A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: leiasj

there and back again...

a travellers tale by Leia Carey

View Carpe Africa on leiasj's travel map.

So once more I am back in "Sunny" England again.

But returning to my last few days in Africa, I spent Saturday learning to scuba dive. I was quite nervous, considering my not liking snorkelling and not being an amazing swimmer. But after watching a dvd in the morning and spending some time underwater learning how to breath towards the shore (only panicking a couple of times), I felt much better. The masks fitted much better then with snorkelling and i didn't have to worry about a big wave coming down my air supply. Just so long as my mouth piece didn't get knocked out. So in the afternoon Bethan (who is already Padi qualified) joined me as I went for my first scuba dive!! We didn't go too far away because some people on our boat got sea sick, so we just went to the nearby restaurant jetty. It didn't matter much to me, because I still had an amazing time and saw some beautiful fish. We went down to about 12metres and were down for 43 minutes. I saw a Dory fish from Finding Nemo, a stone fish and a catfish, and a whole load of fish that looked very pretty!! And of course all of the coral looked very pretty also.

On Sunday we had to return to Stone Town, I packed my bag ready for the flight home and surprisingly fitted everything in (minus a few clothes to be thrown away, of course). We got in the dala dala back to Stone town and spent the afternoon spending the last of our money buying last minute souvenirs. After then chilling out in the room for a couple of hours we went out to the market to get some cheap but delicious food. I had a couple of savoury and a sweet Zanzibar pizza, a naan, falafel, a potato ball and a meatball, washed down with some freshly squeezed cane juice. I also bought some crisps for the next day and all this only cost me 4800tsh, which is less then £2!!!

We caught the ferry across to Dar early in the morning, which was a nightmare. We didn't get seats so ended up sitting on the stairs by the toilets and on the way up to the deck. So by half way through the 2 hour journey people were rushing past us in all directions to be sick! Needless to say, this was not conducive to a vomit free journey for myself, and I proceeded to spend the rest of the journey myself rushing to the toilet, there being no room up on deck to get any fresh air.

When we finally arrived in Dar I had emptied my stomach of its contents and Bethan had a little while until her flight so we headed to a bakery with a couple from another truck, and spent a few hours there. We then got in a taxi, which dropped me off at the hotel I had booked and took the others to the airport. I had a double room booked because Hamish had though Bethan was staying with me, I went into the hotel to enquire about changing to a single room, which I was told would cost me $42!! With my Lonely Planet book in hand I told them to stick their room and headed to find a taxi to take me to a hostel that would cost me $16!! I went for a wonder from the hotel, but there wasn't much to see, so I spent the day relaxing in my room.

I got up at 4:30am to go to the airport. My flight wasn't until 9am but I was at the airport in plenty of time. Checked in and my bag wasn't overweight, which was a bonus!!! Bought some last minute things at the duty free and boarded. Flight was pretty smooth, just got annoyed at it taking 40minutes to taxi across the whole of Heathrow it seemed!!!

Posted by leiasj 08:41 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

sipping cocktails by the indian ocean

ahh... this is the life!

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So Sunday we travelled to Dar es Salaam. Everyone was very excited to see the ocean. OUr campsite was out of the city a lttle and on the beach. we had cocktails from coconut shells!!! We were in transit for the last time to get there, probably not going to miss the long journeysd but it has given me the opportunity to see lots ofthe countries.

ON Monday we took a finally short trip in Kafaru to the ferry port, where we said goodbye to our drive and truck. we took a short ferry over to Dar and then another across to Zanzibar. Some sea sicknes felt, but i fell asleep and it was all better. Missed the film tho!!!

On arrival in Stone Town we had to transfer up to the beach in the north. When we finaly gotthere there was much excitment and of course quickly in the ocean. the sand is so fine and white, and the ocean so clear. it is much more humid here so the swim was welcomed.

On tuesday we went snorkelling. i didnt get too far away from the boat, because i wasnt confident enough, but i still got to see lots of the fish and some coral. a little worried about jelly fish reports, but i went unscathed. we also saw 4 dolphins jumping on by our boat!!! in the evening we went on what is commonly called a booze cruise! needless to say we had a really great night!

