and let him go after paying 200 usdollars!
At the airport the custom officers used to sequestrate personal effects and different stuff from our luggages at the moment of embarkment!Or they openly asked for money
I hope things are going better now but those were hard times for us tourists in a rude country.
The sonjo, wearing white costumes and indigenous tribes, cultivators of cereals, were much friendly and the multicoloured Masai, cows breeders, were even much more.
We bought their plastic jewelry, the same our adventurers sold them in the previous century! Entered their poor, dark, low huts made of straw and mud.
One nice Masai girl asked for my perfumed wet hankerchief, smelt and made a disgusting face! They use to mix urine and cow blood to soften their skin! and drink blood and milk or directly dirn blood from the cows neck!
Nice people anyway, I respect their traditions, they are neither better, nor worse than us, just different!
At Kilimanjaro we were told we needed porters and pay 50 dollars each to climb the mountain, so all the participants refused, except for a girl from Naples and me. We gave a ten dollar banknote to the guardian at the entrance and he let us go!
I also remember a little river in the savana with hot spring water where we could wash ourselves at sunset, a salty lake with thousand of pink flamingoes, a giant ivory market (fortunately now closed)in the capital, many peacocks going up and down the roof of a wooden colonial house in front of the sea at Dar es Salaam, the hot and wet temperature of this city and millions of mosquitoes, while the temperature was mild and even fresh in our savana nights as the parks are located on a plateau at about 1,000 mt high over the sea level.
We saw many wild animals in the parks, but I suggest you to visit them from December on as in our summer they emigrate to the northern regions.
We spent our last week in the island of.....Mafia, yeah, really Mafia island.
You know we italians are used to it, but anyway it was very hard to bargain with the manager of the hotel to pay tanzanian shilling (we had a lot ot them changed at black market in the capital) while he pretended usdollar from us!!
After 5 exhausting hours we were going away but he ran to us and invited us to come back , accepting some dollars for him and the remaining shillings for the hotel!
We spent the last days sailing on boats to find little islands, to have snorkeling, fishing, sunbathing, swimming,etc..
Yes it was a nice trip, jumbo, ciao