Tanzanian adventure!

Trip Start Apr 24, 2007
Trip End Nov 16, 2008

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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Leave your preconceptions at the door

We all do this. Before even setting foot in a foreign country we already have an idea of what to expect. It's our way to pre-acclimatize to our new environent. So when I say Africa what comes to mind? The Serengeti, the wild, an untamed land. It's a pretty accurate view when you consider all the national parks in Tanzania. Now when I say Arusha, the focal point of all Kilimanjaro, Meru and Safari expeditions what comes to mind? A Tourist town, filled with bars and a huge array of foreigners drinking and dancing the night away? Ooooh same image in my mind and not even close to the mark! :)

Arrived at my hotel, the taxi driver reminds me "Don't walk at night ask for a cab". Lol, silly drivers- always trying to get some money.  I answer back with a nice carefree smile. The driver seemed a bit surprised by my reaction and continued " No seriously you can easily get killed at night- ask for cab." Ooooh.. carefree smile gone, this place is not exactly what I saw in the brochure! Well, I check in, procure myself a map, then swallowed all my valuables in a clear plastic bag and set off for downtown :)
This place is sadly very poor... Money might be coming into this town but it clearly doesn't stay here long. Most houses do not even have a kitchen or running water. Nevertheless I enjoy my walks around the town for the next few days and found that people are very friendly. Not too long after this I found a company willing to bring me on a 6 day safari.  So I joined a German couple for the adventure, and we were off the next day!

What an incredible experience this turned out to be. Truth be told I had no intention at first of booking a safari tour. But not being able to sit and relax for more than a day, I figured: save your sanity, spend your money and go on a safari!  During our 6 day trip we visited four national parks: The Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and the Serengeti. By far the best parks are the crater and the serengeti. We saw the big 5 and so much more. I saw monkeys, giraffes, lions, hippos, rhinoceressos, elephants, water buffalos and even a white leopard. And let me tell you, although you would think being white wouldn't hide you very well, it took a long time to spot that animal ! :)
We were even "fortunate" (and I use the term loosely) to see on two separate occasions a lion hunt and "capture" a zebra. After witnessing the cunning and brutallity you realize "My cat does the exact same thing when hunting.. If he was bigger he probably would try and eat me!" You never look at your domestic pets the same way again!. The 6 days went by too fast and before you could say "Hakuna Matata", we returned to Arusha so I can meet the group I will be joining to head for the summit of Kilimanjaro.. Game on!

Jonathan, Nice kitty... don't eat me..., Tessier 
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