Day 4 – Jambo, Tanzania! A few nice South Africa Safari Tours Uk images I found: Day 4 – Jambo, Tanzania!
Sunday January 17, 2010 Dar Es Salaam Our flight landed in Dar Es Salaam at 8 a.m. and I was in Africa at last. I’d been to Egypt previously, but North Africa doesn’t seem like real Africa. I sailed through customs due to the fact that I’d gotten my tourist visa before I left DC, although if I’d gotten it at the airport instead it would’ve only cost as opposed to the 0 I paid. Oh well. Man was it hot and muggy on the ground in Tanzania. It was like DC on a really bad day in August. I was expecting the heat given that Tanzania is south of the equator and January is the height of summer there, but the humidity caught me by surprise. When I left the airport there was a short, pleasant fellow holding a sign with the name of the tour company I booked the trip through standing there waiting for me and the other members of the tour. His name was Michel and he would be our tour leader for the Dar and Selous portions of our trip. I was the first member of our party to exit the airport. A few minutes later the sisters appeared. Before I left DC all I knew about the group was that there would also be a pair of sisters from England on the trip. I had tried to pick out a pair of women travelling together as we were waiting at the gate in Heathrow, but I hadn’t spotted them. The sisters turned out to be Shelley, and office manager, and Donna, a police constable. Both were from Woking (a suburban community just outside London) and often travelled together on adventure holidays.
Michel informed us that there were two more people in our tour group who were arriving on a later flight, but that they would go ahead and take us to the hotel now and come back and pick up the others. Driving from the airport to our hotel on the outskirts of Dar it quickly became apparent that we were the only non-Black people in sight. It gives you a bit of an idea of what it might be like to not be White in America. You feel a bit like an attraction in a circus sideshow. Tanzania is a poor but peaceful and orderly country and the people are generally quite welcoming and pleasant. The country was formed by the merger of what had been two separate entities, the mainland region of Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar. Tanganyika had been a German colony starting in the late 1800s up until after World War I, when it was taken over by the British. Zanzibar in turn had been ruled by a dynasty of sultans who originally came from Oman. Both Tanganyika and Zanzibar gained their independence in the late 1960s and merged to form the current nation of Tanzania. The predominant language in Tanzania is Swahili (the lingua franca of Africa, which originated in Tanzania), but English is also widely understood. The bulk of the visitors to Tanzania come from Italy and the UK, with quite a few Dutch vacationers as well. Not many Americans go there. The unit of currency is the Tanzanian shilling. Although there are approximately 1350 shillings to the dollar, unlike Egypt the prices in Tanzania are still quite high and your money doesn’t go all that far. Our hotel, the Slipway, was on the fringes of Dar near the local yacht club and marina. It was in an isolated spot but there many shops and a few restaurants nearby. It wasn’t quite as fancy as perhaps I’d unconsciously been expecting, but then I remembered that this was an adventure safari and not a luxury one after all. It was perfectly serviceable, however, and did have air conditioning. We reached the hotel around 9:30 a.m. and I checked into my room, climbed into my bed, pulled the mosquito netting around me, and slept until about 3:30 p.m. Michel had made arrangements to meet up with all the members of our tour group for dinner at 7 at a small outdoor cafe adjacent to our hotel, so I had a bit of time to kill until then. I walked around the hotel grounds taking photos for a bit and then retreated back to the air conditioned comfort of my room and watched an African soap opera for a while. It was about a rich guy named Fred who came from a small village but now lived in the city. His wife was uber-religious but as yet infertile and his mother was scheming with another woman from his village who had a young, lazy, pretty daughter to send the girl to stay with Fred and his wife with the plan that she would steal Fred away and give the women lots of grandbabies. They even took the girl to the local witch doctor before she left for the city and got her a love charm to help win Fred away. Soap operas are pretty much the same the world over. They’re always about money and relationship problems and are uniformly melodramatic and ridiculous. Doesn’t stop them from being entertaining though. Dinnertime came around and I was finally able to meet the remaining members of our group – Roger, a retired chemist and schools inspector and his wife Ruth, a retired nurse. They were from Chesterfield, a small city in the middle of England, although Ruth was originally from Denmark and had migrated to the UK forty years earlier. I thought it was interesting that Ruth
was from Denmark given that earlier in the day I had started reading my second book of the trip, "Out of Africa," which had been written by Danish author Karen Blixen (under the pen name Isak Dinesen). Dinner proved to be quite good and it was my first chance to really socialize with the other members of my group. They all proved to be perfectly lovely, interesting, and amiable and I couldn’t have asked for better travelling companions. Well, maybe if given the option I’d have asked for Salma Hayek, Monica Bellucci, Nigella Lawson, and Penelope Cruz, but if I couldn’t have them I was more than happy to have Shelley, Donna, Roger and Ruth. Despite my extended nap earlier in the day I was still tired so I turned in directly after dinner, still without any definite plans as to how I would spend my free day in Dar the following morning. More information on South African experience at :
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