I will go back to the beginning of safari Two since the last travelogue was so short.
This is being sent from Musoma Tanzania. Pretoria was a great stop over between safaris! We stayed at word of mouth
backpackers hostel and they provided transportation to and from the Jo-burg airport. It is about 50 km away. We got in about
4 pm and hurried up and got organized to go to a Spar grocery supermarket and get some food and cook for ourselves at the
hostel. We had steak and ice cream for the first time in about a month.
We finally found an internet place the next day and I sent the previous travelogue. The connection cost 8 rand ($1.33 USD)
per hour so the cheapest yet, slow but stable. In Pretoria we used IRLP amateur radio linked to the internet and talked to
our radio friends in South Dakota in Sioux Falls and Mitchell. The people at the hostel we just dumb founded listening to
us talk to SD on my hand held as they could hear me and SD on the speaker. We talked to a number of local amateurs and
previously had made contact with Johan ZR6ANF Johan before we left for Africa so we contacted him on the radio and he set
it up to pick us up on Thursday at 10 am for a 3 hour tour of Pretoria which happened and was great! We got lots of great
pictures and local information.
Things went smoothly flying from Jo-burg to Nairobi, Kenya. About 3 million people live here but the airport is quite small
about like a city of 500,000 in the USA. Our VISA's only took a couple of minutes and we got by with a single entry even
though we are going to Tanzania and back into Kenya because we are on holiday and it is less than 30 days. They just waved
us on through so we did not have to go through any lines. We were met by our ride which was great as the Dutch people
were coming much later and we though we might have to wait. Our driver was Smiley and all he did is smile with his white
teeth and he told us a lot about Nairobi. We met Trace our Djorsers guide and it appears we will have to rough it more on
this trip but the food is good. The hotel room was basic but OK and it has a safe where you choose your own PIN so that
was nice to put our money and passports in. We could not find my money as it was not whe! re we normally put it. We tore
through everything and decided it must of dropped out of the zipped pocket when we got something else. We figured we lost
$1200. Finally after we had given up I remembered at the last minute I had moved the money to my camera case and had it in
my backpack. Edith told me to quit doing this as it was to stressful! I will admit I though it was gone! The thing is we
have 31 different zip pockets between our two bags and our day back packs and pants. It takes awhile to decide what to put
where and you do things a bit different when traveling via air than when on safari. It takes several days to get a system
down! Anyway from now on the money goes in the camera bag in the day pack! Fortunately the safari vehicle has a safe so
we can put our valuables in it.
We have found cotton is pretty worthless for safari. Hiking, non-cotton type shirts and pants that are kaki in color and
thin and dry quickly with zip of pant legs are idea. Non cotten shorts are the way to go. Have zip pockets or velcro
pockets so you don't lose things. A good pair of sandels like Teva's are great. You only need three pants and three shirts
and three pair of shorts. One could probably get by with two pants and two shirts but they can get ripped badly or a
zipper break so one for back up is nice. Baby wipes to clean up and use when there are no showers work great along with a
high absorbant towel. A LED headlamp is worth its weight in gold and it lasts about 100 hours but after 75 hours it gets
a bit dim. Sunglasses are nice and I use a digtal voice recorder for the daily notes and recording specials things that
happen along the way such as African music, etc
Kenya is much less arid than our other trip. There are acres and acres of corn and sugar cane and also bananna's and
pineapple and other fruit and vegetables. There are lots of mountains in Kenya but it it poor with all outdoor toilets
for homes, shackes, and little stands or very tough looking small buildings for shops. The trash is not bad but it is
dirty and dusty and all kinds of exhaust fumes but everyone is friendly and yell welcome to Kenya or HOW ARE YOU! The
kids all wave and yell this! It is definitely a farming based economy. BTW in flying here we seen farming north of Jo-burg
and then it got drier with some pivot irrigation and then some arid land and then in Mozamique we got into high mountains
with green valleys. Then Lake Malawi which is huge and then arid land then savanna, grass and low trees for the serengeti
and southern Kenya. We seen some craters south of Nairobi.
I am on the packing crew with two others rather than kitchen detail. Actually the kitchen detail is better as it is only
twice while the packing is everyday unless we stay someplace two days. But it is good exercise and only lasts a few
minutes. We met the people at the bus and headed out for Mt. Kenya which is the second highest in Kenya and has snow and
ice on it even in the summer. We did a hike here and went to the Mau Mau caves where the resistance movement centered out
of before the independence from Britain in 1963. Swahili is the official language but every one can speak English and
all the signs are in English. A lot of the English is hard to understand because of the accent and many don't know the
language well but it is very easy to get along here. On the hike there were only 3 on the long hike and I can now report
that the people on this trip are in poor condition and I seem to be in the best condition of all so that tells you how sad
their condition is. Next we went to Samburu NP and seen lots of animals. A new one for us was the Gazelle. We also
spent some time with a Samburu tribe and learned about their culture and they sang and danced. To buy things here like
in Mexico you need to bargin, sometimes down as much as 90% so a lot of tourists pay more than the going price. On the
way to Thompson Falls we stopped for lunch and as everyplace a huge crowd of kids showed up out of no where. The sang
for us and we sang for them. It soon became clear they were politely waiting to see if we had any food left to give them.
