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Monday 23 Feb 2009
Lake Manyara, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro summit climb? Check! Next?

OK a really quick entry here as I've ten mins before I head off on a 4 day safari.

I got back from Kili climb yesterday... HARDEST. THING. I'VE. DONE. EVER!

I made it to the summit.. after some pretty damn exhausting moments .. I'll write it all up when I get back from safari in 4 days.

Later!

...the following has been written post-trip...

With nary one night to rest my weary soul, I dragged myself out of bed for yet another early start (and ANOTHER 4 more days sleeping in tents.. GAH!) as I began my 4-day safari adventure.

Thankfully it was the heavily armoured jeep that would be doing all the work, from here on out, there was no more walking or worries for me baby! (or so I thought)

I'd managed to arrange a safari also through Paul Shayo, as he had given me a good price of $170/day assuming he could get a group organised. After I got off the mountain, it transpired that he DID manage to get a group, a couple from Estonia, but that they would be joining me on the 2nd day. This meant that I had the entire Jeep to myself for the first day, which proved to be a bonus as I reckoned

that on the first day we visited a location with the best wildlife (in my experience): Lake Manyara, and I had the whole jeep to move around in (the roof of the jeep also came off - rather than just lifting up slightly - which was beneficial for me as it allowed me to stand up straight while taking photos)

The drive to Lake Manyara from Moshi took about 3 hours, but then we got 4 hours to explore the park itself. At first there were very few animals around the place, save for a few curious baboons, but it was after about an hour that we started seeing some real gems like giraffes, zebra and best of all, we got up close and personal with huge families of elephants!

Being spring, there were plenty of babies about, be it baboons, zebra or elephants. The latter in particular were really cute (and very intelligent). But also rather jumpy as they were wary of you getting too close to their young (Simon, the driver, would often have his finger on the ignition ready to zoom off at the first sign of an elephant flaring its ears as a sign that it might charge). They'd have no bother flipping over the jeep.

One of the best moments was when a huge (and frisky) male that stood easily over 10ft tall emerged out of the bushes to the left of our jeep and crossed right in front of us to check out the females on the other side (check the picture on the left and right). We were literally about 5m away from this huge wild beast, but they are amazingly tranquil and intelligent animals and you felt almost honoured to be in their presence. You really got the feeling they were watching you, as opposed to the other way round.

It was a great first day on safari and I was glad I had purchased an 8GB flash card for my camera prior to coming here. I was going to need every little bit of it.

We picked up our cook for the next 3 days on the way to the camp site. Dinner was nothing particularly amazing that night (maybe because I was alone), but on the following nights he served up some real gems such as homemade lasagne etc.

(I was to later find out from a Canadian guy I met that he had had exactly the same food each night that we had, so I'm guessing the cooks share food amongst each other's guests)

Incidentally, as we drove through various towns between the national parks, one sight is unavoidable everywhere you look: mobile phone advertising! Evidently mobile phones have taken off hugely in TZ, and even the odd Maasai warrior can be seen toting the latest Nokia under his robe. The second I exited the arrivals terminal in Dar, even before a taxi driver approached me, I was greeted by a mobile phone salesman from a company called Zain who wanted to know if I wanted a SIM card (might have been a good idea to get one as I found I was constantly having to ask other people if I could borrow theirs - for a hefty price. You can get a SIM here for a few dollars btw!).

It seemed (and probably is the case) that EVERY advertising billboard was hired by a mobile phone operator. Each town entrance would be preceded by about 10 Zain (or similar) advertising stands! Even entire shop fronts would be painted in the brash purple of Zain or the red of Vodacom. Found that quite amusing Laughing

2 Comments for this Travel blog entry

Gretta Says:

23 February 2009

Well done and thank God you down safely - hope no breakages? You must feel fantastic sense of achievement Peter. Enjoy the Safari trip-and use that camera to the fullest. Looking forward to all the news.
Niamh will be in tz this Thursday. Mum,Dad,Gary

Bro Says:

24 February 2009

Hi P, great job on making it to the summit, must have been spectacular if not a little exhausting? Re safari, keep yer feet inside the jeep at all times, and under no circumstances should sleepwalking be attempted! Gx

I bless the rains down in Africa

Travel blog by peterforan

Day 3  ... Lookin forward to Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro

Day 3 ... Lookin forward to Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro


With Toto's defining tune ringing in my head, I don khaki pants and venture full-throttle into Africa! Elephants, lions, huge mountains, men with spears intent on stabbing me (probably) and the "Cradle of Humanity" (tm)... 4 weeks ain't gonna be enough!

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