On to Tanzania 

Arusha & Tarangire National Park

Tarangire Sopa Lodge 

Getting There


And where we almost lost Jackie.  


First, we were told to "pack down", as there were weight restrictions on the airplane were were to take and we could leave the excess luggage at our hotel.  We get to the airport.  I'm not going into all the difficulties we then encountered.  Suffice it to say the plane was overbooked. 


It would be able to fly 11 fat American tourists (speaking for myself) and all their luggage if we split up and took one plane now and one a couple hours later.  No way!  


As there was a VIP type who absolutely had to go on this flight, one or more of us had to volunteer to stay for another flight. No way!  


Negotiations went on for what seemed hours!  We wouldn't give an inch! 


So, in the end, they packed, and I mean packed, twelve of us, and all our luggage on this single engine aircraft. 


Heard of dancing cheek to cheek?  Well, we were flying, seated "cheek" to "cheek", in an overloaded equivalent to a Piper Cub.



Was I close to the pilot and co-pilot?  Check these pictures out.  No need for a speaker system, he made announcements by turning his head.   A question?  I just tapped him on the shoulder. 



I took the close up on the left because the GPS system was a Garmin GPS - when it came up, the screen had a message that indicated it was due for an update - in 2003! 


We climbed during the entire 2 hour trip - never exceeding 185 mph, and never making (although the poor engine tried) it to 12,000 feet. 


To our left we saw Kilimanjaro.   I tried to take pictures through the pilot's left window.  Knowing that they probably wouldn't come out (the pictures, not the window) , the young lady to my left volunteered to try through her window.  (did I mention there were only three seats in the front row?) I don't think they're great, but how many people have shots of Mt. Kilimanjaro at 11,000 feet? 









And we arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania. 




Wow!  If we thought Kenya was dry, we were in for an unpleasant surprise - Tanzania simply had no water. 


  Notice the terraced fields on the hill














                      Here they are making adobe 



To the right you will see brick making.   The stack of bricks 

on the left side of the picture is a free-standing, self-cleaning 

kiln.  They make the kiln by stacking freshly made bricks in a special pattern, in and around firewood.  When the interior is done, they surround the mound with firewood.  After being set afire, the kiln burns, glazing the bricks.  After a couple days, when it cools, the bricks are ready for use. 





 A stack of bricks ready for use. 

 I found the strangest thing - while half completed and finished brick buildings about the size of homes or small businesses were fairly common, not one was occupied!  Many brick structures sat unfinished and / or vacant.  Never found the reason. 


One of the many fields of the famous Tanzanian coffee -please remember these pictures of fields and such were taken from a moving vehicle, at speed - as we were on decent roads now in Tanzania. 

I didn't know that rice was grown here.  Just how, in this drought, I don't understand. 


Corn from the local field just behind, sold at road side. 

Fields and fields of the very largest, beautiful bananas we have ever seen 

Crops being sold along the road near roadside stores.


Although they have cars, they are washing buy hand in the front yard. 

                                                                                                                                More coffee fields 











Making cinder blocks - so we have adobe, bricks and cinder blocks all being made locally - by hand

As we got through a city we see this sight.

It is the site of the Rwandan Criminal Tribunal.  



This is the only shot I got of the African Cultural Museum.

Evidently this is a new attraction. 


This is the lower part of a Peace Monument


I took this horrible picture (again a moving vehicle) because I had heard of some African women "carrying their wealth on their ears".  I saw several example, but this is the only picture I could get.  The three women central to the picture have very long, wide earrings of silver and gold.  These earrings are the equivalent to money hidden under the mattress - their bank accounts. 


Leaving the city, out in the parched plains 










A dried up watering hole.  There's a small pool of water, about ten feet in diameter

and the Maasai women are washing clothes in it.


A herd of cows - notice the large amount of dust for

 such a moderate number of animals being herded. 

                                    Some typical huts.  As we go further in Tanzania, the huts are predominately

                            straw and branches covered with mud or cow manure, or a combination of both. 


The dry, rocky, dusty scenes along the road. 












