Mto wa Mbu, Tanzania

Trip Start Jun 05, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Flag of Tanzania  , Arusha,
Thursday, June 14, 2012

     Happy 4th anniversary!  We heard hyenas and wildebeests in the night.  The wildbeests were so loud that they woke me up at 4:30. There were some stars out, and it was pretty cool to be out of the tent at 4:30 in the morning, listening to the animals while looking at the stars, on our anniversary.  We got up at 6:45 and started taking down camp.  We then ate a breakfast of toast, eggs, cereal and packed our lunch, did the dishes and loaded up for our last game drive in the Serengeti.  We saw a bachelor herd of impala, some topi, then three giraffes really close to the road.  Victor said their tongues are 45 cm long and they are antiseptic (they heal themselves).  We saw a leopard up in a tree but really only its tail was visible.  Then we saw four elephants and saw the rock fig tree which grow up and out of the kopje.  Then more elephants including one that had a tusk missing.  Then we were lucky enough to see the mother cheetah with her three babies again except this time standing in the plains.  Three vehicles had  illegally gone off road to get a better picture of the cheetahs. Victor said it is not legal and there are fines or even driving bans that can be given.  We saw a couple more lions, then when we were on the exit road we saw a serval.  We tried to get a picture but it was pouncing along so a photo was not an option. 
     We had a break at the checkpoint, walked the trail then headed for the gate where the park technically starts.  We tried to find a geocache at the gate but there were too many spots to look and there was not enough time.  Then I took a nap for awhile.  We saw Maasai people dancing for a couple of tourist jeeps that had stopped to watch them.  Then we saw a martial eagle which is the biggest eagle here.  It had something in its talons but it was hard to get a good picture.  We stopped at a neat little picnic area for lunch.  I had a peanut butter sandwich, pineapple, and banana.  The toilets were basically holes in the ground but it worked.  We made a quick stop at the crater check-out station then headed back towards Mto wa Mbu.  We stopped at the Shirt Shack.  We found the geocache and got a shirt for Charlotte, and one for Tim that says "Endangered Feces".  We got back to camp and our tents were set up for us.  We gathered things to trade and took them to the Maasai Market.  We had about a 15 minute walk and got there.  We started having people ask if we wanted to trade.  I really think we didn't get good deals on our trades.  One trade was the suitcase and 4 shirts for an elephant painting and a giraffe mask.  Then we traded three shirts and a pair of shorts for a little rhino.  Then a few shirts and about 2000 shillings and I got an Africa necklace.  Then we got 10 necklaces for 8000 shillings.  At that point we were done at the market but I wanted to try red bananas.  It was 2000 for a whole bunch but I only wanted to try so we offered 1000 for half the bunch (less than $1). We ate one and Miles gave the rest away to little kids.  We took our stuff back, then headed off to the other side of the road to get things that we made deals for a few days ago before we went to the Serengeti.  We got two paintings and paid 51,000 shillings and a piece of fabric from another shop for 26,000 shillings.  We went back to camp and showered and washed our chothes.  Then it was starting to get dark so I passed out some glow sticks that I had brought along.  I think that everyone got a kick out of them.  Victor connected 3 together to make a necklace.  Then we had vegetarian dinner of beans, peas, potatoes, and fritters with pancake batter, green peppers, and onions.  Then when we were done with dinner Kioko brought out a mambo cake for our anniversary.  The started singing a love song in Swahili. It was a song about a lady being like an angel but the guy couldn't afford the dowery.  They sang and clapped, and it was an amazing suprise.  They had to cook it over charcoal, so it certainly took some effort.  We posed for pictures with our glow sticks on including a slow exposure where we all did something different with our arms.  Then we did the dishes and went to use the internet.  Pictures loaded slow but at least we got a few loaded.
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Mom on

Happy 4th Anniversary! So cool that the cooks made you a cake and sang to you! Awesome! Glad you got to have another couple of hours in the Serengeti. This will be an anniversary you will never forget!

Sounds like Miles could have left the market naked. lol! Bet it was hard to get them to understand that he NEEDED his stuff! ;-)

Can't wait til you have internet, again! Thank you so much for taking time to update us and post all of these wonderful details! Love hearing about it!

Enjoy your anniversary!!!! Love you.....wishing you both many, many happy and blessed years together. Thank you for being such wonderful/amazing kids!

Matt on

Happy Anniversary! Miles should have donated everything he had on him. EVERYTHING! that way people could have needed items. I mean, everyone in the desert needs a watch that submerges 500 yards underwater! :-P Glad you guys had a good day!

Becky Schaefer on

Happy Anniversary!!!

It is unreal that you are getting to experience this stuff in person.

Miles should have TOTALLY traded his clothes for African clothes.

Renee Howell on

Your trip sounds amazing so far! Hope it's everything you wished it to be :) Happy Anniversary - looking forward to hearing about your trip in person!

Julie Stucky on

Happy Anniversary! I couldn't imagine a more impressive place for you to celebrate it. I second your mom's post. It is very thoughtful of you to take the time to share your travels and update us (and let us know you are safe). My heart beats a little faster when I read your posts, they are so interesting and exciting.

dad on

hey where r u guys stopped at ur house to borrow sum beer and noone was home when u come home can u bring us a monkey or a jackal or maybe a yummy goat love ur pics and stories took us a long time to get dialed in on ur blog but now we r good have fun and be safe and give ur bro matts idea sum thought u know giving miles stuff away it would be good for usforeign relations love u both bunches xoxoxo dad

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