Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jambo! Karibu Tanzania!

I thought writing a blog entry about my trip to Tanzania would be easy, but it turns out that it's not. I wish I was a better writer because I don't think words, and even pictures, can convey what a great experience this was. Despite a number of headaches getting there, I arrived at Ndarakwai Ranch, where my safari began. The ranch is private land, so the animals that roam there are protected from poachers and predators.

From the back porch of my tent, I watched a huge tribe of baboons walk onto the property in the morning and walk back out at dusk. Monkeys played in the tree just outside my tent. The sounds of Africa at night are fascinating... until about 11:00 when it's time to use earplugs in order to get to sleep.

I spent 2 full days with a guide and we went out in a car and also on foot. There is a watering hole on the ranch that attracts the animals, especially during the dry season. But the real joy was exploring the property and finding elephants, zebras, giraffes and other animals all around us. Tracking a group of giraffes on foot was a very cool experience. Early March is the end of dry season so there isn't much flora to look at, but it's a great time of year to see the babies. All the animals I saw had at least one baby in the group.

The next part of my trip took me to Ngorongoro Crater. This is an amazing place. Amazing. I saw everything I had hoped to see and more. Elephants, zebras, gazelles, lions, hippos, flamingos, rhinos, and birds whose names I can't remember.

And if that wasn't enough, I also visited Lake Manyara National Park. The highlight there was the group of hippos resting themselves at the small pond. They reminded me of the sea lions at Pier 39 in San Francisco - big fat gray creatures lying on top of each other and occasionally barking at each other.

After my safari adventure, I spent a few days lying on the beach in Zanzibar. I only have one picture - the view from my back porch - because all I did was lie on the beach and read. Aside from a little annoying attention from a couple of locals, it was a very relaxing way to end my African adventure.


Anonymous said...

Of course I want to hear about the annoying locals.

Lee said...

Me too - more marriage proposals?

Ayelet said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time. I'm so happy for you (and only a tad envious!) to have had this experience. I'd love to see all the photos you took--do you have them posted somewhere?