Friday, 25 September 2009


It feels like a long time since I last updated. We've had a few very long driving days. The first was the road between Nairobi and Arusha - not one part of it was sealed so it made for a very bumpy ride in the truck. In Arusha we stayed at a snake park and we are all very aware of the huge, dangerous snakes that are around! After one night in Arusha we went in to Ngorongora Crater. A truely spectacular drive, and very windey both going down into the crater and back out(lucky I'm used to the GY road). We took jeeps into the crater as the truck was too big, it meant we could get much closer to the animals. We so a nice herd of ele's both a big bull one and some Mommas and babies - the big bull one trumpeted at us and our driver got out of their fast. We also so many types of birds, lions, hippo's, a rhino, plenty of elk and a cheetah. It was a great couple of days made even better by the lovely sealed road between the crater and Arusha(thank you Japanese government).

Our next big drive took us from Arusha to Dar e Salaam(a mega 15 hour drive), we even had lunch on the truck. Very entertaining to at lunch to have cheese, veges, fruits and knifes flying around as we went over each bump. When we got to Dar we got stuck in traffic for a good three hours as it there was a big celebration for Eid. Hundreds of people all lining the streets, so we all were hanging out the windows saying hello and trying to communicate with the locals. Our campsite was right beside the beach party so made for quite a restless night.

Then we have traveled by ferry to Zanzibar a beautiful island of the coast of Tanzania. The first night we stayed in Stone Town and were able to watch an awesome sunset go down from the balcony of Africa House - a upmarket hotel right on the beach. Stone Town was very cultural and much friendlier than I thought it would be. We went to a night market by the beach and were able to sample many types of fish and meat and the banana and chocolate pancakes was delicious.

For the past two nights and for tonight we are at a beach hotel up the North of Zanzibar - very much beach holiday mood. Most of us have just being lazing on the beach most of the times with occasional visits to the three restaurants close to us. The sunsets are amazing and the stars are bright at night showing that we really are in a beautiful spot. Today Christian, Ann, Heidi and Ann went out on a little boat for some fishing. We caught 13 all together and some of them were very ugly with big teeth, we were also lucky enough to see two dolphins. After we arrived back we bartered with one of the chefs too cook us some fish. So we had 13 fish cooked and some chips and salad all for 27 000 shillings. Not bad when divided between five of us works out just over $5 per person.

Tonight we may go on a sunset cruise, and as I have being battling some kind of weird flu thing I should go rest - it most likely is not malaria but no one knows quite what it is.

Tomorrow we head back to Stone Town for one night and then the next day back to Dar. From there we travel to Lake Malawi for a few days. Hope everyone is well. Take care.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Have now being in Kenya for five days(I think) the days seem to go fast and blur together. We have a double Kumuka group so 26 people in total plus two tour leaders and two drivers. We've not yet being on the truck as we needed to take four wheel drive ones into the Masai.

On the truck that went into the Masai with me there wass Bonnie, Bianca(Aussie), Brendan(Kiwi), Shannon(Canadian), Gavin and Amelia(Aussie), Heidi and Anette(Aussie), Brooke and Scott(Aussie) and Chris(Canadian) - a very good mix of young and mature passengers. We had a great time in the Masai - it is much hotter than when I was here last but ok when the wind is blowing through the sides of the truck. We pass the time playing card games, charades, 20 questions and waving at the locals. Kenya is experiencing a drought at the moment so everywhere is very dry and a lot of the animals are looking very unhealthy. The Masai passed with out event, although I do very much appreciate that I'm in a wonderful place that not many people can visit. We saw lions, plenty of zebras and antelope and a few herds of giraffes. The Masai village was very good as well - the mud huts that they make last for 10 years which is amazing!

Today a group of us went and visited the the elephant orphanage. At the moment there are 28 ele's ranging in age from 11 days to 2 years. They are very cute and entertaining and act just like human children. We then went to the giraffe center and got to feed the giraffes which was great. Both the giraffes and elephants I did last year but it was still awesome to visit them again.

