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Exploring Nairobi & intro to Tanzania

Days Seven & Eight - Nairobi & Arusha

sunny 30 °C

Day 7 Thursday, 3 February 2011
We started early and were picked up by our cabbie friend at 8:30. He dropped us off at the national park and we were told at the gate that ‘no, you can’t walk around the national park, there are wild animals (der) so we waited for 20 mins and did a walk through an orphanage for wild animals. There was a selection of birds, lions, cheetahs, hyenas and monkeys. Somehow we even managed to get close and pat a cheetah, the one adopted by ‘’Usane Bolt’’ the sprinter. The place was quite empty – we were the only ones there.


Then we went to the walking safari park and went on a reasonable walk around to see the animals that live in different types of habitats. There was an interesting sky walk, I think our decking skills are almost on par with theirs (if not better)? Again we were some of the only ones in the park.

The parks were good – but we feel as though each time we get the raw end of the stick because we have to pay more, and then we get asked if we want a guide that will expect a tip at the end. It’s only a few dollars, but we’re trying to be a bit frugal. We’ve been a bit spoiled with the types of animals we’ve seen so far though.

We found the cabbie and went to the national museum. The museum showed the various animals (stuffed ones) and native costumes from Kenya. It was interesting – but we were done in about an hour.

The snake pit that was next to the museum had a good display of the native snakes and fish. There were some tortoises and turtles and the crocodiles were playing it cool.

The main tree in the central courtyard was interesting viewing (a snake had caught a bird and was fending off the other snakes), but Wendy not so keen to stay.

Unfortunately we waited for 45mins in the sun for the taxi, a different story….

Then the culmination of the trip so far, Carnivore restaurant. We ate a selection of crocodile, camel, ostrich, chicken, turkey, pig, beef and lamb. The meat eaters paradise. Our bad run with taxis continued when we had to walk to the car park and wake up the sleeping taxi driver.


Tomorrow we start the tour that will take us on safari and ascent on the mountains.

Day 8, Friday, 4 February 2011
Bus trip to Arusha, Tanzania.

We had an early morning wake up to allow us to pack again as we fell straight to sleep feeling full.

The bus trip was not to eventful, lots of looking at people and the contrasts between the rich and the poor. Wendy was desperate to finish her book (and risked car sickness to do it), ’the girl who kicked the hornets nest’’ and I gave the ebook a good run for its money.

The highway is under construction so you go between bits of great new road and then via off onto bumpy dirt road – we cant believe how much we take our infrastructure for granted.’ The trip of about 200kms took about 4 hours.

We arrived in Arusha and had a quick briefing from the tour company about the Tanzania on Foot Adventure.

We then had our own adventure of walking into down town Arusha. Wendy gets really peeved that she has to wear long pants and loose shirt in order to avoid being ogled at – suppose their just not used to such beauty!

We managed to meet a local who called himself ‘Brian’. He claimed he was a former porter on Kilimanjaro but now was an artist. We walked with him for awhile and then managed to escape and tried to explore Arusha. Unfortunately from the get go I was targeted by hustlers trying to get us to go on safari, Wendy managed to stay inconspicuous for while (and tried to teach me how to politely tell them to bugger off).

We went to get some money changed. They give better rates for higher denomination bills for some reason so we got 74,000 Tanzanian shillings for US$50.

As soon as we left the exchange, we were hit twice as hard by touts, we tried to find refuge in an art gallery/gift shop, but found pieces of art the we actually really liked – but we can’t justify, or carry.

We braved a convenience store and were told that it would cost 1500 Tanzanian shillings for a local bottle of beer and he added (after being told in Swahili by someone) that it would also cost 400 shilling as a deposit for the bottle. When we asked about the cost of a can which was 1/3 the size, it was also 1500!

We gave up negotiating and then went to the beer garden where all the locals were hanging out. The beers were 2000 each, but they were very friendly. We had some kind of bbq beef meal and then went back to hotel.

Brian seemed to be waiting for us when we left so we looked at the art work. He told us that he had been taught by his grandmother, we bought two pieces – haggled a little (but not enough). When we got home we noticed that there were two different signatures on the art work, glad they look nice. – suppose they’ll end up with the artwork from the Vietnam trip, in the cupboard…

We had an interesting night. There was a lot of noise from the bar downstairs so we couldn’t really sleep. And at about 10pm, Chris answered knocking at the door to meet a young girl trying to come into the room. It was only when he said that ‘his wife was inside sleeping’’ did she go away! We told the reception staff and they were a bit flummoxed….

Tomorrow off to Ngorongoro crater.

Posted by ourlife 05:53 Archived in Tanzania Tagged animals

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