Pole Pole, Enjoy Enjoy, Hakuna Matata
After 2 years of anticipation, finally back to Tanzania! Hanneke and Rob 17 days on safari and our sons Luc and Eric will climb Kili and then join us to explore the Southern Parks of Ruaha and Selous.
Kilimanjaro (Luc & Eric)
On the first day an extensive briefing by the guides and check of the equipment. Picked up at 9am the next day. A team of 11 guides, porters, and cook accompanied the boys on the Lemosho route. The first half hour Eric thought, what have we started and I should have trained more, but they soon got into the right pole-pole rhythm, which is very manageable. The most important thing for them was enjoy enjoy enjoy according to the excellent guides Paul and Valence.
On day 3 Eric got some problems with altitude sickness but with Diamox it went better after 2 days.
The ascent went well and therefore it was decided to walk straight from Barranco camp to Barafu camp, Karanga camp was skipped.
From Barafu the start was in the dark at 5.00 am and at 10.30 am Luc and Eric were on the rim of the crater (Stella Point). Half an hour later at 11 am on Uhuru peak, the top of Kili. After the top moment and taking the pictures the descent to Barafu camp where they arrived tired, dirty and satisfied at 3 pm. The next day further down to the Mweka gate where the diplomas were awarded followed by an overnight stay in a hotel near Arusha. It was a wonderful experience and Luc and Eric thoroughly enjoyed it. They can share their experience with Rob who made it to the top in 2007 via the Machame route, but took much longer.
First part Safari (Hanneke en Rob)
After a happy reunion with our guide Joseph, who also accompanied us on safari in 2015, to the first park, Tarangire. We stayed 3 nights in the Tarangire Safari Lodge with the most beautiful view. Beyond our tent (tent 22) are 2 swing benches with a view of the river, where you can spot animals that come to drink. It was again enjoying the impalas, wildebeest, giraffes, zebras, waterbucks, dikdiks, elands and a lot of elephants. During the safari in Tarangire we saw more than 200 elephants. We also saw lions in a tree.
Continue to Lake Manyara Green Camp. In the evening dinner with lions and elephants in the riverbed. Unfortunately, the flamingos and pelicans had left for Lake Natron because the heavy rainfall of recent years had flooded the lake and they were unable to find enough food. We also helped a guide with a leaking fuel line in his land cruiser, which Joseph repaired with our sports tape and a twig. Again, fully enjoyed the many animals and Joseph’s knowledge.
From our mud house we have a view of Mount Kili, where Luc and Eric are walking around somewhere. We enjoy the sunrise; the sun rise and set is all that goes fast in Tanzania, otherwise pole pole. Delicious.
A very special experience is staying with the Maasai. We learn from the culture, go spear throwing and do a walking safari where we came face to face with fighting giraffes.
Even the view from the toilet is fantastic; zebras walk right past your hut. On Monday evening, July 18, we receive a text message from Luc that they both made it to the top. Happy.
Second part Safari (Hanneke, Rob, Luc en Eric)
On Wednesday we meet in Arusha, we exchange our adventures, repack the luggage and go to bed in time for a domestic flight to Ruaha the next morning. Flying within Tanzania is always an experience, but you always arrive at the destination with your luggage.
We flew directly to Ruaha with the 4 of us in a 12 seater plane. Our guides Jonas and Ayoubo from Mdonya Old River Camp are already waiting for us at the airstrip. It is a nice large non-touristy park with various beautiful landscapes and of course a lot of animals. We have spotted about 60 of the 573 species of birds found here. From the open land cruiser we see a lot of elephants, lions, giraffes, impalas, kudus, baboons, a jackal and twice a leopard in a tree. Off-road also followed a pride of lions. After this great stay in Ruaha, on to Selous with another plane. Our guide Kenneth was already waiting and took us to the Rufiji river with the land cruiser. There we boarded a boat that took us to Selous Wilderness camp which is located on an island in the river just outside the park. We drop our luggage, throw a splash of water in our faces and immediately go on a boat safari. We see crocodiles, hippos and kingfishers and moor on a beach where we enjoy the setting sun while enjoying beer, wine and popcorn.
Early the next morning on a safari in the park. You imagine yourself alone in this park that is larger than the whole of the Netherlands. Selous has a lot of water in the river and in lakes and is therefore very different in nature from the other parks. Also seen many animals here and enjoyed the variety of landscapes. On the second day we did ‘hide and seek’ with the wild dogs. We didn’t find them in this immense park but that gives us a reason to return. Kenneth did find a hyena hiding under a palm tree and we saw a large herd of elephants in the palm tree forest, very young giraffes in a kind of ‘kindergarten’ but without the attentive teacher. Also really enjoy.
The last day of our stay we got up early for a walking safari with nature guide Didi. He told beautiful appealing stories in a humorous way. It was worth getting out of bed at 5:30 am for this. We then enjoyed our breakfast, poolside stay and one last lunch. Around 2 pm we were picked up by Hussain, who took us safely by car to Dar es Salaam in about 4 hours. Arrival at 7 pm. Just in time for the plane home.
Conclusion of this beautiful adventure: Very knowledgeable and friendly guides in all parks, good accommodations, excellent food that tasted very good, friendly people, enjoyed the silence, only animal sounds both during the day and at night and the beautiful starry sky and Milky Way. Luc and Eric have reached the top of the Kili.
Tulikuwa na wakati mzuri sana.
Hanneke, Rob Luc and Eric Hanssen
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