GRADE 7 TANZANIA TRIP 2013
Introduction To get ready for the Grade 7 Tanzania Trip 2013, each student had to pay a thousand rials for all the expenses. Together our grade raised four thousand dollars (one thousand five hundred and forty Omani rials) which is a lot of money. We earned all of this money by using different methods to get it. We had many sales including an ice lolly sale, pizza sale and a Tanzanian necklace sale. We sold more than one thousand three hundred ice lollies and more than sixty boxes of pizza from Papa John and Pizza Inn. Using this money Mr. Emery and Mr. Devine bought lots of books for the Maasai children at the Tanzanian school in Loibor Sirret. All of us had to make a documentary about Tanzania and also we had to keep a journal of each day.
They also collected some sports equipment that the children of the school could use. We all learned a bit of Swahili from our Tanzania book. The teachers gave us all of these sheets so that we could practice our Swahili to speak to all the children and people that we met. We also researched a lot about the country. We learnt about Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Loibor Sirret (Maasai Steppe), Tarangire Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvi Gorge (Oldupi Gorge) and Serengeti National Park. After learning a lot of facts we got ready to go to Tanzania.
Most people had to get their Yellow Fever Card before they left. They left with the teachers to a clinic to get their Yellow Fever vaccination. This vaccination would prevent the person from getting Yellow Fever which is a disease. Many people had to get Malaria pills which would help prevent the person from getting Malaria. There were three types of malaria medication called Malarone, Doxycycline and Metholquin. Each student has to take a malaria pill every night but it can change in some cases like Metholquin which you take only once a week. Even after the trip students have to take the malaria medication in case it has entered their body accidently.
We landed at Arusha. We drove from Arusha to Loibor Sirret. We spent three days there and at the school. We helped them build a toilet. We then drove from Loibor Sirret to Tarangire. We spent the day going on safari at Tarangire National Park.
Day 7: Monday, June 3rd 2013 All of us woke up from a nice sleep at Tarangire National Park. Today was the long drive from Tarangire to Ngorongoro Crater. We all went outside our tents and just chilled by the fire for a bit, while enjoying the daylight of a new day. Soon we had breakfast which was the usual. Scrambled eggs, cinnamon bread, toast and beef sausages. After breakfast all of us had to pack up our belongings (clothes, sleeping bag, mat, etc.) so that the camp helpers and guides could load the bags into the trucks. After everyone had packed their big bag we had to get our daypack ready with our cameras, sunscreen, hat and anything else the campers needed for the long ride ahead of them.
Some people had full memory cards, and that is not surprising after six days. They gave their memory cards to Mr. Emery so that he could upload the pictures to his laptop. This way there would be space on the memory cards so that people could take more pictures. The main job of the morning was to break down our tents and pack them up. This was an easy process by now because all of us had enough experience with breaking down a tent and putting up one. After everyone had broken down their tent and stuffed them into the tent bags, they got loaded up into the trucks.
Everyone had their chance to use the bathroom since we would have very few bathroom breaks on the way to Ngorongoro. All of us also filled our water bottles so that we would not get dehydrated on the journey. All of us then piled into the trucks and jeeps. Mika and Simon said the word, twende to the drivers and then we were of on our journey to the crater. The teachers had told us that today was the day where we could go souvenir shopping. Many people had already picked up small statues, necklaces, bracelets, Tanzanian football t-shirts and much more. But this was the place where we could get authentic Tanzanian things. Everyone was really pumped and excited to get going.
Everyone knew that the drive would take eight to nine hours. Most people passed the time by taking pictures, talking to each other or sleeping. We saw many animals on the way like giraffes, zebras, wilder beasts, baboons, etc. our guides gave us a lot of facts that we soaked in. All of us were super interested in all these facts because they were so extraordinary. Most people memorized the facts about animalâ€™s penises, especially the elephantâ€™s. After a long and very successful drive seeing wildlife, we reached the Ngorongoro Crater gate.
All of our food and snacks had to be inside our bags including gum because baboons would jump into the truck and steal the food for themselves. There was this tiny visitorâ€™s centre. Inside it had facts about all the animals inside the crater. It also had this small shop where you could buy drinks, snacks and souvenirs. Many people bought these snacks which mostly included Pringles and chocolate. There was also this amazing model of the Ngorongoro Crater which was really impressive.
