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Newsletter Dated: 2/7/2004 2:48:25 PM
Subject: Newsletter: Finale, Tanzania
Happy Hello Dear Readers!!
In my last Newsletter I gave you an overview of part of my recent safari (journey) to Tanzania. This Newsletter will be the last one dedicated solely to the African safari, the first steps of the journey of my book in progress on FGM. Future Newsletters will be more typical in nature, but will feature African Safari Tidbits and expand on events.
We spent a day and night in the Ngorongoro Crater and the two days and nights in the Serengeti observing the wildlife, and part of four days doing research in Shirati, Tarime, Bunda and in Moshi, Tanzania.
We spent the 19th of January touring the Ngorongoro Crater. Our overnight was at the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge; web sites are located at http://www.ventureafrica.net/ngorongoro_wildlife_lodge.htm and http://www.ewpnet.com/ngorongoro-wildlife.htm. The lodges in the Crater and in the Serengeti are truly nice. James, our guide, told us that some lodges located there are very expensive, as high as $600 per person per night. The Wildlife Lodge that we stayed in was very nice, but not anywhere near that expensive. The rim of the Ngorongoro Crater is 2,286 meters above sea level with a 600 meter drop down to the crater floor. The Crater is a site I will not forget. The roads were very rough and winding as we descended into and climbed out of the Crater. We saw many wild animals, but my experience with water buffalo is memorable. As I was getting settled for the night in the room, I looked out the window to the beautiful expanse of the Crater spread before me. I was so involved in this breathtaking view that when my eyes fell closer to just outside the window, I was not prepared to see two water buffalo. The one nearest the window was eating away with no concern. It did not see me. The one slightly behind was gazing up at me. These critters can look at you for an amazingly long period of time. As the near one grazed nearer and nearer to my window, the one behind became more uncertain. When the near one took off on the descent of their path, the other one gingerly put his foot ahead of his body, never taking his eyes off me. After much indecision, it took a less close path to follow the other one.
We spent two nights, the 20th and 21st of January in the Serengeti. We stayed overnight in Seronera Wildlife Lodge, left for Shirati on the 22nd of January. One website for the lodge is http://www.travellers-choice.co.uk/tanzania/seronera.htm. In this lodge, the staff warned us not to leave the sliding doors or windows open or monkeys would enter and help themselves to anything in the room. So, in the early morning and evening with our doors and windows closed, we watched the monkeys come to our window.
We saw so many different animals and fowl in the Serengeti, more numerous than named here. Perhaps I can go into more detail in a “African Tidbit” column in a future Newsletter. We saw more animals than James, our guide, referred to as the “Big Five.” We saw lion, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, hippo, elephant and rhino. A most powerful scene was four lionesses and about 12 cubs eating from a Zebra that they most likely had killed in the early morning. One cub took a bite from the Zebra too close to Mom’s plate and was sharply disciplined. The cub turned upside down and lay on its back until the coast was clear. One lioness crossed the road on which all the land rovers were parked. She soon realized she was separated from her cubs and began calling to them. Since they did not come, she began her return through the land rovers back to the cubs. As she strolled by our vehicle, her penetrating gaze was too much for my comfort level. That was close enough for me.
On the 22nd of January we made our way to Shirati via Musoma and Bunda. We spent our nights at the very comfortable Shirati Motel 2000. Fortunately, for me and my research agenda, I had been corresponding with a physician in Shirati, Dr. Esther Kawira. Through her efforts, the Shirati visit proved to be a very successful part of my trip. We will always be grateful to Esther and her husband, Josiah, for their generous and warm hospitality and for their efforts and the efforts of Rev. Manaen Kawira (Josiah’s brother) to facilitate research interviews. The Kawira’s scheduled an interview with a professor in Tarime. The professor is the Director/Program Coordinator for the Rorya HIV/AIDS Prevention Organization. Later in the day, we managed to squeeze in a trip to Lake Victoria. On the 25th of January, Dr. Esther scheduled an interview with a physician who is the District Medical Director and member of the Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children. I will feature the professor and district director and their very important work again in a later Newsletter.
On the 26th of January we went again to the Serengeti, and stayed overnight a second time at the Seronera Wildlife Lodge. We visited Olduvai (German spelling) or Oldupai (Maasai spelling) Gorge that gave us finds of early people. On the 27th of January, we returned to Arusha staying a second time at the Arusha Resort Centre. The 28th of January was to be a day of leisure, but the District Medical Director in Bunda was able to set up an interview in Moshi with a physician who is also the chairperson of the Kilimanjaro Inter-African Committee.
On the 29th of January, we departed from Arusha and went by private shuttle to the Nairobi Airport. The four hour trip marked the end of the safari administered by Adventure Tours and Safaris.
Many of you have written to say how much you are enjoying my overview of the African Safari. Thank you for letting me know the safari and the initial steps of my research journey, are of interest.
Welcome to the new subscribers from Tanzania. I encourage you to write to me with any additions or corrections.
The next Newsletters will have normal book news but will include an “African Tidbit” corner.