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A Lazy Adventure on a Tanzania Safari

Tanzania has so much to offer and to make a trip here worth wild it is better to expand the safari to include the other wonders Tanzania has to offer outside the National Parks. Yes we are talking in part of an adventure and the cultural safari. This need not be as dreadful or as energetic as you imagine. Simply be visiting out of the way areas and staying in comfortable small hotels will add depth, adventure and culture to the safari experience.An American lady I know of mature years was so impressed after her journey through Tanzania she sold up her home in the Mid-West and headed into the wilds of Northern Tanzania. It took her three years to realise her dream and to make a permanent home in Tanzania; she has not regretted it.

We met one evening; I working for a Safari Company and had been sent to pick her up from Dar es Salaam Airport. She got as far a reclaiming her bags and then sat down refusing to move any further. Despite my frantic waving at her through the glass window beckoning her to venture through passport control, she stubbornly stayed put; she would not budge. We sent airport officials in to explain we were waiting for her but she chose not to understand. Eventually the officials allowed me to go through to claim her.

Welcome to Tanzania I said; a silent steely glare was returned.We promptly dumped our client in a city hotel for the night. The following morning we drove the six hours north to Pangani. The driver and I had not been to this area of Tanzania and as we reached the hot humid Swahili cost town named Tanga we had to stop and ask for directions.

This did not impress our client and we drove to the 45km to the lodge along a very rough and dusty road in silence.The hotel was called Argovia Lodge; as we arrived at the lodge the tropical heat a sea breeze seemed to melt our guest; it was all so tropical so beautiful. Our rooms were tents with double beds and wardrobes and even a bathroom en-suite with hot water; erected on raised wooden platforms with a viewing deck at the front of each tent. The views looked through the lush tropical gardens out onto the blue waters and white deserted sands around the bay. This was paradise ? the last evening here we took a lazy cruise in a rather small motorboat down the wide lazy coconut palm lined Pangani River.

We returned to the hotel by leaving the mouth of the river and crossing the bay; a storm was brewing; our small craft battled to cross the bay. Eventually we landed on the beach the hotel staff were there to greet us with towels and cocktails and the trauma of the crossing began to fade and soon became a tale of adventure in the hotel bar.After three days of luxury on the coast we headed to the top of the Usambara Mountains.

These African mountains are so different. Often they are likened to the Swiss Mountains with a generous pinch of African thrown into the mix. Grants Lodge was a small four bed-roomed farm and was charming. The food was out of this world cooked on a wood burning stove; the local people washing clothes in the river, cattle wandering, children chattering in this clean, quiet retreat. We felt close to the African culture without being intrusive, without having to rough it either.The first day in the late afternoon we approached a table in the hotel garden, where drinks were waiting for us, a branch snapped in the tree above and wham onto the table it laded with a chameleon attached to the branch and a rather large snake attached to the chameleon.

The waiter who was waiting beside the table screamed and ran away leaving one of the ladies from the kitchen to run out and beat the snake to death with a broom. It added to the adventure; a safe comfortable and very lazy adventure.The following day we figuratively returned to five million B. C. on the primordial Bird Walk.

This enchanting walk took us through the forest and eventually to wetlands where we spent an afternoon relaxing and watch birds along the grassy meadows of a small stream. We felt we had been transported back in time and was sure we noticed a pterodactyl streak overhead.After two days here we headed toward the game parks.

On leaving the Usambara if it is a Thursday or Sunday, the colourful and vibrant Lushoto market is a must stop. The market is chockablock with fruits and vegetables. There are 160 fruits, vegetables, and herbs, at this market; the mountains are famous for juicy plums, crunchy pears and purple avocados.After a night in Arusha Town it was off to the Elephants and the Leopards in the Tarangire and the Lions of the Serenegeti. The whole experience took 12 days, it was not rushed and Tanzania, just a little, was reviled and experience to be cherished for the rest of our days.

.For information on Tanzania adventures see http://www.betheladventure.co.

uk and for all information on Tanzania see http://www.tanzania-info.co.

uk responsible tourism can change lives, support the communities you visit.

By: Ian Williamson



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