Tue Dec 25th, 2007 at 10:26:30 AM EST
The allure of Tanzania (travelblogging)
In late November my wife and I had an opportunity to travel to Tanzania, and though we had to break our piggy bank to do this, it was definitely for a good cause. Our trip consisted of 2 nights in the Selous Wildlife reserve, 2 nights in Stonetown, Zanzibar, then a week on the Northeast coast of Zanzibar. Below are some photos we took during this trip...we hope you enjoy them!
Diary rescue by Migeru
Our first stop was to the wildlife refuge area named ,,The Selous", about an hour flight Southwest from Dar es Salaam into the interior of Tanzania. This was our main mode of travel while in Tanzania:
The Selous (pronounced sell-lew) is actually an area larger than Switzerland, though only part of it is open to the public. There we stayed at a ,,safari camp" named ,,Rufiji River Camp", situated on a cliff overlooking the hippo and crocidile invested Rufiji River, for 2 nights and three days. During that time we took a river safari, car safari and a walking safari, and while it was at times incredibly hot (you can^t believe how good a cold beer tastes!), it was also an amazing experience for us. The folks there really take care of you well, but in a sense it can lead to a false sense of security, which hits home when after dinner a Maaasai secorts you back to your tent and tells you not to come out until morning (ie., we are the zoo here). One of the highlights of that part of our trip was a middle of the night visit from 5 elephants, who stood around our tent-cabin munching on trees and bushes.
Our morning greeters, the Vervet monkies, who play, play, play and play some more
The first safari trip we took was out on a boat just before sunset on the Rufiji river. We saw lots of hippos and crocidiles...and though we were quite hot, there was no temptation to go swimming.
Hippos hangin` out and chatting amongst themselves
one of many large crocidiles we saw
A photo from our boat of the Refuji River Camp, set up on the cliff edge
Sunset from the camp lodge
On the second day we took a day long drive out into the bush, and below are some of the scenes we experienced. I had really hoped to see some lions, but of the two jeep loads that went out, it was the other guys that had the good fortune to spot a pride of 13 lions hunting (oh well, next time) - nonetheless, we saw a lot.
A creche of giraffe
This was special - we found this group of elephants standing guard over their sleeping babies, each adult facing a different direction (and notice one has her foot over the baby).
Then on our last morning before heading to Zanzibar, we took a walking safari through the local bush, and came across this herd of Impala. Notice the guard with the rifle...he said he has had to use it on a few occasions!
Unfortunately, after this last safari we were both so hot we couldn't cool down, so were really ready for the coast.
This is a photo of Stonetown, the capital of Zanzibar, looking north from the harbor. After settling in on our first night, our hotel hired us a local guide to show us around Stonetown and take us on a spice farm tour...we were glad we did, for we got to know Talib, who was a fantastic person and knowledgeable about a lot of the history and culture of Zanzibar, plus he took us places we likely wouldn't have found.
The narrow winding streets & alleys of Stonetown
The old slave markets - Zanzibar was the place many slaves were brought to be sent north and west...this is a monument to those tragic times
The fish market
The fruit and vegetable markets
On our last night before heading to the East Coast of Zanzibar, we ate dinner at the Emerson & Green restaurant, which sits up on a roof overlooking the town. At sunset the 40+ mosques all make their evening prayers...we love this and found it rather mystical. And right next to the restaurant was one of the few Hindu temples, which in contrast to the wonderful prayers has rather loud bells announcing prayers.
After Stone Town, then we spent the next week on the Northeast coast at a little local owned and run hotel, the Shooting Star Lodge. Here are a few photos from there.
The Shooting Star infinity pool overlooking the NE coast and the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean is actually much warmer than the pool...
Fishermen scour the reef each day for food for the nearby village
An outrigger Dhow that you can rent rides on
Sunrise from the bottom of the Indian Ocean (great photo by Lil).
This was a last minute trip, inspired by a "low season" good deal we found on Swiss Airlines. We were nicely surprised by the warmth of the people, and the culture and ecology is fantastic. We HIGHLY recommend a visit!