My East Africa, Madagascar & other wildlife photos

www.flickr.com More of my East Africa photos
www.flickr.com More of my Madagascar photos
www.flickr.com More of my other wildlife spotting photos

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 68: Disco

22:51 Now at Masai Camp for some dancing. With 3 Swedish girls and 3 staff from Arusha Backpackers Hotel. Fun!

Day 68: Gallery

19:42 Visited Cultural Heritage. Overpriced souvenirs. Yet to open art gallery is biggest in East Africa. Cool stuff!

Day 68: Rock Artist

11:44 Just had an interesting chat with Kondoa rock art archeologist John Cavallo. Great art repro's as well...

Day 68: No clue

9:34 Let's see what the day brings. Feel quite fit. Dancing mood ;-) No Arush-rush-a but polepole today.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stupid Songs in my Head

During my trip some stupid songs that are not on my MP3 player kept on singing around in my head. My MBrain3 player on the repeat. Very annoying.

Stupid songs:

* The Phantom of the Opera Theme
* Queen - Who wants to live forever
* Sidney Samson - Riverside Motherfucker (it played every time I saw a sign or building with Riverside Camp or Riverside Whatever, and believe me, that's a lot)
* Black Eyed Peas - Boom boom boom
* Diggy Dex ft. Eva de Roovere - Slaap Lekker Ding (Fantastig toch)
* Bobby Brown - Two can play that game
* Schubert - Die Launische Forelle
* Snow - Informer
* Propellorheads - Echo and bounce

And many more that I luckily can't remember.

Day 67: Planning calculations

18:05 Friday 5 November.
Just did some planning calculations.
My flight to The Netherlands leaves Wednesday 11 November. For going to Kondoa I need 3 days: 1 day bus to Kondoa, 1 day visiting Kolo for the ancient rock art, 1 day to take the bus from Kondoa back to Arusha.
I'm not fit enough to go tomorrow morning at 6AM to Kondoa. But traveling on Sunday would mean I will be back Tuesday afternoon. Just any satback - like a broken down bus - will delay me with a day. There are not that many buses going from Kondoa to Arusha directly. The most used option is to spend the night in Babati half way. So another day. I can't take the risk of not being back on time.
So over one and a half week in Arusha and not able to visit the Kondoa-Kolo rock art sites. Sweet. Nice timing my bowels have. One of the things I really wanted to see in Tanzania :-(

Day 67: Photo Shoot

17:14 Helped Internet Cafe girl to get her photo on Facebook. Did photo shoot 1st. See my latest Facebook friend. ;-)

Very Lame Swahili Joke - II

A Dutch chicken and a Italian Swahili Mafioso chicken are walking down the street.
The Dutch chicken says: "Tok"
The Italian Swahili Mafioso replies: "Arr-e you-a toka to me?"
(toka = go away!)

Very Lame Swahili Joke - I

Q: What does a very polite Swahili cow say when I pass her?
A: Shikamoooooooo!

Day 67: Internet

9:31 Let's do some internetting with a crappy keyboard.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 66: Small world

21:58 Went with med student and a Swiss girl to dinner with group of volunteers. Met some people before...

Day 66: State

8:46 Still in a 'too much info' state. At least, after yesterday's chicken soup, I feel like eating properly.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 65: ORS

16:02 Think I'm 1 of the few that actually likes to drink ORS solution. Glad I bought passion juice. Don't want food.

Day 65: No Kondoa

7:35 I won't go to Kondoa now. Belly issues. Will stay in Arusha for now. The delight of shared bathrooms...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day 64: Tomorrow Kondoa

21:07 Leaving at 6h to Kondoa with Mtei bus. Ancient rock art! The etching is a woodcut print, my bad.

Day 64: Etching

14:53 Could not resist buying a small nice etching of Oryxes (antelopes) at an art and curio shop. Only 2.5 euro.

Day 64: Dropveter

9:16 Gister bij Shoprite supermarkt in Arusha engelsedropveters gekocht. Kon 't niet weerstaan. Smaakt goed!

Tanzania Quiz

The "What have you been doing in Tanzania?" Quiz.

