Best time to visit:
from January to March and from June to October
In a word:
Hakuna matata (no worries)
Recommended Antitific, Antimalarial Prophylaxis and for Hepatitis A. In any case, inquire at the provincial hygiene office or your doctor
Meeting with the magnificent Masai tribes and being enchanted by their ancestral rites; Safari in some of the most beautiful African national parks: Serengeti and Ngorongoro; Relax in the tropical paradises offered by Zanzibar
In this great adventure we rented an old military 4 × 4 truck, modified for the transport, spartan, of adventurers in Nairobi, Kenya and almost a month later, we returned it to the same city after covering more than 4000 km around Lake Victoria.
We will sleep almost every night in tents in the most legendary national parks of East Africa, we will cook using our camping kitchen. We will come into contact with the Masai culture of Kenya and Tanzania; we will go into the "impenetrable" forest of Bwindi National Park, Uganda, discovering the latest silverback gorillas; we will be moved in the Kigali Genocide Museum, Rwanda until we plunge back into the life of the African savannah with our clumsy truck to parks such as Serengeti or Ngorongoro, Tanzania…
Of course this does not pretend to be a travel guide but simply the story of a great adventure in Africa!
Here is the part dedicated to the wonderful Tanzania, it is not only safari and Masai but also postcard-worthy tropical paradises: Zanzibar!
We are in Tanzania and the landscape changes completely again ... only poor miserable huts, barefoot children on disaster roads ...
Long day of transfer to Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria ...
We set our tents in the light of our front torches listening to the verses of a group of hippos not far away ...
I find myself grinding km and km on our truck and daydreaming.
Moments made of fast but intense looks, smiles that come inside you, straight to your stomach. Then I open my eyes and immerse myself in the clouds, large clouds of whipped cream, red earth below me. Green goes as far as the eye can reach, to the furthest horizon.
A stop in a village, I get off the truck, breathe deeply and I feel that this is the right air for me, I feel that there is no other place where I would like to be. This land belongs to me, or rather, I belong to it.
And suddenly a girl raises her hand, I mine; in a smile there is so much love that it is impossible to contain, I feel good inside, I feel good in my heart.
The gaze returns to the road, three small boys walk to the edges with axes on their shoulders; bikes overflowing with bananas are pushed by men with oversized jackets and shoes of a few more numbers; in their eyes you could read resignation but it is a mistake, they are just tired eyes but full of dignity.
On the other side of the road hordes of children jump, greet, shout: "musungu" with infinite joy, unaware of what they have never had but so enthusiastic about what little they have that make you realize how lucky we are in life every day even if we are not even aware of it and we take it as a due routine.
In the Serengeti park it rains heavily, we take advantage of a few minutes of respite to set our tents ...
It is dawn in the Serengeti. Three hyenas walk slowly, zebras, wildebeests, impalas run scared to escape from who knows what hidden predator ...
Suddenly two splendid cheetahs, with a regal and refined bearing, come to meet us, stare at us and then cross the dirt road and continue their search towards the horizon.
A little further on, another hyena rests in a pool of dirty and muddy water.
Two lionesses and a little over a buffalo carcass ... They have just hunted this large animal and are now watching that no other predator approaches, await the arrival of the king of the forest ... they will eat the remains. Savannah rules.
We cross the gate of the Ngorongoro national park and are projected into another world. An infinite plain that stretches as far as the eye can see where every type of animal grazes undisturbed.
Zebras, Thomson's gazelles, some giraffes look at us bored ... this is the perfect place to hunt the leopard, here the poor herbivores can only count on their physical abilities since there are no natural shelters, bushes or trees ..
We stop to visit a Masai village and after an offer to the village chief we have the opportunity to dive again into another dimension.
They greet us with a very characteristic and involving welcome dance ... the men, slender and tall, wrapped in red robes intone an ancient harmony while jumping with their legs together; women accompany the litany with their sweet voices.
The clothes, the decorations are very picturesque and colorful as are the bracelets and anklets…
Shortly after we find ourselves inside one of the many small huts listening to the stories of this ancient and proud nomadic people, we are very intrigued by this culture, by their everyday life and their traditions.
We struggle to climb higher and higher, we reach the Simba Camp where we set up our tents under a large acacia tree and enjoying one of the most suggestive views of the entire trip; at about 2,450 meters we dominate the Ngorongoro crater.
The night in a tent is hard, the cold puts us to the test but a wonderful starry sky, which seems to fall on you, makes everything sweeter!
At 05.00 we immerse ourselves completely in the ancient crater.
Ngorongoro. This term that sounds so funny, in Swahili means "hole". And in fact it is a real volcanic hole with a diameter of 19 km and a natural fence for hundreds of species of animals.
It's about six ... a huge orange ball shyly begins to appear on the horizon.
An incredible explosion of fauna before our enchanted eyes: giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles, impalas, ostriches, jackals, vultures, even a rhino ...
A herd of zebras suddenly stops and with extreme attention begins to fix a point ... we follow their frightened gaze and we see two young lionesses walking sinuous and indifferent, they will have already feasted ...
Three jackals with big ears chase another who has entered their territory ... once again the savannah reminds us that there are very specific rules to be respected.
The cold puts us to the test, however, a wonderful starry sky, which seems to fall on you, makes everything sweeter!
Further on. Two majestic figures parade with great elegance. A lioness ... and here it is finally: the king of the forest in all its splendor.
He marks the territory ... he stretches out near a bush while the lioness approaches him an accomplice ... he wanders around him several times until he, with a "feline" leap, jumps behind him ... everything lasts a little but we are incredulous, it seems to look , in the front row, a wonderful National Geographic documentary ...
It is pitch dark outside.
With these images well imprinted in our eyes and hearts we leave the crater and nature towards the sleepy town of Mto Wa Mbu.
Quick shower and we immediately go for a walk around.
Two wooden boards, in the center a chessboard and around many men who discuss every single move. They invite Mark to play a game and challenge their ace, a plump and good-faced old Masai. All to analyze the duel of pawns but the rules are different from ours and we had to accept defeat with a handshake.
Our truck leaves us on the shores of Lake Manyara. Flies give us no respite, you find them everywhere, it's a constant stress!
With our guide we try to enjoy this "game drive on foot", first we approach a canal where hippos are heard, then we walk towards a village along a red road topped by infinite banana trees.
The children are constantly striving to receive our greetings: the musungu. Many women, wary, open up in a wonderful smile once greeted in Swahili.
We stop to see how they make beer or wine with bananas. Quirky and not very tasty! The guide hands us a container with some liquid and after having removed the top foam, he proposes to drink it all from the same jar ... after all it is the beer of friendship
Sitting in Mto Wa Mbu's Scorpion Pub, we eat a plate of french fries and pieces of meat bought from a shack outside and we are happy with our simplicity!
At 5.00 pm half of the city gathers inside the pub courtyard. They project the match Manchester City - Arsenal. It is incredible: about 150 black heads, hardcore fans, are there to support their favorite team.
You even have to pay the ticket (500 shillings, about 30 cents of a dollar). I thought to myself it would be nice if one of those players knew that in a remote Tanzanian village, there were so loyal supporters.
We leave, for the first time, at 7.30. We are not used to sleeping until that hour ...
In two hours we reach Arusha, another large city in Tanzania. We meet several Masai on the way and I am increasingly enchanted by the diversity of the world!
From there the border with Kenya is close ...
Usual paperwork but now we are used to it ...
After this great adventure in the savannah I think you need to jump to a tropical paradise nearby! Go to Zanzibar then! Don't miss this opportunity!