A Travellerspoint blog

safari

sunny

we're now at zanzibar island, having a well deserved chill out after the safari. i have to say that camping and the long bumpy drives has been tough. there is no way I could have done this for 56 days (as initially planned before I started seeing paul). we couldn't even do it for 18 days.

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day 11 was when me and paul decided to get a flight to zanzibar, we left that night, stayed overnight in arusha and flew to zanzibar the following day... arriving 2 days earlier than the rest of them.
there was nothing else on the itinerary apart from 2 days of travelling in the truck to zanzibar. we'd rather spend 2 days there. day 12 was the base camp hike of kilimanjaro that we missed. we would have been gutted about this normally... but we're coming back next year to climb the whole thing anyway... after a visit to the orphanage :)

what we have seen has been stunning... and seen so many animals... but to see it all involves hours upon hours in the truck which we hated. it was so bumpy. my arse was off the seat more than it was on it. paul on many occasions had to grab me in fear that i would fly out the window. i had constant sore heads every day because of it.
one day we were up at 5am and didn't get to the next campsite till about half 7 at night. over 13 hours of bumpy roads and then having to set up camp in the pitch dark.

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all of it really wouldn't have been so bad if not for the roads and the endless hours on it. looking back, i think a shorter safari would have been way better. our first national park was probably my favourite for viewing animals... although we didn't see lions, leopards, elephants and cheetahs there. after a while I just lost interest in it all. it was always cool to see a new animal for the first time but we were always itching to just get to camp and chill out. if we weren't so exhausted we probably would have loved it every time.

some days we were spending half a day getting to a national park, spending 3 hours in the truck game viewing, more bumpy roads to camp, setting up camp and then checking the rota to see if we were cleaning the truck, cooking or washing. it was just too much at times. after talking with another couple we realised just how crap our itinerary was compared to others. ours was far too rushed.

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the itinerary was completely different to what we signed up for. we started in nairobi and were back in nairobi on the 7th day. instead of continuing north to lake victoria (which we didn't even see!) and then crossing the border to tanzania... we were back on the same road heading to where we started.
then there were days wasted in the likes of nairobi doing hee haw. game viewing is the whole point of the safari and we felt there was not enough time spent in the national parks. it was just constant travel on the truck.

but... if not for the long drives we would never have seen so much of kenya and tanzania I suppose... and soooo many animals out in the wild. I'll never regret doing it... we have so many fond memories... but we definitely went with the wrong company! they didn't even give us any information, facts, history etc about the sites we were visiting. i could moan about this company for ages but i don't want to bore you... even more!

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the truck holds 28 people... and luckily for us there were only 12 of us, only 8 on our first week. so we had room to spread about. we often passed a truck from the same company we were with and it looked terrible. jam packed like a tin of sardines and full of party people. if i was doing the 56 day safari i would have been with them... and no doubt lasted 5 days.

we visited national parks such as nakuru, hells gate, masai mara, ngorongo crater and the famous serengeti. we saw so many animals... and saw the big 5 of africa which is lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. leopard and cheetahs are usually hard to find so we were really lucky to see them.

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paul, for my birthday, got me a hot air balloon ride over the serengeti and it was definetly my highlight. seeing the animals from above was brilliant and the views were stunning. once we landed we toasted with some champagne and were then driven for a full english breakfast... with some more champagne. the breakfast was fab... yummy and out in the middle of the serengeti which was way cool.

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another one of my favourite days was when me and paul cycled around hells gate national park. the people in our tour prefered a boat ride that day so it was just me, paul and our tour guide simon. and we were practically the only ones in the park. it was so quiet. simon mentioned that the post election violence has had an affect on the tourism in kenya. tis a shame.
we cycled for about 2 hours to hells gate, then simon took us down the canyon, instead of the typical route to the viewing point. it was brilliant. jumping and climbing all over the place and getting soaked by waterfalls... and getting to see the hot thermal springs. then a short climb up to the viewing point... and then the 2 hour cycle back to camp. we both absolutely loved it.

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another highlight was on day 7, being back at nairobi and we visited a giraffe centre. pretty boring to be honest but we got to feed giraffes which was fun. me and paul walked round the corner and all i heard was"holy shit"... a voice i recognised. it was ginger, my roomy at the orphanage. we were both so shocked to see each other again. i was close to tears when I saw her. we spent a bit of time catching up and hearing about her last 2 weeks at the orphanage. i sat for most of the time in shock though. couldnt believe it.

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we also had a few good nights at camp... especially when there was a bar... or when we had our own booze. most of the group just sat peeing themselves laughing at paul and aldo. some just sitting not having a clue what they were saying because of the accent. or some shocked at what they were saying! it was so funny. a good crowd... a few mentals and weirdos but there's always a few! we're hoping to meet up with one of the guys, ken, in singapore... and wendy in vietnam.

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another highlight has to be zanzibar. we've only spent one night in stonetown but so far we are loving it. we've not really had much alone time since meeting in nairobi so it's been great to get away from everyone for a while.
we leave tomorrow for kendwa beach, north of zanaibar, for 4 nights where we'll eventually meet up with folk from our tour.

