Saturday, March 9, 2013


We still had a few days left in Tanzania after climbing of Kilimanjaro so we opted to take the bus to Dar Es Salaam and a ferry to Zanzibar. It worked out quite a bit cheaper than flying and let us see some of the country too. 

Front seat on a bus with AC. Not bad for 20 dollars. 
Lunch before a trip to swim with dolphins. The view was great, but I think they harass the dolphins more than actually befriending them for swimming. Maybe I'll try that again somewhere else.
We went snorkeling twice. Not quite the Great Barrier Reef, but still fun. 
I didn't get many good pictures snorkeling this time, but I thought this one turned out well.
Tony sitting on a ledge on Prison Island
The Tortoise refuge on Prison Island has about 100 Tortoises. This one was really friendly and almost looks like she's smiling with tony scratching her neck. 
I think the spice tour we took was probably the most interesting day on Zanzibar. I'd never seen a vanilla plant before. The picture didn't turn out, but cinnamon bark tastes awesome.  
I'm not sure we were supposed to eat them or if they were ripe, but I thought coffee berries tasted good fresh. 
Watching the guide climb a coconut tree was pretty interesting. I can't imagine what OSHA would say though... 
Sunset from the Freddie Mercury cafe in Stone Town. 
As I boarded the flight out of Dar Es Salaam I noticed fog rolling away from the ventilation system as it fought to cool the humid tropical air. One of the many things I learned about myself on this trip is than hot and humid weather tends to make me cranky. 
I had a row to myself for both legs on the way back to the states which was really nice. Even without the extra space Qatar Air really impressed me with their nice planes and friendly staff.  They also depart as soon as the plane is loaded even if that's 20 minutes early which I have never seen on any other airline. 
Back in the US, just before taking off from Atlanta. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Ngorongoro Crater

We spent the second day of our safari in Ngorongoro "Crater" where we were lucky enough to mostly see animals we hadn't seen at the lake.

Looking on over the caldera from the top in the morning. 
Looking back: There was a loud thunk just before we came around this bend. 
After a brief stop our guide declared this to be no big deal and drove down into the crater.  
Up first: Water Buffalo.
The Rhinos were pretty indifferent to all the people watching them. 
They're more dangerous than Alligators but the hippos mostly just laid in the water and ignored everything else.   
The lions however caused traffic jams by sitting the shade of the trucks.

We saw about 20 different lions throughout the day. Unfortunately we didn't see any that were hunting. 
We stopped for lunch at this lake. 
Circling the rest stop looking for someone who isn't watching their lunch.

Tony checking out african bee hives.

Lake Manyara

Tony and I did a two day safari in Tanzania before we started our Kilimanjaro climb. The first day was spent at the Lake Manyara Park. Like being guided up Kilimanjaro, having a guide for this was another interesting first after years of driving through national parks on my own. Our guide wasn't to talkative but he was friendly and pretty good at finding animals.

It looked rustic, but there was tin under the grass roof...
Baboons were the first thing we saw and the most fun to watch
Several of the younger ones climbed up on our truck. They seemed to like licking the hood and pushing each other off. 
This one lost his balance scrambling backwards this was just before he did back flip off the edge and caught himself on the bumper by his tail... 

The pop up roof is a great idea for this kind of driving.
The giraffes didn't do much but pose for pictures...  

The first Elephant we saw was behind some trees and not super impressive but near the end of the tour we came on this guy and a whole group including babies out in the open.  
Like moose, elephants think they are the biggest thing on the road
Unlike moose, they actually are... The Land Cruiser suddenly felt a bit small. 

Tony putting his new camera to good use. About half the photos here are his.