Showing posts from February, 2015



It’s taken three days but I’ve finally figured out how to brace myself while we’re rocking and rolling and shaking and shimmying in our “Jeep” 1 so that I avoid lower back spasms.First I grip the arm rest of the seat next to me with my left hand – about 12 inches away, jam my elbow into my seatback, then with my right hand I grip the handhold below the window if it’s only moderate terrain or the one above the window if it’s truly automatic washing machine rough terrain.This stance allows me to relax my back while still preventing me from bashing my brains out against the walls of the Jeep yet not putting my back at risk for spasms and great pain.I call it the “flexible, back spasm prevention brace position” and it seems to work.

But I have to tell you the game seeking tracks are truly spine wrenching at times particularly since the short rains (sudden, short showers) have come and the tracks are rutted up to the axles at times.W…



It’s morning at the Bougainville Tented Camp with not a tent in sight.Nice place but nowhere near as wonderful as last night’s.But it’s good – pool, nice rooms in small buildings, big bathrooms, lots of flowering trees and plants.Last night’s Sangaiwe Tented Lodge, however, also featured singing hyenas during the night.While I’ve heard hyenas before I’ve never heard them quite as musical before.There must have been two groups some distance apart and the one closer to us was the more musical.Sounded like a small pipe organ.Even our guide/driver Musawe commented on them next morning.

Right now we are waiting for Musawe to pick us up at 9:00. He stayed somewhere else last night.We are off to Lake Manyara today hoping to see more animals and then later off to the Serengeti. The ideal safari experience is witnessing a “kill” i.e. a lion, leopard, cheetah or hyena chasing and downing a dik-dik, gazelle, wildebeest, zebra or other fast food victim.It…



Checked out of the African Tulip in Arusha at 8:30 and with a stop at a grocery store (it looked like a Costco Warehouse with nearly as much “stuff”) for some insect repellent, sun block and body lotion, we were on our way to Tarangire National Park with our Driver/Guide Musawe.After sloshing through Arusha’s morning rush hour traffic – quite heavy by the way – we arrived about two and a half hours later.The day was pretty typical as these things go –three warthog families (the little ones look like those small pot belly pigs folks in the states used to keep as pets), twenty or thirty giraffes in four or five groups (I don’t know the official name for a “group of giraffes”), many red deer, and six or seven truly fine Thomson Gazelles, a dirt mound that looked like a large ant hill but was actually the home of a family of mongoose, four or five dik-diks (small deer the size of toy poodles) and of course, what Tarangire is famous for, several families of elephants includ…



Woke up this morning in Arusha, Tanzania, to the sounds of birds chirping outside our hotel room window.And, this is the shocking part, they weren’t crows!In case you’ve never been awakened to the cawing, screeching, and shrieking of one of India’s most clever and irritating of birds, the Indian Raven, you just haven’t lived.I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished – in a sympathetic tribute to right wing, American Rifle Association, personal responsibility flash of hostility – I’d had a shotgun to seriously maim the black creature who seemed to have purposely chosen the mango tree branch not five feet from my bedroom window to begin his morning communications with me at 6:00 AM.

After a four and a half hour flight from Kochi to Doha, (full, by the way, of children under the age of five years – and without being insulting you know exactly what that means!), a subsequent 4 hour flight from Doha to Dar es Salaam followed by an hour flight to Arusha (Kilimanjaro), fo…