A Travellerspoint blog

African adventure ending

Here we are at the end of our African adventure and what a wonderful trip it was.  We've seen beautiful scenery and vast inequality  in Capetown, with great food, music and wine.  We saw the big five and many more wondrous creatures and landscape on our safari in Tanzania, along with some (scary) but exciting camping experiences and tribal villages.  We swam the crystal clear waters with sharks and sea turtles and sting rays of Zanzibar and got lost in the maze of Stonetown.  We were met by welcome people and  maybe a few angry lions.  We are not blind to the fact that we are extremely fortunate that we were able to do this and will forever be grateful and we appreciated every second of it.    You might ask, what will you do after your african vacation?  Well we're going to go to Disneyland!  No seriously, we really are.  Its taking us five flights and 36 hours of travel to get there, but we'll soon join a Grieci family vacation (and I'm trying to convince Tyler to visit animal kingdom).  Thanks for following everyone!  I've compiled some tid bits below

Swahili words we have learned (and Tyler has mostly used and developed an accent for as well)
Jambo - hello
Assante - Thank you
Karibu - welcome
Pole pole - slowly slowly 
Hakuna matata - no worries (ok we already knew that one but they really
do say it all the time)
Sawa Sawa - ok ok
Twende - Go
Simba - Lion
Lalasallama - Goodnight

Favourite animal
Tyler's - Baboon
Tanya's - Flamingo

Animal Tyler is most similar too - hyena (for the loud laugh) vs cheetah (skinnh, speed and strength )

Animal Tanya is most similar too - rhino (Tyler says because I am rare)

Scariest moment - Lion's outside our tent

Worst meal - unknown meat lard sandwiches

Posted by tanyatyler 08:07 Comments (0)

5 second man

Day 11 - Serengeti, Tanzania

We are in the Serengeti again today.  Today was lions day at the zoo!  We saw so many of them - we actually saw more lions than giraffes.  On the first day of the safari we were happy to see a lion that was like a mile in the distance but that doesnt do it for us these days.  Today we saw both male and female lions up close and personal- beside the truck, behind the truck, chilling under trees a meter away anddddd mating...literally right in front of us.  I'm trying to come up with a way to describe the mating to keep this entry PG.  So lions mate approx 2 times for 1 week at a time.  They mate every 15 minutes for the first 4 days, then the male gets really tired and it slows down to evey 45 minutes.   So the female lion approached the male lion, and umm the male lion mounts the female, roars, bites her face and it's over.  Seriously, it lasted 5 seconds.  If you blinked you missed it.  Tyler took a picture and then tried to take a video but by the time he switched to video  
it was over.  But he says "don't worry I still have a sweet picture of the two pump hump."  The lion is king of the jungle  but apparently lacking in other areas, as in he has a teeny weenie.  And to compensate for this, right when they are done the female rolled onto her back to help the swimmers get to where they need to be.  It was both weird and funny to see.  In the middle of the Serengeti there is a tourist centre which describes the great migration.  We just missed the wildabeast in their trek to Kenya (apparently they left the area yesterday) and so instead we took an awesome little tour (sarcastic)  they had set up, with a tour guide who smelled and whom we are not sure what language he was speaking.  There was also another animal around this area that was all over the place - the Hyrax - which is seriously a huge mouse..so gross.   We ended the day with a good find.  We found a leopard in a tree with his recent kill. He killed a gazelle and hung it up (in pieces) on the tree branches.  A bit disturbing but hey, it's the circle of life (sung to the song).  Is it bad that I'm comparing everything to the Lion King?  We ended the night with a nice campfire and some more yummy food.  Tomorrow is our last safari day and we still have to see the rhino! wish us luck. 

Posted by tanyatyler 08:07 Archived in Tanzania Comments (2)