After everyone had bought what they wanted and had used the bathroom, we set of again, this time inside Ngorongoro crater. We were
driving on the rim of the crater. It got very cold as we were reaching our camp. The crater itself was twenty-nine kilometres long according to Mika. We finally reached our camp after forty minutes. Our camp was a public campsite and it was very cold because we were at a very high altitude. As soon as we reached everyone put up their tents and unpacked their back to wear layers. Everyone wore tracksuit pants and jackets.
The teachers had told us to remove all toiletries, food and anything else that smells or tastes good and to put them in a separate bag that would go inside the jeeps. This is because animals at night would come and smell toothpaste or deodorant. They would think this is food and rip apart the tent so that they could get it. This is very dangerous for the campers as the animal could be a buffalo. If any person tried to come in the animalâ€™s way then they would be seriously injured. That is why we took the precaution and removed all of the food and things from our tent.
Soon it became dark and then it was time for dinner. The warmth of the camp fire was very welcoming. Dinner was just spaghetti and meat sauce. After everyone had dinner it was time for everyone to take their medication (malaria pills). We even got a treat from the teachers who
gave us fizzy drinks like Sprite, Coca Cola and Fanta. Soon people started getting tired and headed for bed. Bed time is usually nine to ten oâ€™clock. Then everyone went to their tents, used the bathroom and fell asleep. Everyone was probably dreaming about the wonderful day we had had and about the amazing day we would have tomorrow.
Day 8: Tuesday, June 4th 2013 Everyone knew that today was going to be one of the best days of the trip so far. The night was very cold so everyone was wearing different layers of clothing since the morning was very cold too. Everyone had breakfast which was scrambled eggs, beef bacon, toast and cinnamon rolls. After everyone finished eating breakfast the teachers called us over for a small meeting. They announced that we would be split into six different groups. Four of the groups would have teachers. All the groups would have an instructor and a driver. These groups were the land rover or jeep groups. Ngorongoro Crater did not allow big trucks so we couldnâ€™t drive in the big truck. Instead more land rovers came from Arusha to take us into the crater itself.
Each jeep contained approximately five to six people. The groups were made by the teachers. After everyone got into the groups and sat down in their seats in the land rovers, we set of into Ngorongoro Crater. We were on the rim for a long time and it was very cold. Soon we reached a bathroom stop. Many people used this place to their advantage and went to the bathroom since we would not have another stop later on for a long time. After the short bathroom break we finally went inside the crater. There were watch towers surrounding the crater. The people in these watch towers would make sure that no people were sitting on the edge of the land rover roof. All the land rovers had huge retractable roofs that could be lifted up.
All of us stood up in our seats to look out and admire the beauty of the savannah. We had to take our shoes off so that the seats wouldnâ€™t get dirty. We saw many animals including wilder beasts, zebras, giraffes, buffalo and many more. But the most interesting animals we saw were the hyenas and the lions. The hyenas were very interesting and we saw a clan of them. The lions were the best sight of the day. We saw lions sleeping and some even hunting. They mostly hunt at night but they can be very diurnal too. It was amazing watching these fascinating creatures in their own habitat in the wild instead of seeing them at a zoo. We even saw one of the rarest things ever, buffalos mating. It was very interesting.
Soon it was time for lunch. Lunch was the usual, sandwiches. After everyone told each other about what they had seen we headed of again for another small drive. We came across this water hole where we saw golden jackals, many different varieties of birds and many more animals. During this entire trip so far we had seen and learnt about many different kinds of birds. Tanzania is not only a good place for animals but also an amazing place for birds to live. Many people took their extra layers off since it was getting hotter. For snack time we had cookies. The cookies were amazing and they were made by people in Arusha. There were many different types of cookies.
One of the most amazing things we saw today was a black rhino. It was very far away so you had to use binoculars. But once you had seen it you would know how majestic this animal is. It is very rare since many poachers hunt it for its ivory, medicinal properties and skin. After a long day of successful animal and bird watching we headed back to the camp. We went back on the rim of the crater and soon after that we reached our camp. Everyone was talking about the amazing day we had and about all the animals we had witnessed.
All the students were showing their pictures to each other and boasting about the animals they had seen. Everyone wished we could spend tomorrow here to but tomorrow was the long drive from Ngorongoro Crater to Serengeti National Park. Mika and Simon had told us that Serengeti was even better than Ngorongoro Crater. The wildlife flourished even more. It was still cold so we still had many of our layers on and some people even put on more. We put our good smelling and tasting things (toiletries and food) in the land rovers. Then we had time to pack up our belongings and put them into our big bag since we were leaving tomorrow.
