Mail sent: Wednesday November 3 2004

Just a quick one, we are safely in Dar Es Salaam. We had the most amazing week of our entire trip thus far! Tanzania is totally different than Malawi and a much more tourist-friendly country. Roads are good and the scenery is beautiful.Dar es SalaamWe have done just more than 10 000km since leaving Cape Agulhas and 2 200km from Blantyre.

Mail sent:Friday November 5th 2004
Mbeya to Dar Es Salaam

The border crossing into Tanzania took 21/2 hours, but the worst of it was the heat and it was only 9am. You had to stand in cues and wait for the officials , who chat to everyone and catch up on news from home. They are generally very friendly (so far) The biggest pests at the border are the money changers, they run after you flashing bundles of cash shouting good exchange rates. But as soon as they see that you know how to convert from one currency to another they loose interest and leave you alone. On first impressions of Tanzania - it is a richer nation - better dressed people and not so many without shoes as in Malawi, more organized farming and better looking home grown crops, and better housing - more colonial. The area we traveled through to Mbeya was Tukuyu and is very beautiful like the Eastern Transvaal.The roads are also in a much better condition. We traveled through an area that is much dryer, savannah like country which reminded us of Grunau. We went into an area that had the most Boabab trees that we have ever seen!!! We stayed at the Boabab Valley Lodge and camp site on the Ruaha River. Not much to say about that camp site,except that it has huge potential, but is run by a Swede who is more interested in keeping his beers cold than maintaining his facilities. The bird and animal life is really wonderful there, we saw our first d'Arnauld's Barbet and Ashy Starling, Monkeys and Baboons walked through the camp site to the river bank. Hippos and crocks ( apparently) also pop in every now and then. We then stayed in the Genesis Snake Park and camp site in Mikumi Town. We really recommend this facility as a stop over. They have lovely rooms,a restaurant with game on the menu ( we did not eat there), safe parking behind huge walls with 24hr security and a lawn area to camp with hot showers ( donkey system) The main road to Dar Es Salaam, the Tanzan highway, travels through the Mikumi National Park. There is no fencing or gates that you travel through, so the game crosses the road all over the show. We saw our first wild buffalo only about 6km into the park, lots of impala,giraffes, zebra, eland, wildebeest, elephant, vultures, lilac breasted rollers, storks, swallows, red billed quellas and warthogs. We were hoping to see some wild dogs but no luck this time. The traffic into Dar Es Salaam is something else - more than Mozambique and Malawi put together. Dar Es Salaam is a huge city with all the mod-cons Shoprite,Steers,Spur,Debonairs, People,Taxis, very fast traffic and even faster moped riders.

We are now in Zanzibar - the tropical island with the extremely beautiful old Stone Town and it is waiting to be explored! This is supposed to be the low tourist season but there are loads of tourist everywhere. We are now going to do the tourist thing...... so chat you later!!

Sunset at Stone Town Tanzania
Mail sent:November 12th 2004

 Arusha, Safari Country

Sorry to the English guys, going to do this one in Afrikaans. We had a very nice time in Zanzibar and are currently in Arusha, 300km south of Nairobi and acording to Getaways Cape to Cairo book halfway to Cairo.
By Dar Es Salaam het ons by Sunrise beach gebly, dis net so 10 km suid van die stad. Op pad soontoe stop ons by 'n duka (winkeltjie)om te onderhandel vir eetgoed. Pynappel, Mango, Piesangs en Waatlemoen. Terwyl ons so staan hoor ek iemand van oorkant die pad roep:'Is julle van die Paarl!' Dit was Elsa Visser, sy en Christo en 3 seuns bly al 4 jaar daar en wys jou nou net hoe wonderlik die Here is dat hy ons paaie laat kruis daar. Christo en Elsa is oorspronklik vanaf Moreesburg, die wereld is klein!

Stone Town market Tanzania

Dar Es Salaam is 'n baie meer woelige stad as Blantyre,eintlik kan jy nie die 2 vergelyk nie, daar jaag al war ding op wiele is en jy moet lekker wees anders word jy om gery. Daar is plekke soos Steers en Debonairs en so aan. Die lekkerste van Dar is dat dit ruik so lekker na see envis (dis nou by die waterfront). Toe is ons na Zanzibar, 2 dae in Stone town gebly en 2 dae in Jambiani, in die suid-ooste van die eiland. Dis ramadan en almal (90%) vas. Prys die Here ons het verlossing gratis gekry en hoef nie guns te wen deur werke nie! Nietemin is die mense daar baie vreedsaam en rustig. Ons het ons CMA t hemde gedra en niemand het ons gepla nie, wel, i.v.m.godsdiens. Hulle pla jou wel deur jou lastig te val om een of ander deal met jou te maak. Elk geval dis nice daar. Jambiani beach, in die suid=oos kus van die strand.

