Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tanzania Part 1: Dar es Salaam, Arusha, and Lake Manyara

Besides the fact that things started off a bit hectic in Tanzania, I had a good time during our 4-day safari.

Hello country #21

For those who know me, I'm fairly I naturally keep an itinerary for each country we visit on my phone so it's easily accessible. Anyway, we arrived in Dar es Salaam on October 30 and after the luggage fiasco, I was really looking forward to not worrying or thinking much since most of our time in Tanzania was pre-booked.

Going to the other side of the tracks to our motel in Dar es Salaam

We stayed one night in Dar at a motel close to the airport so that we could catch our flight to Kilimanjaro the next day. Why didn't we just fly direct to Kilimanjaro from Kigali you ask? I don't know- we asked the same thing when we realized the flight we were on was actually bound for Kili - through Dar Es Salaam! I think we have just been traveling too long- airports and fights and tours are all getting jumbled together despite my constant desire to be organized and on top of everything.

On October 31 we requested a pick-up time of 11am for our 12:30pm flight to Kilimanjaro. Except I realize just as we are pulling up to the airport that our flight was actually at 10:30am. Yup, I'm not kidding. I had the wrong flight information in my trusty notes on my phone.

Why didn't I double check our flight time? I don't know - I usually do... I usually have our itinerary printed out but the last few places I didn't ask about printing and I figured I had it on my phone. Why waste more paper and why should I be so anal?  Anyway, now I know why. So apparently when we were organizing this trip (we were in India at the time), the tour company we were working with gave us the 12:30pm flight info. Which I diligently copied and pasted into our Tanzania itinerary. But, what I failed to do and what our tour company failed to mention was that she booked a different flight. She did however send the final itinerary but I just filed it away, thinking it was our backup info. I didn't actually read the email. Big mistake.

Thus began our amazing race adventure to 1) find a phone to call our tour company to tell them we missed our flight, 2) get a flight to Kilimanjaro - preferably the 12:30pm flight and 3) try not to spend too much money doing 1 and 2. We ended up getting tickets on the 12:30 flight and I also found a couple people to help me make phone calls - one for free - another for 1000 shillings. We ended up paying about $135 per ticket (ouch) - especially when our original tickets were $35 each.  I was so mad - so upset at myself for not double checking like usual- but we made it and I guess statistically, with the number of flights we have been on since January 19 (59 flights) we were bound to lose our luggage and miss a flight. I just wish they hadn't happened consecutively.

Kilimanjaro International Airport

So- onto the fun things we did...we saw lots of animals, amazing scenery, and a village visit of a Maasai tribe that the pictures don't really capture...but I did my best - check them out.

On November 1, we drove from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park to see the first of many animals. 

Before starting our long drive, we stopped at a supermarket - look how excited Paul is!


We would see Masai tribesmen walking around throughout our drive

As well as plenty of cows

We stopped off at the Masai Central Market for a look around


Red bananas!

Locals walking around, balancing all sorts of stuff on their heads

Paul is super excited about seeing animals

The first animals we see at Lake Manyara National Park are baboons

Tons of them - our driver/guide told us that there are about 250,000 baboons at Lake Manyara!

Elephants were a plenty

There are about 200 elephants at the park

We got pretty close to them

Reminded us of Snuffleupagus

Just eating

This one wasn't happy with us/the Land Rover

Another baboon

A gang of them!

They were all just hanging out here

Looking for more animals


Impalas are equivalent to fast food for lions...

Trying to hide from us

20 inch blades on the Impala...

Yes, more baboons!

Family of baboons

First giraffe sighting


What you'd imagine you would see on a safari

A dazzle of zebras

A flock of flamigos

A dead buffalo

Vultures and flamingos

Lake Manyara

Beautiful scenery

Giraffes and wildebeest

The giraffes look so tiny from far away


Lonely giraffe

Black faced monkey with a baby

Cheeky monkey

I heart warthogs

Birds hanging out on buffalos

Crown cranes

Hello, Pumba!

I love their mullets and how they eat on their front legs

Look at them! They are ugly in a cute sort of way.

Running away from me

It's like a scene from Bambi


More monkeys

Mama and baby monkey

Baby's looking at me

Silvery-cheeked hornbill

It's Zazu!

Rafiki and Zazu...

Another silvery-cheeked hornbill

Another close shot of a baboon

Zazu looking at me

Profile shot

It looks like this baboon got into a fight and lost his nose

Baby baboon is looking for milk

Family portrait

Blue monkey

Driving to our hotel

Pretty colors

More scenic landscapes

Mrs. Obama Gift Shop and Hilary Clinton Shop


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