As those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter might know, I spent the end of last week visiting Northern Tanzania–Mwanza, Mara (including Butiama), the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and Arusha. Because of the busy itinerary planned, I didn’t attempt to blog about the trip while on it but, rather, shared what I could on Twitter, saving the blogging for when I got back to Dar es Salaam.
For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter (or for those of you who do but somehow missed my tweets), this first post is a consolidation of the main tweets I wrote while traveling, with links to websites where you can see pictures or find more information. I hope you find this interesting and useful.
If you’d like to ask me a question or make a comment on something I shared in one of my tweets, please feel free to do so in the comment section below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Until the next time,
Day 1: Dar es Salaam-to-Mwanza / Mwanza Hotels /Bujora Museum
- And so the journey begins…heading to JNIA now. First stop: Mwanza. I hope Precision is not delayed this time.
- Just flew Precision Air Business Class (Dar-Mwz) for the first time. Spacious. And breakfast was delicious!
- I have already driven down beautiful Nakasero Drive and seen Bismarck Rock, so truly, I am in Mwanza.
- Someone just planted a dream in my mind: apparently there are hot balloon safaris over the Serengeti $490/person/hour. Imagine that!
- Just had lunch at Malaika Beach Resort, Mwanza. Food was so-so. The rooms? Very, very nice!
- Very nice rooms at Malaika Beach Resort, Mwanza/$150 double room B&B/Free Wi-Fi/Comp. shuttle to airport.
- Did you know Mwanza had only 1 set of traffic lights and Arusha had 2? Hehehe…now you know.
- Apparently, Sukuma kings would cut their hair only once a year, and it’d be such an event that royal drums would be sounded. Interesting!
- If ever you get to visit Bujora Museum, please be sure to watch the dances, especially the snake dance. THRILLING!
- Had dinner @ Gold Crest Hotel, downtown Mwanza. Nice decor, professional service, good food & coffee bar. Can’t wait 2 sleep there tomorrow.
Day 2: Rubondo Island National Park / Wag Hill /Sailing on Lake Victoria
- And the touring continues. First stop: Rubondo Island National Park, the only park on Lake Victoria.
- Rubondo Island National Park was a li’l slow. Little wildlife, but the thick forest was nice & lake shore interesting in its different-ness.
- The best thing on the Island for me was Rubondo Island Camp. Would be perfect for a getaway with that special someone.
- @whthome Apparently, they’re only at the Northern- and Southern-most tip of the island. We didn’t see them. (Talking about chimps at Rubondo Island National Park.)
- In Kenya, I developed a taste for rustic lodges. Wag Hill, Mwanza is right down that alley. Pricey, yes, but so so nice!
- Wow! If u came 2 Mwanza just 4 the sunset boat ride from Tilapia Hotel, it’d b worth it. $100 for 1 hour on the boat total up to 20 people!
- @Andre_Muhozya Didn’t go 2 Saa Nane Island but sailed around it. Was great 2 sit/stand on-deck, feel the wind & waves, & experience sunset.
Day 3: Mwanza-to-Mugumu / Bunda, Mara / President Nyerere’s Home & Museum at Butiama
- The rooms at Gold Crest Hill were as good as I expected. Great executive hotel in downtown Mwanza. Incredibly low introductory rates!
- Oops…I meant Gold Crest Hotel not Gold Crest Hill.
- “Serenity on the Lake”, a lodge 20 mins from Serengeti’s Ndabaka gate, opening early 2012, featuring lake views from your bed. Imagine that! (Owned by the same group that owns Hotel Tilapia & Mbalageti Serengeti)
- For bird lovers, Speke Bay Lodge (10 mins from Serengeti’s Ndabaka gate) features nature walks where u can c 60 species of birds in 2 hrs.
- Speke Bay Lodge also features cool tents for the budget traveller.
- 1 of the best views I’ve EVER seen: the 360° view from the viewpoint @ Balili Camp, Bunda, Mara, overlooking Serengeti & Lake Vic. Grand!
- Just left Butiama where I visited President Nyerere‘s home, grave, and museum. Makes one think about how much one man did for his country!
Day 4: Mugumu to Arusha via The Serengeti National Park and The Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Live in Dar es Salaam long enough & one forgets that it gets cold elsewhere. This morning, I woke up in Mugumu, Mara & it’s COLD! *Brrrrr*
- In Dar, we get watered-down traditional dances. I just saw Kuria dancing at the Serengeti Cultural Centre in Mugumu. Now we’re talking!
- Entering the Serengeti for the first time, through the Ikoma gate. Did you know it costs only 1,500 TSh for East African residents?
- …and only 10,000 TSh for East African registered vehicles? #Serengeti
- So far, I’ve seen giraffes…and hippos just chilling in the mud. #Serengeti
- …and now I’ve seen a HUGE herd of elephants! #Serengeti
- …I’ve seen Hartebeest (sp?)…and guinea fowl. #Serengeti
- …and a Leopard so unafraid of people that it walked up to a convoy of 6 cars and crossed the road in front of us. #Serengeti
- And the scenery, plains with a backdrop of hills, is amazing! #Serengeti
- I saw the wildebeest/zebra migration in person–woohoo! Animals in single file and grazing around, in other places. #Serengeti
- I’ve seen Thomson’s & Grant’s gazelles, bachelor herds of Impala, ostriches & a cheetah on a water tank preventing a truck from drawing H2O.
- Now entered Ngorongoro Conservation Area through the gate at Naabi Hill (I didn’t know the Serengeti and Ngorongoro shared borders).
- In Ngorongoro, so far, I’ve seen sheep (because Maasai are allowed to live and graze here) and camels. (Camels???!!!) #Ngorongoro
- @MulkiAhmed reminded me to share that we saw a baboon too. In fact, we saw it break into a tourist’s car & steal food. Hehehe…#Ngorongoro
- Businesses that act suspicious of their customers irk me. #AfricafeArusha #Shoprite
Day 5: Arusha & Back to Dar
- Of the last 4 #Precision Air flights I’ve taken, 1/2 have required that I wait 4 hrs for the next flight (no fault of my own). Not cool!
- Wow, that was one long road trip from Mugumu, Mara to Arusha–8 hours–but driving through the Serengeti & Ngorongoro was well worth it!
- It was great to be in Arusha again after so long. It’s still as fresh and clean as I remember it–just bigger and better!
- The Njiro Shopping Complex is quite impressive and more than I expected to find in Arusha!
- …and no trip 2 Arusha is complete 4 me without a visit 2 The Arusha Hotel (@arushahotel) which is even more beautiful than @ my last visit
- Need 2 get from Arusha 2 KIA/JRO cheaply? Try the Precision Air shuttle. Leaves 2.5 hrs b4 all local flights, from town office. 10,000TSh
- #Precision Air is a MESS!
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