jambiani beach Tanzania
 Ek het ook vir die eerste keer in die diep see geswem,bietjie scary in die begin, Charmaine was so tuis soos 'n vis in die water en het dit baie geniet om met 'n snorkel oor 'n koraal rif ,met baie vissies te swem. Nemo en sy tjommies. Ons het uitgegaan met 'n local vissers seilboot en op pad terug land toe kom daar so 'n vinnige harde reenbui, amper gevoel of ons vir 3 minute in 'n regte see storm was! Hey, Africa is not for sissies sÍ hulle mos. Oja, ook het ons (my pa en ma wat kom kuier het ook) in 'n Dala Dala gery. Dis soos ons minibus taxis. Bietjie beknop (27 mense), maar 'n baie besonderse ondervinding. Toe bly ons een aand oor by Christo hulle en man, het hulle ons nou getreat met 'n Tuna braai! Daar in Dar kry jy lekker visse soos Tuna, Marlyn, Baracuda en Kingfish. Nog ander kleiner visse ook. Na 'n laat aand val ons die volgende oggend 6.00 in die pad na Arusha. Tanzanie het nou wel nie 'n resiesbaan nie, maar hier is baie bus resies op die pad, ons ry so tussen 110 en 120km/h dan kom die groot busse jou verby!. Ons het onself vermaak deur agter van hulle te ry en te sien hoe roekeloos hulle is. Deur van die dorpies ry hulle so 110km/h ( ons natuurlik agterna) terwyl die spoed beperking 50km/h is. Anyway, Prys die Here ons is veilig hier en kuier lekker saam met my ouers. Die GS is nog so reg soos 'n roer met nog net 55000km op die klok. ( ons is op 40000km uit die Kaap) Sal weer mail. Dankie aan Elsa en Christo vir julle gasvryheid en dankie vir al julle gebede en e-mails.

Mail sent: Wednesday 17th November 20
he last time we spoke was in Zanzibar and Johan sent a e-mail from Arusha.
The road to Arusha has many different contrasts – thick bushy areas where you almost expect Tarzan to come swinging out of the trees – to dry open areas like the Karoo.  It was a lovely drive.  We met Pa and Moeks in the streets of Arusha and they showed us where they were staying, and suggested a campsite in the town.  This is an urgy looking town and full of people.  All you hear is Bafana-bafana and ‘do you want to go safaris’, it can be quite annoying.  The campsite in the town was not very desirable as there was no proper fencing, so a lack of security and terrible ablutions.  We decided to go look at the Meserani Snake Park campsite suggested to us by Elsa and Christo, it is 30km out of town towards Serengeti.  It is a lovely farm environment campsite used mostly by overlanders.  All you have to pay is the entrance to the snake park and you can camp for free!!  We set up camp and then headed back into Arusha to spend the evening with the folks.  Arusha is really dodgy, not nice at all, I was happy to head back to the campsite but quite nervous about the traveling back in the dark. Moeks and Pa joined us the next day at the campsite and arranged a tour into the Morongoro Crater for the following day.  Well what can I say, it was the best decision they made because they came back raving about all the animals they saw and the beauty of the scenery they traveled through the day.  Thank you Jesus.    The Meserani Snake Park is the best place to watch birds.   Johan & I have seen 14 types of birds that we hadn’t seen before and there are some birds that we cannot identify as they are not in our ‘Birds of East Africa’ book.  There are loads of yellow collard love birds nesting in the camp site, superb starlings, mourning doves, yellow white-eye, black headed weaver, white browed coucal, verreeaux’s eagle owl, rufous sparrow, anteater chat, white bellied canary, beautiful sunbird, speke’s weaver & scarlet chested sunbird, to name a few!!  Lovebirds by die 100de, ek bedoel by die 1002's!

Love Birds Tanzania

We all went on a camel ride (my first) to a masai village, arranged from the snake park.Charmaine on a Camel in Tanzania  The camel ride was fun – slow and bumpy – I loved the look on Johan’s face, I could just eat him up he is so gorgeous!!  The village didn’t look very masai as there is a lot of modern influence in the way the people dress now days.  Some of the houses are also more modern with glass windows and ‘sink dak’ roof.  I found out that the walls are plastered with a mixture of ash and cow dung.  The houses are quite big inside and are divided into sections with internal walls.  A wall divides the kitchen from the guest resting area.  There is a huge bed for the wife and children and another bed for the husband.  There is also a section ‘fenced off’ for the…… goats. Yip, they are kept inside at night for security against theft and wild animals.  They are very sturdy houses with a well-designed roof.  Oh, all the houses are built by the women!  The masai women also make beautiful cloth decorated with colourful glass beads, leather and shiny discs; this cloth is worn as a wrap around and looks very stylish when worn correctly.  The original masai cloth was red but now with the modern woven fabrics they are red with blue and purple, very beautiful.  It was a nice trip to the village but I enjoyed the camel ride more.  BJ and Ma the snake park owners are also building a masai museum, it is very interesting and a must visit for anyone going that way.

Johan serviced the GS and put on the new tyres and the next day we headed to Nairobi, Kenya.

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