Back from Safari

Arusha Travel Blog

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Hello again!

We are done with Safari, back in Arusha and therefore officially done with
the first half of our Tanzania tour... it has only been 6 days, but both my
dad and I agree that it feels like foreverrrrr. All of the things that have
happened over the past week are such once in a lifetime experiences, we
still can't get over it.

I can't even begin to describe everything, but let me tell you about a few
of the highlights. We left Arusha bright and early on Saturday morning and
headed to Lake Manyara. On the way, we stopped in a little town situated on
"Mosquito River"... thankfully the bug situation wasn't what we were
expecting based on the name. We took a cultural tour with our guide, who
referred to himself as "Mr. Banana Beer" after his favorite drink... which
he tried to get us to try, but we kindly declined because we both had
flashbacks to an article we read by some world traveler who tried it in
Tanzania and ended up in the hospital with some horrible stomach infection.
I think we made the right choice. Anyway, Mr. Banana Beer showed us around
the town... it has people from over 125 different tribes, but they all live
peacefully together. We met some people who do ebony wood carvings for a
living, others who different types of African paintings, some people who
grow rice, the owner of the town mill (they call her "Mama Chakula"...
chakula means "food", and she says its because she eats so much. I liked her
from the start.)

So after the cultural tour, we went on a game drive. We of course saw tons
of animals... a train of about 100 baboons walking down the middle of the
road, giraffes (beautiful), and my favorite part, an African elephant
walking about 4 feet from our car. We saw him hiding in the trees, so we
stopped our jeep to watch for a while. The whole time my dad and I were
snapping pictures and we kept saying "I wish he would come a little closer!"
and then... he did. He just started walking directly towards us. He stopped
and looked at us when he was about 10 feet away, and I started to panic and
asked Christian, our guide, if he was going to charge us. At the same
moment, I heard the driver of a nearby car say "Hurry," and then Christian
pulled the jeep forward a few feet. The elephant passed right behind us, and
kept on his way. Christian later explained that the elephant was a little
peeved becuase they have very set paths that they travel in, and we were
parked right in the middle of it. But, we got some good pictures, and it was
definitely an experience.

All in all we had 4 days of game drives. I think my favorite part was the
two days we spent in the Serengeti. We camped here for two days, and it was
definitely the most "roughing it" part of our trip. No warm showers, no
bathrooms. Just us in tents underneath the, come to find out, most beautiful
night sky. Seriously, the stars in Africa can't compare to anything I've
ever seen before. The thought occured to me one night while I looked up
while I was standing outside my tent, brushing my teeth in the middle of the
Serengeti to the sounds of hyenas and wildebeast just a few feet from where
I stood. So anyway, the Serengeti is huge... nearly 5,000 square miles.
Serengeti means "endless plains", and many parts of the park really do look
absolutely never-ending. But it was the weirdest thing because when you are
there, you really feel like the plains stretch on forever and you can't
picture there being anything else, but you just keep driving and eventually
stumble upon something else... like big areas of huge trees full of
giraffes, or rivers filled with hippos, or huge marshes where zebra graze...
or these big stacks of rocks where lions like to live (picture The Lion
King... yeah, I compared pretty much everything I saw to whether or not it
was accurately represented in that movie). And when you are in those areas,
you can't imagine that any other parts of the Serengeti could look any
different, because its all you see in every direction. I don't even know if
that makes sense, but it was amazing.

So I've got... 6 minutes left before I'm booted from the internet, and with
the slow connections here it takes about that long for an email to actually
send. Theres many more stories to tell, like about the lioness we watched
kill a wildebeast about 10 feet away from us... but I'll save that for
later. I hope everything is fantastic with everyone. I miss you all and
can't wait to update you on all our adventures in Zanzibar (we leave
tomorrow morning at 6am... another early morning!)

mary10 says:
Hi Anna
What safari company did you use? it sounds a awesome trip
Posted on: Sep 20, 2015
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photo by: Mikie