• Tanzania

    Saturday, January 3, 2009

    Happy New Years! We have just returned from another travel adventure. A safari in Tanzania, Africa. Tanzania is on the east side of Africa and Nigeria on the west. So we had to make our way across the continent. Tanzania was our first African experience outside of Nigeria. And it was very different!

    We were greeted at the airport by our dear friends Daniel and Irene. Friends from Calgary. They had immigrated to Canada and then were called back to Tanzania by God to minister and run an orphanage. We have all dreamed of the time we could visit in Africa.

    The first week in Tanzania was spent roaming the outback on a safari. We had to drive across the country to get to the Great Plains, craters and jungles that would let us see one of the world’s finest animal kingdoms! The first day we drove through Massai land (an ethnic group of Africans who still live tribal). These people were so interesting, living by choice so primitive and simple. We then headed into Lake Manyara National Park and got to see our first animals: elephants, giraffes, hippos, and zebras. It was so thrilling to see these animals in their natural habitat! The next three days were spent touring the Great Plains of the Serengeti! Every animal you wish to see on a safari can be found out there. Truly the expanse of land and wilderness left my speechless. It was like no habitat I had ever experienced. And the abundance of animals!

    We got to see an animal migration. This happens twice a year where animals will all form a heard and travel from Kenya into Tanzania for the rainy season and then they form a heard again when going back to Kenya. It is rare to see this as it is not always close enough to the roads to witness this phenomena of the natural world! We saw about two million zebras and wildebeests all in one huge heard crossing the plains! As far as the eye could see the land was dotted with animals! We drove right into the thick of it; I can not describe how thrilling it was to witness this wonder. Our driver and tour guide kept saying "this is a once in a lifetime chance to see this”.

    We then drove to the Ngorongoro crater. This is volcanic crater that has sunken deep into the mountain. Over time it has become it’s own eco-system supporting a full food chain. So here all the animals live and die according to nature. Because it is in a crater we were able to drive around the whole thing, again see every type of animal. We noticed how healthy and large every animal looked. I do not think a zoo would ever excite me again. Every night we stayed at a hotel with magnificent views overlooking Lake Manyara, the Serengeti, and the Ngorongoro crater. Just breathtaking! The beauty and nature of this world! I will always have the stunning memory of looking out over the plains from out lodge; the sun was setting and off in the distance, elegantly walking were two giraffes. It is in moments like these I feel so small and pathetic next to Gods masterful art!

    After a once in a life time week of safari trekking we were heading back to the city where our dear friends and us would have to say good-bye. We had such a blessed time with them. They are truly a beautiful family. We loved talking about God. It was church and sweet fellowship the whole trip. I have many exciting things to share about how God is using them to teach and help the people of Tanzania. But I will save that for another post. We all realised that God had purposefully put us together in friendship.

    After good-byes Roger, the girls and I went to an exotic island called Zanzibar. We stayed at a swanky Fairmont resort. Sun and long white beaches were just what we needed to recover from the bumpy safari!

    This trip was probably the most travel hours we have ever done on one trip…. and that says a lot as Roger and I are both ‘see-as-much-as-you-can’ type of travellers. From when we left our home in Nigeria to when we returned fourteen days later we had done seventy-five hours of travelling! This is a lot even for us travel addicts! The girls did better then I…

    Even though it was a lot of travelling hours we would not have missed this trip for anything!

    Our first stop was in Arusha, which is a city close to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Here we loaded the Safari truck.

    The girls ready to see some animals!

    Massai are still allowed to live in the wilderness reserves. Here is a market where they trade goods.

    Our first animals...

    Lake Manyara is a salt water lake that at one time flooded to create this plain.

    We had to wait for this elephant to finish it's meal before it let us pass.

    Lake Manyara Hotel

    Baboon on our balcony.

    Daniel, Irene and Cherise

    Entering the Serengeti

    Views from our lodge in the Serengeti

    On the third day we left early in the morning and we actually had no idea where Edwin was taking us. After two hours of driving we came over a bluff and he said "look..."

    ...as far as we could look left to right stood thousands of zebras and wildebeests.

    We drove right into the middle.

    We came across three different hippo pools...they never come out though.

    On day four we saw our first lions.

    Three very full lioness' with a herd of water buffalo, and the migration (breakfast) in the background.

    We drove into the Ngorongoro crater and even in this mass wild animal habitat, the Massai live peacefully beside them with their herds.


    Ngorongoro Lodge on the edge of the crater.


    Art hut on the beach

    On our way home, we flew right past Mt. Kiliminjaro. At 19,341ft it is the highest point in Africa.