Day 0: Tanzania Safari

Today represents Day 0 of a 13 night safari through Tanzania and although most of the day was spent flying, I wanted to provide updates as often as possible. I can't promise wifi access every day, but will try to share updates (and of course photos) when internet permits. Worst case, you'll hear about it upon my return!

The trip to Tanzania was a long one and took almost 13 hours of flying from London. We flew Qatar Airway via Doha to arrive in Kilimanjaro Airport this afternoon tired, stinky, and hungry. After clearing customs, we met our driver and drove the 45 minutes to the Weru Weru Lodge, where we'll spend the first two nights. The logistics of this trip were a little more complicated than some of our other travels; for instance, we have to take a structured regiment of anti-malarial medications and avoid eating certain foods. Hopefully those sacrifices will be worth it when we're watching lions in a few short days.

During the drive to our lodge, I had a chance to make a few interesting observations. First, I was surprised by the lack of infrastructure as we flew into the airport. Granted this isn't a large city, but thousands of mountain climbers and safari goers will pass through it every year, so I expected a little more of a 'city' around the airport. Instead, as soon as we left the airport, we started seeing men herding small groups of goats and cows with sticks and women walking with bags on their heads. Speaking of bags on the heads of women - I am impressed watching that feat! I barely have the balance to carry a glass of water without spilling it, so my hat goes off to these women! Finally, I was very surprised by the number of sand/dirt/dust devils and mini sand tornados we saw. 

The locals mostly speak English and Swahili and I've learned my first Swahili words. I won't attempt to spell it, but the way to say thank you sounds like "Ashanti" - so I'm on my way. 

Tomorrow we're off to tour a local coffee plantation, a waterfall, and hopefully will catch a glimpse of Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

 Sand / Dust / Dirt devils as seen from the airplane on our approach into Kilimanjaro Airport

Sand / Dust / Dirt devils as seen from the airplane on our approach into Kilimanjaro Airport

 Some locals with their motorbikes gathered outside the school in Weru Weru. I guess the school serves Coke?!

Some locals with their motorbikes gathered outside the school in Weru Weru. I guess the school serves Coke?!

 Some women gathering water from a well along the road

Some women gathering water from a well along the road

 Mount Kilimanjaro making a brief appearance through the clouds. Shot very quickly with the iPhone before she vanished again.

Mount Kilimanjaro making a brief appearance through the clouds. Shot very quickly with the iPhone before she vanished again.