Lions! Tigers! Bears! No, actually no tigers or bears, but lions galore, like a female chomping loudly away at a baby gazelle, bones and all. We just completed our four-day safari through the vast Serengeti (Maasai for “endless plain” which is really was) where we saw elephants, gazelle, giraffe, zebras, wildebeasts, buffalo, impalas, and even two cheetahs perched on a rock. We camped in lion territory and were forewarned not to go out of the tent in the middle of the night. The next day we headed to Ngorongo Crater, which was a former volcano that erupted once and formed a crater and became a lake supporting pelicans and “lesser flamingos” (the pink ones) and “greater flamingos” (the whiter ones), zebras, lions, gazelle, etc. Finally we headed to Lake Manyara, which was more of a jungle-like area which hosted more baboons, monkeys, and over 400 species of birds (plus hippos and elephants and giraffes and all those again). I’ll have more details on the safari when I get back to stateside, accompanied with pictures, of which we took more than 700.
We’re now in Dar es Salaam, staying at our friends Natalia and Brian at their new place by the ocean which is clean, white and sparkling (her apartment, that is). Brian works for a coffee company and Natalia is a nurse at one of the new emergency rooms (a new concept here). We took real showers and slept in their spare bedroom and are learning much about Tanzania. We head out by ferry to Zanzibar tomorrow, land of white sand beaches lining the Indian Ocean. Of course, I don’t need another tan, because after looking in the mirror for the first time in five days I realized I had gotten pretty dark. Dark or dirty, it is unclear.