We had some free time. This is time people could use to work on their maths package or write in their journals about what we had done so far
on each day. It started getting dark so most people were huddled around the camp fire. After that it was dinner. Dinner was macaroni which tasted amazing. For dessert we even had brownies so the meal tasted excellent. We all wanted to thank the people who made this food since it was so good. After dinner we just stayed by the camp fire and talked to each other. Soon it was time for bed. We were all tired after the wonderful day we had. We all headed for our tents and fell asleep as soon as we got into our sleeping bags. We couldnâ€™t wait for tomorrow and all the surprises it had in store for us.
Day 9: Wednesday, June 5th 2013 We woke up to a very cold atmosphere. The morning sunshine felt good but we were freezing. We knew that today would be a very long day. As soon as everyone woke up, they packed their bags. All the sleeping bags and mats got folded up and soon all of the big bags were outside ready to get loaded onto the trucks. Some people decided to take down their tents before breakfast so they did. Others preferred to do the job after breakfast. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, toast, cinnamon bread and beef sausages. After everyone had eaten their fill of breakfast, the people who didnâ€™t take down their tents earlier, took down their tents. All the bags containing the tents got put next to everyoneâ€™s big bags so that they could be loaded on the trucks too.
Once everyone had used the bathrooms and were ready to leave the teachers had a head count to make sure all the students were here. After that everyone went into the trucks and sat down. We left as soon as our guides gave the signal. It was going to be an eight to nine hour drive from here all the way to Serengeti National Park. We saw many animals on the way. Most people went to sleep or observed what was going on outside. The scenery was amazing and the wind felt so good as it went by. We knew that we were going to visit Olduvi Gorge.
When we finally reached Olduvi Gorge, our guides Simon and Mika, organized an informative talk with one of the people who worked there. This man told us the history of the gorge and we learnt about the different layers. We also learnt that Olduvi Gorge is actually Oldupi Gorge but was mispronounced by the person who found it. After the amazing talk from the person who worked and Olduvi Gorge, some people decided to interview him for their documentary. All of us visited the Olduvi Gorge Museum. We went to the Orientation Room first just to know a brief introduction about the gorge.
We then went into the actual museum and it was amazing. We saw fossils and skeletons that had been extracted from the gorge of many animals including extinct ones. There was so much information everywhere that everybody was eating all the facts up. There was also another room for Homo sapiens. This room contained all the information about the people who lived here a long time ago and also footprints of ancient people who walked here. After everyone had seen the museum and learnt all they wanted, they either went to the souvenir shop or bought some cold drinks since it was very hot, nothing like Ngorongoro Crater. The souvenir shop was good and many people bought good quality things. Soon it was time to leave so everyone got what they want and headed back towards the trucks. Once everyone got onto the trucks we left towards Serengeti National Park.
We finally reached the Serengeti Gate and drove for a bit inside admiring the amazing wildlife we saw. Soon everyone started to get very hungry. We stopped at a tourist spot to have lunch. Many people went to the shop that was there to buy snacks and drinks for the drive ahead. After everyone had gotten what they wanted, we had lunch. Lunch was the same thing we would have whenever we would travel which is sandwiches. After everyone had eaten we packed up all the food and tables that were set up for lunch and went to the trucks. We took off and drove towards our camp.
We finally reached our camp after a very long drive from Ngorongoro Crater. Everyone was exhausted and all we wanted to do is relax. But first we had to get the tents ready. Everyone put up their tents and unpacked their big bags. After everyone was ready for the night ahead, it was work time. We could either work on our journal or do our maths package. Everyone stopped working when they wanted to and tried their luck on the slack line. The slack line is very hard to cross since it is very bouncy and you can fall of easily. People who didnâ€™t want to go on the slack line went and sat by the camp fire or chilled in their tents.
Soon it was time for dinner. Dinner was just rice with a beef curry and a vegetable curry. After everyone had finished dinner, it was time for
people to take their malaria medication. After that, the students relaxed by the camp fire. Time passed quickly and soon it was bedtime. Everyone went to their tents and got into their sleeping bags. No one could wait for the amazing day tomorrow. The teachers and guides had told us that we would see a lot of amazing wildlife tomorrow. Everyone then drifted off to sleep.
