It always takes me so long to download and edit my own images. Brandi asked me to write an article for our newsletter about my trip to Africa so I’ve been setting aside a little bit of time each week to go through my images. I had over 2,000 images from this trip and have only made it through about 1/4 of them. But, before it gets any later in the year (can you belive July is almost over!), I wanted to share some of these images with you.
Earlier this year my granddad, Tom, and I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Tanzania, Africa. What an adventure!
We flew into Kilimanjaro, via two flights that totaled over 24 hours. I added it up and it was over 30 hours from the time I left my driveway till we arrived at our first stop. My legs were swollen, my back hurt, I was exhausted, I felt grungy, but I was running on adrenaline and so happy. We arrived in Arusha where we spent one day recovering from jet lag before heading out on our safari. I had been teasing Tom for suggesting that we spend an extra day in Arusha, I told him he must be getting old if he needed a day to recover from jet lag. Boy was I eating my words. I was so thankful for that extra day. And if we hadn’t spent an entire day in Arusha I might have missed some wonderful memories.
Below are pics taken from our car as we were given a tour of Arusha.
Most of the city looked like the images above but in the midst of this city was a very modern art gallery; it looked so out-of-place. I was in love the moment we stepped through the doors. I could have spent the rest of the day here. The art was absolutely amazing.
The next day we left for safari. This was our plane:
I’m not usually nervous about plane rides but I was a little worried about this one. No need to be, the pilots landed the tiny plane with ease and it was smoother than most of the commercial flights I’ve been on.
Our driver for the rest of our trip met us at the landing strip. Meet Simon…
After Simon introduced himself we were off…
We saw literally hundreds of thousands of zebras while on our trip. And I never tired of photographing them. As we were nearing the village (pictured below) our driver eased over to the side of the road and exclaimed ”Look, over there, it is the rare stripeless zebra!” Oh my goodness I was thrilled! I’m grabbing for my camera because I had never even heard of such an animal, they must indeed be truly rare. About this time I catch Tom’s eye and he is just sitting there, so not excited, kinda shaking his head at me and Simon is laughing his head off. Turns out my rare, stipeless zebras were donkeys!
Did you know that baby zebras are brown and white? They don’t turn black and white until they are older.
Visiting this Maasai village was a highlight for me. In fact, if I had to pick my favorite moment, it would be spending a little time with the children in their school hut. Knowing we would be visiting a village I went to Sam’s and bought two giant bags of candy. Now I have to tell you the hardest part of preparing for this trip was figuring out what to pack. Because we were flying on the little plane we were only allowed a ridiculously small amount of luggage. The first time I packed up my camera gear I was already over the pounds permitted and I still had two weeks worth of clothes to pack. Not to mention I may have slightly over packed on sunscreen and mosquito spray (hey no one can every say this girl’s not prepared). So before our trip Jason helped me pack, weight, unpack, remove some items, repack, weigh…this went on and on for a week. During each repack Jason would rationally suggest I take out the 100 pounds of candy I was carrying. Nope, not gonna happen, make it work, I’m taking the candy. We did and I’m so thankful we did. The kiddos were so excited and it just made my trip.
Have I mention our lodging yet? Somehow I planned this entire trip without realizing I was going to be sleeping in the wild, in Africa, in a tent. Yep, a TENT! I’m not going to lie, I had a tiny melt down when I first realized the only thing between me and the hungry sounding lion outside my widow flap was a thin little piece of cloth. (Have you ever heard a lion roar, now imagine that outside your TENT!) In hindsight words like semi-permanent, due to its mobile nature, no underground plumbing, should have been some pretty big clues. Yet somehow I manage to get myself 1/2 way around the world before realizing I was camping. Now let me tell you this was certainly more “glamping” than camping but I’ll never forget the moment I realized just what I had gotten myself into.
By the end of our trip I was smitten with our little camp. I had mastered the 60 second shower, had learned to chill when a herd of elephants brushed the sides of the tent awakening me from sleep, and had grown completely confident that the Maasai man who escorted me to and from my tent could totally ward off a lion with the walking stick he was carrying.
My granddad, Tom. I can’t imagine another person I would rather share this adventure with. Love you Tom and I just have one question, when are we going back?
PS. We booked our trip through Africa Dream Safari which I would highly recommend. If you decide an adventure to Africa needs to be added to your bucket list let me know and I’d be happy to answer any questions for you I can.