Hippos on the run

Zanzibar Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 13 › view all entries

Playing a bit of catch-up right now, what with the lack on internet goodness, but I am now landed in Zanzibar after five days of safari, a monster long bus ride and a night in Dar es Salam. 

The safari was excellent.  We saw tons of lions, elephants, girraffs, various other gazelle type critters.  We had a heard of zebra in the campsite of Ngorongoro crater and we saw some chettas, a rhino and even a leopard.  Oh, and buffalo.  We saw lions eating a zebra (it was fairly gross and pretty smelly), but the highlight for me for some odd reason was seeing hippos running.  They are big, they are funny looking and mostly they just sit around, but when they want to they are wickedly fast. 

I have a ton of pictures, several of which may have actually turned out and I will post when I get home.  It was fun, but I am glad to not be in a tent for a while.  Also, I really could go through life without ever again seeing the food combination of eggs and hotdogs ever again.  I am not all that fond of eggs, nor am I a huge fan of hotdogs and together...well they do not really improve each other.  That said, aside from eggs and hotdogs the food was great, our driver guide was excellent and a good time was had by all.

I have yet to figure out the appeal of Dar es Salam.  We stayed there one night at the YWCA and while it was not a bad place, I cannot think of any real reason to be there.  I am certain that there is someone out there who can extoll the virtues of Dar Es Salam, but I have not yet found that person and as yet remain ignorant of the city's many wonders, whatever they may be.  That, and the limited time that I have left in the country led us to hop a ferry to Zanzibar this morning.  We are both carrying a ton of stuff right now since we still have all of our warm weather gear from Kilimanjaro.  We had shipped it ahead of us, but I will be dragging it back home when I go.  This means that Chris and I both have an extra ten to fifteen pounds of gear and some of it (trekking poles, sleeping bags) is quite bulky.  We felt the pain coming into Zanzibar and were ready to set those bags down at the first available place.  Fortunately there was a place that was recomended in the guidebook that was close to the harbor and we got a room that is nice enough and inexpensive enough, though more pricey than loney planet indicated.  We are here for two nights and then head to the beaches north of here for a couple of nights before makibng our way back to Dar for my flight to London and then home.  Leif told me he had the woodstove going last night, and I can hardly think of a bigger contrast to the clear turquoise waters and tropical beaches of Zanzibar.  Hopefully we will get to do some snorkelling here and I will soak up enough sun to get through the long cold Minnesota winter. 

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photo by: tirsomaldonado