Day 10: Thursday, June 6th 2013
Today is going to be a very interesting day. Today we get to drive into the Serengeti and witness the remarkable and astounding wildlife. It was great morning to wake up to. Everyone got out of their tents and headed for the camp fire. We were just talking to each other until it was time for breakfast. Breakfast was just scrambled eggs, pork bacon, toast and cinnamon bread. After everyone had finished breakfast it was time to get ready to leave. Everyone made sure their cameras were charged and that they had enough space on their memory card. If anyoneâ€™s camera was not charged, it would be charged in the truck while we were driving. The movement of the truck causes electricity so that the camera batteries can charge.
Everyone used the bathroom and then got into the trucks. We then headed out into the Serengeti National Park. We saw a lot of wildlife including lions, wilder beasts, giraffes, zebras, different kinds of monkeys, baboons, many different species of birds and the rarest thing we saw was a leopard. The leopard was in a tree but it was very hard to see because all the branches were blocking it. Sometimes it moved so you could see its face, tail, paws and all of those rosettes. We spent a long time looking at the leopard and taking pictures of it. We all hoped that it would move and quite possibly even hunt and kill. After a long time we set off again to see even more animals.
The lions we saw were spectacular. They looked so grand and majestic. We saw lions around water and we learnt a lot of facts from our guides, Simon and Mika. The most startling thing we saw was a near lion kill. A female lion was running to kill a wilder beast and she almost had it but the wilder beast escaped. We would have loved to see the lion pounce and we would have learnt how a lion kills its prey. We saw a lot of birds and vultures. The eagles were the most interesting birds we saw. The Fisher eagle is the largest eagle. The Kori Buster is another type of bird and it is Africaâ€™s heaviest flying bird.
Soon after we had seen all of these amazing things it was snack time. Everyone got a cookie to eat. After that we headed back toward our camp. We saw more animals on the way back. As soon as we got back it was lunch time, so everyone was happy. We were famished. Lunch was amazing. It was chicken noodle soup, hot dog buns and sausages. All of
us made hot dogs and drank the soup which was wonderful. The overall meal was so enchanting and delightful. Soon it was work time. Everyone could work on their maths packages or update their journals on recent activities we had done. Many people also took this time to work on their documentary. They interviewed some of the camp helpers and students about the trip so far and camp life.
We all relaxed for a long time until it was time for us to go on a sunset drive. All of us went on the trucks and jeeps and we got going. We saw more animals. The elephants we saw were amazing even the cute little baby that was playing around next to the waterhole. We visited the Serengeti Visitor Centre and learnt a lot of information. There was this walk and on the way you would learn a lot of information from all the fact boards around. Many people took this time to just soak in new facts while others were just horsing around. There was also this little shop that many people bought some drinks and snacks from. A lot of students wrote in the visitorâ€™s book about what they had experienced and also what they liked about the place.
Soon we left the place and headed back to our camp. On the way back we also saw many animals including a lion on a big rock. Many of us thought that it looked like a scene from Lion King. We finally reached our camp when it was getting very dark. Everyone gathered around the camp fire for warmth. Not soon after that it was time for dinner. Dinner
was very good and we even got fizzy drinks which made us even more excited that we came on this wonderful trip.
Everyone took their malaria medication and just relaxed by the camp fire or in their tents peacefully. It was time for bed and many people were not tired after the amazing day we had experienced. We didnâ€™t realize how tired we were until we got into our tents and zipped into our sleeping bags. Everyone thought about the marvellous day we would have tomorrow. All of us had just realized that today was our last day to go on a safari. The trip had gone by so fast and now there was only two days left until we got back to Oman and our homes. With that thought all of us fell asleep.
Day 11: Friday, June 7th 2013
All of us knew that today was going to be a long day. We were all sad because tomorrow we were leaving. We woke up feeling a bit gloomy. We had to first pack up everything into our big bags, so that the tents would be spotless. After everyone had packed their belongings, we put our big bags outside the truck so that the drivers and guides could load them onto the truck later. We also had to pack our daypacks and put them in a separate pile, so that we wouldn’t misplace anything. Most people just decided to relax by the camp fire until it was time for breakfast. Not soon after it was time for breakfast. We had the standard breakfast of scrambled eggs, beef bacon or sausages, cinnamon bread or rolls and toast.