What is your first association with the following words:

... Safari
a) Beer
b) I'm planning my next wildlife adventure
c) A sweet, tropical alcoholic mix drink
d) A trip in the dalladalla

... Simba
a) Lion! I know Swahili. Love their lazy lifestyle!
b) The Simba Koppies in Serengeti. Good memories!
c) Lion King was great!
d) Hey, yesterday I was in one of their buses!

... Kilimanjaro
a) Beer
b) Uhuru Peak
c) Mountain
d) Water

... Moto
a) I prefer my beers baridi
b) My motto: "Leave nothing, take only pictures"
c) Hello ...? Yes, I like clamshell phones
d) I haven't had a warm shower yet

... Tusker
a) Beer
b) Big elephants
c) A kind of dried bush meat
d) N'dovu ;-) I speak my languages!

... Jambo
a) Mambo Jambo!
b) Jambo!
c) That's Swahili, right?
d) Sijambo! Answering with Jambo is stupid; I have no problems

... Serengeti
a) Beer
b) I saw a leopard at the Masai Koppies
c) Great documentary on National Geographic Channel!
d) Took the Mwanza - Arusha express through it

... Karibu!
a) Another beer is very welcome
b) Welcome!
c) Great to see those herds of karibu (reindeer) in Canada on tv
d) Asante sana!

Look what you answered the most (a, b, c or d) and go to the results below.

Mostly a):
Your only goal seems to be to get to the next place where they sell beer. You happen to be one of those mid-twenty British that do an overland beer-safari?

Mostly b):
You are the classical safari tourist, visiting the main attractions. You love the wildlife and the experience from your 4x4 and lodges. You don't want to mingle with the locals too much. You're here for the nature!

Mostly c):
Have you actually ever been to Tanzania? It's fine. Just watch tv and read a blog.

Mostly d):
You are the budget backpacker. You've seen all of Tanzania but the parks. They are too expensive. You speak a bit of KiSwahili by now and hang out with locals at local places. Not sure whether that is because you are so interested in Tanzanian people or because it's the cheapest way to get around. Don't bargain everything down to the bare bottom. The idea of tourism is to bring some money to the country and local economies.

Day 64: Mt. Meru

8:45 Rooftop breakfast with view of Tanzanias 2nd highest: Mount #Meru (4566m). Beans, potato, pancake, toast...

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 63: Arusha

15:28 After 8:15h bus Arusha. Do-fuck-me-not mentality got me a taxi with little hassle. Stay in Arusha Backpackers.

Day 63: To Arusha

7:14 In the Fasaha 7:00 (sharp!) bus to #Arusha. 3 Spanish girls almost missed it, I let the bus stop. 5h drive.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mazumbai Forest and Photography

Well. I can be quite a camera addict when I'm out here. Not with people - don't like to intrude their privacy too much - but with wildlife and nature. When everybody is using two hands to climb through steep slippery rainforest slopes, I still have a camera dangling round my neck.
But what about rainforests? It's hard to take good pictures of the rainforest so people who've never seen it can get a grasp of it.
It's green. Usually a bit dark - especially when you have a closed canopy. Plants, trees, fungi, vines, mosses, they all grow over each other, across each other. And the ground is loitered with dead plant remains. There are many layers in a rainforest. Some trees reach up to 40m high. Sometimes you can see through the undergrowth. Sometimes you can only see 2m far.

With taking a photo of a rainforest, you miss the depth. It's all green. You don't see much contrast.

You can compare it with a little girl of 9 years old. Give here a camera. Put her in the middle of a dense shoulder to shoulder crowd of 50,000 people at a rock festival. Ask her to take photos that really give a good overview of what that crowd is like. You'll only get photos of the backs of a few people with some more arms visible. You don't see or capture the crowd. How it is.
The same applies to rainforests. You can have a nice view through the branches and foliage when you are at a peak in the rainforest. But you can't get that view properly on photo. Neither the dense jungle you see. Sometimes the canopy is more open and there is less undergrowth. Then you can try to make a nice photo.
But still... You have to be there to know what it's like. To know the many shades of green. To experience the myriad of life that grows on each other. To smell and hear.