Next we went to the mall for some money and lunch. When we went to come back we decided to catch a Matautau(mini van taxi), the group of us crossed the road and became surrounded by the drivers who were all wanting us to get in their taxi. Then apparently because I'm a good barterer everyone was looking at me to get the prize. So I said to one driver 200 shillings for all and he said ok and we all piled in. Brendan and me in the front, so we get going and realise that we don't 100% know where we;re going but he says he knows, the he says he doesn't, so we were calling to the back and asking if they knew but they couldn't hear as they were watching the TV in the back! After a fair bit of shouting we got to out camp road and the they upped the prize to 300 shillings which was ok cos in the end it's not alot. But it was all very funny with the van that was very 'pimped' up.

So tomorrow we get into our new truck with new people from the group and head to Tanzinia. Right now though I'm going to go and play a game of darts and have a cold drink because it is very hot. Hope you all are well.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

I Love Uganda!

Here I sit in Nairobi with about two hours to go until we get on the truck and head to Lake Naivasha for a night in before heading to the Masai. The trip from Jinja was pretty sweet although there had been riots for a few days before in Kampala. We had to drive through Kampala to get to the airport and there was plenty of burnt tire marks, burnt vehicles and lots of armed police and army forces. It was a little bit nerve wracking to watch the driver scanning the area all the time, but since he had a car full of Mzungas we were easily waved through road blocks. The reason for the riots was to do with one King trying to reach parts of his Kingdom which is within a nother Kings region! Made for an interesting ride to the airport, and we had considered staying in Jinja for a bit longer, which would have being no hardship.

So just some highlights of my time in Jinja, am already making plans to go back for some volunteering. The people of Uganda are hugely friendly and welcoming and the surrounding area is all green and lush.

Every morning I woke in the chalet with monkeys jumping on the roof, calling out and the sounds of birds and the rushing sound of the Nile - awesome! In the evenings there is nothing like sitting in the bar with a beer or purple Fanta and watching the orange and purples of the sun going down over the river.

One day we went and visited a baby home. Which had 10 children aged from 5 months to 3.5 years(all with very sad backgrounds) which is run by a 20 year old Ugandan, Demali, who herself was bought up in an orphanage. She has made a great home for the little ones and they all are well cared for and loved. For most of the time I had baby Stephen(5 months), his twin brother and his mother died not long after child birth and when Demali got him he was severely malnourished but with her care he is now a chubby baby with plenty of smiles and doing everything that a five month old else where in the world would be doing. He was so sweet and I hope to go and volunteer for a month or so next month.

On the last day we got to go in the Nile River Jetboat, which is the first jet boat in East Africa. It was driven by a Kiwi who had being in Africa for a few years. Very amazing to be skimming over the Nile and the rapids and jumping and doing Hamilton spins - well actually it was pretty scary but I survived.

So that gives you a little taste of what I've being doing, have to go and have breakfast and get ready. Will try to get on a computer after a the Masai. I'm having so much fun and really appreciating the people and the continent of Africa so far.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

One more sleep............

Bag packed, batteries charged, money organised, passport and vaccinations clear. Having trouble using this blog so you will hopefully all see more postings while I'm away. My trip that I doing which starts September 13 is the Kumuka African Contrast here is link:

The first week will be in Uganda at Jinga the start of the Nile. That's if Bonnie and I can find a ride from Entebbe Airport to Jinga........ Below is the campsite we're staying at, can't seem to find any good photos, but from my visit there last night I can say that it is truely the one of the beautiful spots in the world.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Preparing for Africa

My floor is covered with clothes, sleeping bag, thermarest, bug spray, sun screen, two cameras, torch, a mix of batteries and memory cards and other assorted items. I've three days to work out how to fit everything in my pack which seems to have got smaller since last year.

Return to Africa 2009 is a trip of a lifetime and I'm very thankful for having the time to go. I'm looking forward to meeting the friends, getting up close to some wild animals, sand boarding and maybe relaxing with a beer or two at sunset.