My Tanzanian journey begins in Zanzibar, a small island that sits off the east coast of the Tanzanian mainland. The Zanzibar you see in photos is predominantly of beach resorts and blue waters. So with this mental image, driving into Stone Town is immediately confronting. It’s vastly different from this mental image – small, unsigned alleyways, crumbling buildings and crowded streets of people selling food – it is dirtier and grittier than expected, but it definitely has character.
After a few days in Zanzibar, I head back to Arusha on the mainland to begin my safari tour. The first stop is Tarangire National Park, home to the largest population of elephants in the world.
Tarangire is also known for its baobab trees which dot the landscape.
Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s smallest parks and my next destination. The western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley forms the western border of the park. During the wet season, Lake Manyara covers almost 650 square kilometres, but during the dry season, when I am visiting, it shrinks considerably. Once inside the Rift Valley, the landscape immediately changes from dry savannah to lush forests.
After Lake Manyara, I spend a few days, camping in the Serengeti.
The wildlife is incredible and over the course of the next few days, I see lions, giraffe, zebra, cheetah, leopards, wildebeest and so much more.
Tanzania is such a beautiful country. All the people I met along the way were helpful, accomodating and friendly. I am looking forward to returning to Tanzania some day.
As my flight takes off, I sadly bid tuonane baadaye to Tanzania and am homeward bound.
This article was originally published on the AU review, November 2012.