Lions, leopards and Masai... Oh my

Day 10 - Serengeti, Tanzania

We had another great sleep last night!  Today we headed off to the Serengeti!  It took about 5.5 hours but we had some great stops in between.  Our first stop was to a Masai Village, in the middle of nowhere.  Ok so this was incredible; picture an African village from like the National Geographic and that's what it was.  The tribe people were wearing colourful robes, with tonnes of beaded jewelery, massive earrings making huge holes in their ears and holding long sticks.  They did a tribal dance for us and then showed us around the village.  The village has huts in a circle...maybe around 30 of them. Real huts, made of cow dung and hay with the area in the centre to keep the cows at night.  We went inside one and they were very small, approx 4 metres in diameter, and you had to crouch.  There were literally dirt for floors, straw walls, cow hyde for beds, I can't even describe how out of this world it was.  As we sat in there I was wondering what sort of disease I could be breathing (TB maybe?) The Masai people choose to live this way far from the towns; there is one chief who can have like 25 wives (and lots of kids).  The boys get circumcised at approx 15 years of age and then have to live away from the village for 3 months to learn how to be warriors.  You can see them walking around with black robes and there faces painted white...its really creepyand basically  you can see the rest of the young boys walk with the cows all day.  We saw the school which was also made of straw with the little kids and tiny little chalkboard tablets to write on, one boy counted to 15 for us..so cute I have this and their dance on video. They basically ask for donations by buying some of their bead necklaces  in response for them letting  us to come to their village.  So yes Tyler and I did walk away with some bling that we will never probably wear again but we're ok with that because we were told they use the money very responsibly (to get a water truck to bring them water and fix the straw school).  Our next stop was to a gorge which is an archaeological site where they found the skulls of humans from millions of years ago.  The skulls show the progression from ape to human spanning millions of years, pretty cool. Tanzania is thought to be the birthplace of the human, so technically we're all from here!  The 5.5 hour drive was incredily bumpy, now I know why the guide books say to bring a sports bra.   We then made our way to the Serengeti and although we got there in the late afternoon we were not disappointed!  First off, our lunch box  not only had a piece of chicken, but also a vegetable samosa!  Again the landscape is so different compared to the other two.  It is flat plains, long grasses with very little trees (kind of like the praries) which makes it easier to find the animals !  The Serengeti is 14000 sq km and has over 2 million animals.   We saw our first male lion and a leopard really close up (number 4 of the big five), its spots are beautiful.  We also saw a female lion walking right past our jeep with 5 cubs following.  When Tyler made a kissing sound the cubs laid down so we got some good shots!  As for other new animals, we ended the day with seeing crocodiles, gazelles, a jackal and the ugly hyenas.  Our camp tonight is literally in the middle of the Serengeti.  We have a very big tent with a king sized bed and the bathroom amenities are very interesting.  The sink is attached to a bucket, so all your water goes into the bucket.  If you want to take a hot shower, you have to tell the workers 10 minutes before and they heat up the water and come to your tent, pour it into a bucket that is attached to your shower head and there you go, you have a shower. I know it sounds bad, but it's kinda cool how they can do this, not to mention dinner was delicious too! At every other lodge the safari guides are ushered into another area but here they eat with you which is nice. We really like our tour guide, his name is Hassim and he has been doing this for 17 years so he knows the parks like the back of his hand, knows all about animals and drives the jeep like crazy.   During our walk back to our tent after dinner we spotted some hyenas, so I have a feeling it'll be a sleepless night.

Posted by tanyatyler 07:53 Archived in Tanzania Comments (2)

Lunch Box Surprise

Day 9 Lake Manyara, Tanzania

Last night was a good night, we only heard one roar and that's it...we slept well.  We left this am for Lake Manyara which is basically another park (park makes it sound small but it's huge mass of land).  In only one hour drive the landscape changed pretty drastically.  We are now in more of a jungle type surrounding, tall trees everywhere.  It's a nice change of scenery but it's also harder to find the animals in all the trees.  Our new animals today were flamingos, hippos and blue monkeys.  The good thing about the trees is that tonnes of monkeys play in them which is fun to watch.  There can be long periods of time though with no animal sightings so I've come up with some games.  I am trying to assign animals to people we know; we are working on family members first and we'll see how far we'll get.  Tyler was reluctant at first but he is starting to participate.  One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the food on the safari.  The breakfasts and dinners are great, lots of curries or other options, no complaints.  But since your gone for the whole day, the lodge you are staying with the night prior/morning packs you a "lunch box".  Its exciting to open the box and see whats inside.  The first day we got here was great, there were fried breaded pieces of chicken, an eggplant sandwich, a banana, an apple, a cupcake and a full sized mars bar! (also comes with a drink box).  Well for the last two days we had awful lunch boxes ( both from the same camp).  There has been two small sandwiches - one with soggy lettuce and a crusty half melted piece of cheese and one with a meat pattie (we're not even sure what type of meat it is).  It sits in the car all day so the meat pattie is gross; I had to wipe lard off it which was a pinkish tinge.  So gross.  We had it yesterday  and hoped that they would mix it up for today but they did not.  At the picnic area I eyed everyone else eating their chicken breasts...I felt like I was in survivor and just lost the challenge.  I thought we dodged yesterday by not getting sick but now we'll have to see what tonight brings!  We have no choice to eat it, its not like theres a McDonalds (or even better KFC) around the corner.  It's a never ending adventure.  Our new camp for tonight is really nice, it's a tent raised on a platform and there are no animals around.  Night night everyone.

Posted by tanyatyler 07:45 Archived in Tanzania Comments (2)



Posted by tanyatyler 10:36 Comments (1)

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