At the end we gave them a half loaf of bread and some watermelon. It was quite a pushing match. I notice on boy got a
piece of watermelon and broke it in half and gave the one piece to his sister who tucked it in her coat and walked off
where she could eat it. To tell you the truth I really felt bad about eating and wished they could of had my food. There
is food here, lots of it but people are poor and it has been very dry so some areas are really hurting! I don't think
many starve but many,many barely get enough. Thompson Falls was about 85 meters high and 20 meters wide and again I found
out how good of condition I was as we hiked to the bottom and back. Next we went to Nakuru NP and seen the most flamingo's
I have ever seen. We seen Eland and white Rhino's for the first time. From Baboon Cliff we had lunch and looked out over
the lake. It was a highligh of the trip seeing all the birds and wildlife below for miles.
As in Mexico we find soda pop is much cheaper than the USA. It is about 5 % Muslem here but that is mainly on the coast
where we don't go or to the north. It is safe other than to the north near Somilia, Sudan and Ethiopia. The majority are
Christians and prayer and bible study are a part of the public school system. The new government has free primary education
and free health care but the more we talk to people I personally believe things are going down hill here as there is just
to much corruption!!! The infrastructure is falling apart. We see no public construction at all but do see some private
construction. Heavy equipment just does not exist! Trinity Broadcasting Network and the GOD channel are very very popular
and there are lots of Christian bookstores. Many, many schools and churches, there are about 25 per cent Catholic here
and 75 per cent protestant. Lots of Charsmatic and penticostal here.
Next we went to Lake Barringo where we spend our 2nd and 3rd hot night. The first was as Samburu where we heard lions
roar and Hyena's right outside our tent. At Barringo we seen Hippo's and Fish Eagles that look a lot like bald eagles.
We also visited a home for handicapped children. We were all impressed and made a direct contribution. The more we
are here the more it looks like that is the best way! We see tons of clothes in the market and you have to think it was
given to people and eventually gets into the market place. The people are dressed decent and are clean considering the
condtions. Markets every where and they are aggressively selling
Next we visited Nakaru which is the 4th largest town and walked around and visited the market place the locals use. We
were treated well and welcomed many times. Americans are rare here! We have only met one American and visiting with
people we find the Americans just are not here but we are well liked here and they like President Bush and think he is a
good Christain man who is fighting terrorism. They also hate terrorism and what happened in Nairobi in 2000.
We spent some time at the Mt. Elgon area and Kitale. We seen caves where elephants and cape buffalo get salt and seen
a rain type forest here. Kitale was a fun town to walk around in but I will have to say our favorite was Nakaru.
Next was Kakamega Rain forest where all it did was rain and everything got soaked. Fortunately the tents did much better
than I expected as they just have a small rain fly so apparently they have been sprayed with water repellant big time.
We did see lots of different type of monkeys. The black and white Columbus monkies are our favorite. From there we had
a long drive into Tanzania. It starts to get more arid at the border and in Tanzania it immediately becomes arid and
there are rocky ridges. It turns to mostly livestock and only small plot farming. The first glimpse of Lake Victoria was
in Kenya at the old town of Misuku(not sure of spelling). We seen some great local markets here but did not get a chance
We camped on the shore of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa, it is huge like our great lakes. We are at Musoma
and tomorrow will go south farther along the lake and then to the serengeti and Ngorongoro Ccrater and then Ashura and
Mt Kilimanjaro and Nairobi. It looks like we spend the day in Nairobi and about six hours in Amsterdam so may be able to
do some touring at both and maybe internet at Nairobi.
Sorry for the mis-spelling, grammar, etc. but no time to correct things! Since I have been faithfully doing my voice
recording each day there will be a detailed dairy on the web site along with great pictures eventually so don't miss those.
Edith and I and two others are now the only ones who have not been sick on this trip. We sure are thankful for that.
The food has been great and the hygene vastly better than the first trip so I have no idea why everyone is getting sick.
Don't miss the Travel Guide to Toilets in Kenya and Tanzania coming soon! To you living in comfortable America it may seem
a bit non-cultured but let me tell you if you have been on Safari for 40 days and live among the people here you get a
different perspective on things I guarentee it!
Ed and Edith