After everyone had consumed their breakfast and used the toilets it was time to leave. It would be an eight to ten hour drive from Serengeti National Park all the way to Arusha. Everyone went to the trucks and took their seats. “Twende” we all shout and then we leave. It felt like such a long drive. The road was very bumpy because we were supposed to go on the highway but there was some construction work going on for some part of the highway. We had to use the very bumpy road. It was so bumpy that after we hit a hole or bump, all of us would fly into the air and get hurt. Some people flew so high they hit the roof of the truck. It felt like we were defying gravity.
After a very painful and bumpy ride we finally went onto the highway again which felt fantastic. We were out of Serengeti so that was very sad. It was snack time and we got cookies that tasted amazing. After a long drive on the highway it was finally time for lunch. Lunch was, you guessed it, sandwiches. We made our own sandwiches and they tasted amazing. We were just relaxing at our lunch stop, taking pictures of the amazing scenery. We all remembered the animals we saw in this trip. We saw hippos, giraffes, wilder beats, lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, many different varieties and species of birds, many invertebrates and the unique, fascinating fauna and flora we saw. After everyone had eaten their lunch and used the toilet, it was time to get going on our journey to Arusha. We all got onto the trucks and made our way.
We had finally stopped seeing wildlife (which was disappointing) and entered different towns, cities and villages. After a long drive through civilization we finally reached Arusha which is also known as the A-Town. We drove through Arusha for a long time until we hit the woodlands.
This is where our camp was located. We drove through the trees for a while until we finally reached our base camp. This is the camp we stayed at the first night we were in Tanzania. Everyone was happy that we had reached the camp and even happier that the tents were already set up. This meant that we didnâ€™t have to put up the tents ourselves.
All of the tent groups chose a tent and put their stuff inside. Most people decide to unpack their mat and sleeping bag now so that they would be ready for the night. They unpacked all their belongings and soon everyone was ready for the night ahead. Some people wanted to have their shower today while others decided that tomorrow was the best time to have it since we were leaving to the airport. After everybody had freshened up a bit we had dinner. Dinner was just spaghetti and meat sauce with some sort of vegetable sauce too. After dinner we all took our malaria medication and we even got to have some fizzy drinks.
After everyone had had their medication, Mrs. Devine wanted to share a poem with us. She announced that she would rap her poem. Her poem was really good and it was basically a huge group of quadruplets. She talked about every day in detail and I know she must have spent a lot of time on it. She even made the girls sing a chorus about the weather
being hot or cold. After she had read her amazing poem everyone gave her a huge round of applause. The teachers had decided that we were going to play the Tanzania fact game. Everyone had to say their facts as quick as they could so that they wouldnâ€™t get out.
We had learnt a lot on this trip so the game dragged on until it was the final two students left, Srikar and Hassan. After answering facts at lightning speeds one of them faltered. After the fact game it was time to go to bed. Everyone had used the bathroom and we were all down because tomorrow we were leaving. This would be the last night we would spend in Tanzania. This trip was amazing. Well maybe cleaning the dishes after each meal wasnâ€™t but overall we all liked this trip. All of us headed towards our tents. We all got into our sleeping bags and dreamt about this amazing trip in Tanzania.
Day 12: Saturday, June 8th 2013 Today would be our last day in Tanzania, our last time to see the friends we had made with the camp helpers, drivers and guides. The trip had
gone by so fast that nobody had believed that it was over. Everybody woke up whenever they wanted to. The teachers announced that everyone had to take a shower if they haven’t taken one yesterday. They didn’t want to be crammed with a lot of smelly kids in a plane. We all said goodbye to all the people who helped us in this trip. We collected our sticks that we ordered. Then we left for the airport in buses. Our bags were already packed.
We relaxed a bit and then we checked our bags in and then all of us went on the plane to Dar Es Salam. From there we had another flight to Doha. Luckily this flight had TV so we didn’t get bored. We stayed at the airport for a short time until we went on a last flight to Muscat. We took our malaria medication on the plane.
Day 13: Sunday, June 9th 2013
We were still on the plane when it started to land. We got out and collected our bags from the baggage removal. We were finally home! But it felt sad we left Tanzania. We were all so tired and cranky from the long day of flying. Our parents came to the Muscat international Airport to pick us up. We then said our goodbyes and left for home. We didnâ€™t have to go to school because it was a very late flight.