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Pole pole

Day 13 - Stonetown, Zanzibar

We left the Tanzania mainland today for Zanzibar which is an island off the coast.  We had to say goodbye to our safari guide which was sad, he was so good, but we're on to warmer pastures.  But first we had to get into another small plane to do that.  Tyler insisted on sitting right behind the pilots so he could see what they were doing (because he feels he could fly the plane) and even offered to copilot it.  They politely declined.  As soon as the pilot spoke I was very suspicious of him, he had a French accent and a name like Jean Claude.  He seemed be sneaky and arrogant.  And my distaste for him was not futile; half way during the flight he had both hands off the steering wheel and was eating a bag of mangos!  I mean, come on.  I can see if you're in a huge plane where the passengers can't see you then fine eat your mango but when we are literally all crammed into a plane and I can basically see up your nostril, then please try to instill some confidence in us and put your mango away.  As soon as we got to Zanzibar the warmth was upon us, to finally break out the sunscreen.  For the next two nights we are staying in stonetown which is the capital city of Zanzibar.  We were brought to our hotel and headed out soon after for a walking tour of the city.  Stone town is a Muslim community and there is a mix of Arab, Indian and Black people here.  Its kinda cool.  The town is like a maze of  narrow streets lined with stone buildings/houses.  It is so much of a maze that the hotel gives you a cellphone to take with you to call them if/when you are lost.  The city looks really run down (like it was probably nice back in the 1800s but they haven't painted since then)  but it actually is a bit pretty, with intricate doors and carvings in unexpected places.  The city is completely walkable and there are kids playing in the little streets and men just sitting hanging out in small squares.   Stone town was the centre of slave trade for Eastern African and so we visited an old slave chamber where they kept the slaves until they were bought and sent away (really awful). Slave trade ended in around 1860.  We also visited a market, and other buildings that had  historical  meaning. Did you know Freddy Mercuri (lead singer of Queen) was born in Zanzibar? Well now you do.  At night we went to the night market which is basically a park along the water with tonnes of different food stalls.  We tried a lobster Zanzibar pizza which was ok (not like our pizza) but Tyler was creeped out because all he could taste was the egg they threw in the middle of it.  We then headed to a restaurant where you sit on the floor to eat and listened to some live music (mix of Indian and African?).   We have already noticed that everything done here is very slow (they say "pole pole" in Swahili which means slowly slowly).   I'm the control freak but surprisingly Tyler is getting annoyed with this pole pole more than me, feels good, lol.  

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Zebra heaven

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Reservations for lunch by the pool

Day 12 - Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Today is our last safari day, we have mixed feelings about this.  We left our camp this morning and headed to the Ngorongoro Crater which used to be a volcanoe which has collapsed and is now a crater.  The animals roam around the floor of the crater.  The landscape was again different, this time there are very little trees and very very short grasses.  Because the grasses are so low we can smell the animal poop and it's not hidden where as it had been in the the other parks.  Today we are on the hunt for our last of the big five - the rare black rhino.  They were mostly killed off by poachers so there are only about 30 in the entire park.  Within an hour we found two!  They were at quite a distance but that's ok, we've seen all we wanted.  We also saw hundreds of flamingos in the water and ate lunch near a lake filled with hippos rolling around (you don't do that very often I must say).  At one point we were surrounded by hundreds of zebras which was pretty cool too.  Our lodge tonight is  on a coffee plantation ...our own little majestic bungalow with real walls, no more tents for us!  The grounds are very green and picturesque.  The safaris get pretty dusty so we're covered with dirt (the bucket water showers didn't quite have enough pressure as you can imagine and I didnt dare wash my hair in it) so we quite enjoyed the nice long hot showers.  I havent really mentioned
 the weather since we've been here.  The days are mostly nice with sun and around 22, but the mornings and nights have been chilly,  like 12 degrees which we were not prepared for and didn't quite pack accordingly.  The nights aren't so bad since Tyler keeps the house that cold in the winter so I guess I'm used to it.   But the mornings are quite cold so every morning at breakfast I eat in my raincoat and Tyler has been wearing the same long sleeved shirt for the past week.   One morning he ate breakfast in a tshirt and we felt that people are probably looking at us thinking "look at those dumb canadians in their tshirts" :(.  We are looking forward to the heat in Zanzibar.  Since this is the end of of safari I thought I'd mention a few things we learned about the various animals.
-Ostriches are very loyal to each other, they are monogamous (only 1 partner) and if the female dies, the male will not hook up with any other ostrich for the rest of his life
-Flamingos are born white but turn pink from the algae they eat 
-Hippos poo by swirling their tails and the poo goes flying, they are also the animal responsible for the most human deaths in Tanzania 
-Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in their neck as humans 
-wildabeast are dumb animals, they don't have very good eyesight so they stick around zebras who have very good eyesight
- warthogs can't really bend there necks to eat grass so they have to bend at the knees
-zebras all have a different pattern of stripe, like a fingerprint

Posted by tanyatyler 22:05 Archived in Tanzania Comments (1)

Masai village (I tried to post the video but it didn't work,

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Lion day at the zoo

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