Posted by mico82 14:16 Archived in Tanzania Comments (4)

one lucky gal

semi-overcast

from october till now, my travel plans have been all over the place. i canceled my round-the-world ticket after seeing paul, managed (luckily) to get a part refund, booked flights together, went from 12 months of traveling to 5, 1 airline went bust, lost more money, changed our final destination because of it... and now, i found out about 3 or 4 weeks ago, that instead of coming home in october... we are now extending our travels till january.

flights are all sorted (for the fourth time lol) and we're now spending an extra 3 months traveling about... seeing places such as canada and alaska.

eeeeeeeeeek... how exciting!

i can't say it enough but we really are lucky to get the opportunity to do something like this. i don't think it's hit me yet that i'm going to all these places.
i'm pretty sure some thought i was off my head to cancel such a big trip... but you just gotta do what feels right. and now, i'm still getting to visit the places i've dreamed of, travel for 7 months... and share the experience with paul which makes it a billion times better now.

Posted by mico82 16:19 Archived in Kenya Comments (3)

2 guys and a poor little lady

semi-overcast

so the next chapter of my travels is with paul and aldo.

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we initially had just over a week in nairobi but after my first impressions we weren't too keen on spending so long there. so we spent 5 nights in tiwi beach, just south of mombassa. sara recommended the place... beautiful, white sands, clear ocean, untouched and peaceful.

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we arrived at our cottage when dark, took a cut off on the road and drove through bush for what felt like ages... paul and aldo were crapping themselves. i really am the man of this trip. yesterday they ran away from where we were sitting because a moth like creature was flying about... wimps ;)

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when we saw the place the next morning, in a different light, we were loving it. surrounded by beautuful gardens with the indian ocean right in-front of us. it was beautiful. the sun wasn't out that much... but still hot and humid.

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being with paul again, finally, has been brilliant... especially knowing that we won't be apart again. good to see aldo too... i haven't laughed so hard in a long time and it was definitely in need after leaving the orphanage.

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we went with one of the locals yesterday to go paddling in the ocean in search of star fish... and saw lots. drove to diana town one day for food and some fresh fruit and veggies from the local markets. we also went to a beach barbecue one night and had fresh lobster and prawns... paul had about 6 servings.
and we got blazing on our second night, sat on our porch playing truths and had such a giggle.

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we're now in nairobi and reunited with my bank card. i left it at reception when checking out... although paul and aldo are convinced i deliberately done it.

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we have 3 nights here before our 18 day safari... will update blog before we leave of the happening in nairobbery.

Posted by mico82 16:02 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

snaps

semi-overcast

if you look through past bog entries in africa, i've uploaded some photos.

i've tried uploading the all to flickr... but there's just too many and the connection is too slow x

Posted by mico82 12:45 Archived in Kenya Tagged photography Comments (2)

miss you

sunny

as expected, thursday was a very tough day. it's been one of the hardest thing i've ever had to do.

although people keep telling me i've done a good thing, i can't help but feel like a shitty person for getting so close to 2 kids... knowing that a month later I'd be leaving them. i should have kept more of a distance and it might not have been as hard... especially for them. my 2 fave kids were the ones crying and if I had been with them like i was with everyone else, they wouldn't have been like that. it jus totally sucks and I can't stop fecking greeting when I think about them.

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kids getting pizza on wednesday


david had no idea it was my last day. we finished class and I told him I was leaving for kenya tomorrow. he then rested his head in his arms, on the table, and started crying. it broke my heart. i was doing okay, no tears but that just set me off. i must have sat with him for about half an hour with him crying on my lap. i left to try and calm down a bit and returned to him writing me a note... which finished with "we go to kenya" :(

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me and david weeks ago


the younger kids had no idea what was going on and were fascinated with this mzungu crying... pointing, laughing and trying to take my glasses off. it made it easier saying bye to them.

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kids waiting for their pizza


then I found samson crying which really surprised me. i thought he was joking at first as he's always doing things like that. i have never seen that side of him and didn't know what to do. i eventualy got a cuddle from him then I just had to leave... couldn't pro-long it anymore.
i can't stop picturing the last images i have of samson and david... and it's really getting to me.

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emma, liz, ginger, jaco, me, sarah and jo

then I had to rush and get ready for dinner, make it to town before dark and say bye to folk i've spent 5 weeks living with. its the first time where I've travelled and met folk that I know I'll definitely be keeping in touch with... most of them I hope to see again actually. amazing bunch... and so many fond, fun memories.

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it's been such a great experience... i can't even put into words what its been like and how's its affected me... I'll never forget those kids. i'm going back next year with paul and this time I'll be fluent in swahili so i can talk to them.
part of me thinks its a bad idea going back... but already i'm missing them so much. i just hope it'll be easier leaving the second time round...

Posted by mico82 02:29 Archived in Tanzania Tagged volunteer Comments (0)

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