Market day in a small village 




Something new.  In Kenya tourist souvenirs were mainly carvings.  Here in Tanzania we see any number of souvenir shops dominated by oil paintings.  Now there were also carvings and such, and inside we found a growing number of beadwork offerings.  The Maasai are famous for their beadwork. 


And here we are - Tarangire National Park 




We were greeted immediately by the enormous  boa bob Tree. 

 These were the first mature such trees we had seen. 

 One immature one was seen during our walking safari at our first stop in Kenya. 


You can judge the enormous girth of these trees by comparison to the house


This reserve has between 5,000 and 6,000 elephants



   And fodder for the carnivores, by the hundreds

What - me worry? 

   A waterbuck watches us

Wart Hogs on parade


Dusty, dusty elephants 

Had to get at least one picture, head on, with the ears wide

Yes, again they're that close - 

and don't care about us at all. 


Dry doesn't begin to describe the environment.  

Look at how wide this creek should be 


Our first Tanzanian Ostrich 



Animals seen at our lodge after lunch


A rock hyrax

This animal is closely related to - now get this - the elephant!  Samuel tells us their digestive tracks are identical. 



Two Iridescent Agama  Lizards 















A _____________



And back on safari, a month old baby elephant


A Grant's gazelle and her baby 


And we come upon another pair of lions on heir honeymoon 





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OOPS!  Maybe the pictures below are not appropriate for younger children

 or easily embarrassed adults.


This was called "Jungle Porn" by our companions! 























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These Boa Bob trees are so unusual, and in their way, handsome.  They are bare all dry season, and/or during a drought.  The natives can tell when the rainy season is coming because the trees begin to get small leaves.  Following this, and immediately before the rains, they flower. 


During a recent war between tribes, warriors would hide their families in these trees to prevent them from being discovered and killed.   The trees are hollow inside, and one cannot tell how old they are, both because they are hollow and because the exterior appears to be made of hundreds of vines, rather than solid wood.


This one has been opened by elephants hoping to find water




This one, close to the lodge has an opening in it - maybe some residents?

Wouldn't stick my hand in there if I were you. 



                                                                                                                                                                            _________ Guinea















A _________ Grouse 


Yes, lions in and around the bushes

A male to the right, a female making a feast of a fresh kill 

She's done a pretty good job on the kill 


He had eaten earlier and is having a post meal rest



A herd of Wildebeest


Game trails pattern the plain 


A flock of _________ Guineas


                                                                                     A lone hornbill.












Elephants in the very dry river bed.


A ___________________  in the same dry river 



Roads, dry and dusty - BUT - smooth! through the Park













As we went by this large rock outcropping we thought we saw movement.  

Samuel backed up and here's what we saw.


See anything? 


How about now? 


These little guys are called Rock Hyrax . 














Ugly - Ugly - Ugly! 



An entire pride of male Cheetahs




















And again, we watch the watchers, watching 









                                        A female Ostrich 

         Her male friend









Its difficult to demonstrate just how large these birds are












Elephants are much more destructive than people know - at least us.

You can always tell where they have been
















         A long line of Wildebeests on the move 


Again, a stand alone hornbill.


  Our friend Samuel softly explaining what we see and unusual facts


We see these wonderful boa bob trees almost everywhere

















Another one with a hole through


















  Rain coming according to the boa bob Tree - see the leaves?

This is the only one of hundreds we've seen with any leaves 

Everyone hopes the tree knows!


A ____________ Hawk, feathers blown by the wind



A troop of Baboons walk slowly by 


Baby get a ride - under

This baby gets a horse-back ride 


    Go ahead, sit on the road, we don't seem to bother you













  The alpha males follows to make certain there's no stragglers



Our lodge 

Just inside the entrance to the lodge grounds 

The dining room                                                          The central hall 



                    The stairway to the lower floor                                            The hall to the gift shop and lounge 


                The front entrance to the grounds                               The fountain in the reception lobby


                                The vaulted ceilings                                            The cave onyx floors 



The Fire Alarms 

Every lodge at which we stayed had emergency area where everyone was to gather should there be a fire, 

however, these were the only lodge fire alarms we saw anywhere - 

a hand cranked siren on the left, and a auto wheel and hammer


                                An outdoor luncheon                                                         An indoor breakfast




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On to Lake Manyara