Still I love it. Rather be in the rainforest than out on the savannah. But I make less photos than on the average safari, for sure!

Day 62: Crappy Internet

Ah.. Expensive internet cafe in Lushoto. Very slow connection again. Internet Explorer 6 (2 versions behind..). Can't open Hotmail (won't load). Can't open Facebook Inbox. Now attempting to open Hyves Inbox. Have to read some messages from friends and family, right?

Day 55: Wallet

25 October. Did some severe interneting - I think - in Dar es Salaam. Fast internet cafe in the street with all the Indian / Hindu temples and shops. Bought a coconut from a street vendor. Cut it open, have a refreshing drink. 500 Shilling only (25 eurocent). I put my wallet in my side pocket. Walk towards the main road and not even 20m further a teenage girl comes and brings my wallet...
Did I put it just half in my pocket? Sloppy! Quite happy I got it back! And all was still in there.
Close call...

Day 62: Post Editing

Just changing the dates on the posts of the last dates that came in all at one bunch. That way the order makes some sense again. Make sure to check the Older Posts or Oudere Berichten!

Day 62: Tomorrow Arusha

Tomorrow I'll take a bus to Arusha. After changing - privately - some dollars I have some shillings again...

Dag 61: Wildlife Spotting - Mazumbai Forest (Usambara Mountains)

31 oktober 2009.
In de ochtend naar Mazumbai Peak geklommen door Mazumbai Forest. 's Middags een uur door Mazumbai Forest en daarna door de heuvels langs de velden en dorpjes naar Bumbuli.
Tropisch bergregenwoud blijft leuk.

Wildlife in de morgen:
Kameleon, vlinders, 2 kleine kikkers in een stroompje, grote roofvogel, hagedis (bruine rug, witte en zwarte zijstreep), Black-and-white Colobus aap (lijkt de central african lowland vorm te zijn op basis van haar en staart, logischer zou de oost afrikaanse bergvorm zijn...), hele grote (15 cm?) Giant Millipede (miljoenpoot), kameleon (kop-lijf 5cm) die door grote mieren werd aangevallen, zwarte slang met roodbruine onderkleur die door bladeren kronkelde (kop niet gezien)(20-25cm).

Wildlife in de middag:
Grote zwarte tor (5 cm), hele grote dikke geel-zwarte mot (10 cm lijf), Lushoto Mountain Squirrel (jawel, endimisch in deze bergen), veel kleine vogels, groep van 5 hagedissen (bruin zwart gestreept) van 10-20 cm.

Dag 60: Wildlife Spotting - Mazumbai Forest (Usambara Mountains)

30 Oktober 2009.
Hike door Mazumbai Forest naar het Zwitserse Huis (Mazumbai = het grote huis in KiShambaa).
Tropisch regenwoud. Veel woud, weinig dieren gezien.

Wildlife:
2 kameleons, vreemde miljoenpoot (niet afgeronde segmenten, gele streep over lijf, verder zwart), groen glimmende kever met hoorn op zijn kop en vier hoorns op zijn thorax, andere kevers en torren.

Niet wildlife:
Veel boomvarens (van die prehistorische dingen), grote bomen (ook over het pad), kinine bomen.

Day 59: Wildlife Spotting - Irente (Usambara Mountains)

29 Oktober 2009.
Usambara Bergen, Tanzania.
Wat wildlife - niet veel - gezien onderweg naar Irente Viewpoint vanuit Lushoto. Meest langs dorpjes en landbouwgronden gelopen.

Wildlife:
Skink (hagedis), grote sprinkhaan met rode vleugels, onbekende roofvogels, Trumpetter Hornbill (neushoornvogel), Mousebird.

Day 62: Shower

12:56 No water halfway shower. Towel around loins, to receptionist. Shy (very Christian) she brought bucket of water.

Day 62: Blogger issues?

Looks like my SMS messages are not being processed automatically anymore :-S The online cronjob is not working properly somehow. All my effort with my Dutch mobile number to send an SMS from the deep forests of Mazumbai seem to be void if people only read about it days later...

Day 62: Reading

12:21 Spent the morning reading western popular science (EOS / Scientific American). Good for a change.