Dolphin Safari, Colobus Monkeys and Sea Turtles

Trip Start Dec 29, 2009
Trip End Jun 18, 2010

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Flag of Tanzania  , Zanzibar Archipelago,
Saturday, January 23, 2010

At 7am we left Paje for a minivan ride south to Mtende, the Zanzibari village reknown for the numerous pods of bottleneck and humpback dolphins that live and frollick in its offshore waters.  There we boarded an outboard motorboat (arranged by Ibrihim), donned masks, fins and snorkels, and headed out to find and hopefully swim with the dolphins.  Within minutes the crew located several large pods of dolphins and, after positioning the boat ahead of their trajectory, told us all to "Jump in and swim!"  We did so (William wearing a snorkel for the first time in the open sea), and were rewarded with a closeup view of the muscular yet elegant dolphins swimming directly beneath and around us.  Over the course of the morning we did this a dozen times, then went out to a small reef to do some more snorkeling.  After a quick breakfast of eggs, japattis and marmelade, we drove north to the Jozani Forest, a nature reserve home to the red haired colobus monkey, an endangered species found only on Zanzibar.  Our journey into the forast was soon rewarded by stumbling into several extended families of the monkeys feeding, playing and generally hanging out in the trees just above us.  Finally, what excusion would not be complete without sea turtles? At another nearby nature preserve, the kids and parents were treated to the opportunity to befriend, pet and feed seaweed to a group of large and small sea turtles.  The experience reminded Cristina and Bill of their swimming with sea turtles in the Galapagos Islands many years before.  Back at our Paje home base, we swam in
the Indian Ocean and the Cristal Resort swimming pool, before  retiring to a dinner of grilled octopus, fish and giant crabs, then to bed.
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