(I realized I wrote this up and never posted it)
And saw lots of elephants. Lots of lions, cheetahs, zebras (So many zebras), giraffes, wildbeests, warthogs, hyenas, and more.
This was one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ kind of trips. I’m always leery of that type of statement, often making fun of the people who say, “I went to Costa Rica and it was life-changing.” But honestly, it was one of those trips that open your eyes to things you likely only understood in the abstract.
Nicole and our friend Suman decided to climb Kilimanjaro (She summited!!). I was in no way interested in that, so Suman’s mom and sister and I joined them for post mountain safari and mini beach vacation on Zanzibar.
The three of us arrived a week after Nicole and Suman. That was the day they were heading back down the mountain so we’d see them the following day. It was cool to be there when they climbed out of the van at the lodge. Also, the lodge was dope and it was pretty cool to just hang out and get some writing done, to play with my loaner camera, etc.
Safari was truly awe-inspiring. It sounds goofy, but it’s gonna be hard to see a zoo the same way after this. Watching lions walk within a foot of the car and keep going, makes seeing them behind a fence not as appealing. Seeing a cheetah and her cubs eating their kill just ten feet away, fantastic. Also gross and full of flies, but awesome.
There’s no way to share all the pictures, I took over a thousand and that’s not the point of this post. Side note, I’m a fan of DSLRs now! Man i got some great shots that my iPhone couldn’t have done. I was bummed to give it back.
We spent the entire trip in Tanzania (Outside our layovers in Frankfurt and Addis Ababa) and if time and money had not been factors I’d have loved to visit other countries. There’s so much history and culture to explore.
Tanzania has only been free of the British since the 1960s. Let that sink in, barely 60 years of freedom.
Eastern Africa is home to tremendous archeological finds. Americans like to bask in our excellence, it’s so easy to forget that not only are we not native to this country, but also that we came from the same place as everyone else, and it wasn’t Europe.
I wish more Americans were lucky enough to be able to afford to leave our country and explore (though sometimes I’m glad to not see so many of us, LOL) the world. There’s so much to see, so many cultures to explore. Being a visitor in a country (to me) really helps drive home that we’re all struggling to do the same things; put food on the table, keep or get a roof over our heads, etc.
Learning about the East African slave trade was also eye-opening. If you’re able to visit Zanzibar, do it. I had no idea about the depth of the slave trade in that part of the continent.
This was by far our longest trip both in terms of how long we were away from home (3 weeks for Nicole) and how long it took to get there and back.
Since I forgot to post this, and am doing so now in November… We got home mid-late February… A few weeks later at most and things would have been a lot harder to get home I’m sure. As we moved through airports and spent hours killing time, the reports were beginning to trickle in around the virus. Addis Ababa had some seriously strict enforcement going on. This could have been a very different trip.