On wednesday we had a chilled out day, swimming and walking along the beach. there were lots of little stores along the beach sellinbg curios, but aparently the governmen decided that they cant be there anymore so they were all shutting down. quite good for me becuase i got an awesome ainting cheap! but also added somemore to my baggage allowance!

we had a big group dinner with entertainment this evening, some acrobatics and fire eating!!! it was also karaoke!!!

thusday morning we had to go back to stone town. on the way we did a spice tour where they showed us all round the different plants that they make into spices. such as cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, lemon grass etc. also we saw a boy climnb a coconut tree and then threw them down to us so we could drink the mil;k and eat it. we then reached stone towqn and learnt about the slave trade.

we had the afternoon free so i tried to find the post office so i could send home my bedding to save space in my rucksack, the post office were unhelpful and dhl wantd to charge a small fortune, tho it would be abck before me!!! ill try again in dar. after a group of us met in a bar dedicated to freddy mercury because he was bron here. we then headed to meet the rest of the group to watch the sun set over the ocean. after some cocktails we headed to the fish market for dinner. lots of stalls selling the days catch. not being a fan of sea food, i did try shark, but i particularly enjoyd the zanzibar pizza, whioch is actually more like an omlete, but i is soo tasty, i had one savory and on sweet. then back to mercurys for fairwell drinks and to wish bethan a hayy birthday.

this morning myself, charlie and birthday girl bethan have returned to th beach for a couple of nights. i plan on going scuba diving tomorrow!!! well off to enjoy the beach and sun now, i hear its raing back home!!!!!

Posted by leiasj 12:28 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

the big 5...

my last safari

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argh... sitting in the bar where they are playing music and the speaker is right behind me!!!! so getting aheadache, and with there only being one computer people keep coming up to me every minute to ask to be next!!!

anyway, a few things since i last wrote in nairobi.

Monday we went to the giraffe sanctury where we got to kiss the giraffes. i had a nice giraffe saliva wash!!! they stupidly were stock taking the shop when we were there so missed out on all the things we were contemplating buying through the shop window!! after this we went to see the elephants at the sanctuary attached to nairobi national park. this was only for an hour so that they dont get too much human contact. we saw them playing around, but no kissing.

after this i had much trouble trying to exchange the last of my travellers cheques! but got it sorted in the end. in the evening the group split a bit because some people wanted to go to an all you can eat meat buffet, whreas 4 of us decided to go to an ethiopian restaurant. the dishes came served on a giant piece of pancake type bread thing, that you rip off and use to scoop up the food. i had a man wash my hands!!!

tuesday monring we had to pick up 4 new people who are going with our truck from nairobi to either cape town or joburg. so where we used to haev 4 free seats we now have none. the two girls i mentioned before whose compant cancelled their tour have gone on a different truck.

we had a long drive day this day into tanzania (i feel sorry for the 4 new people who had to spent $50 on a kenyan visa for 1 day!!).

wednesday i jumped out of an aeroplane of mount kilimanjaro! i was the first to go, as i had done one before. but we were quite delayed by the clouds and then immigration who did a random check on our car from the campsitre to the airport. the skydive instructers had to go get their passports and take them to immigration. then we arrived at the airport and had to wait til 11, i was supposed to jump at 7!!! there were 13 of us wanting to do it, but unfortuinately only 9 got to. caused some friction ebcause some people who only jsut decided or can do it again in namibia got to do it, whereas some girls who had decided 4 weeks ago to do it did not get to jump.

after this we drove to arusha and had an african buffet.

thursday morning wqe drove to the serengeti. we did not have long in the park this afternoon because we had to get to camp before dark. but i did finally get to see a leopard. my photo isnt very good because it was getting dark and was a little far away, but someone else in my group has a better one i can steal!!! we also saw a lion sitting on a rock. as per usual the camp site was unfenced, heard a lion and some hyena nearby.

the next morning we drove around for longer and saw another leopard, still didnt get a good photo tho. we also saw 4 cheetah!!! an elephant charged us, but we survived!!! and also a lion got a little close for comfort considering we were in smaller jeeps instead of our big truck!!!

we went to visit a maasai village after this, and i managed to leave without getting married! did get an awesome spear tho!!! hope i can get it through customs!!!

we slept at the top of nongoragora crater which was very cold, and a little scary when we pulled into camp to see an elephant. during the ngiht i needed the toilet and was faced with what was either a rhino or a buffalo... either way scary!!!! and the zebra were guarding the loo so i had to pee outside!!!

this morning we drove around the crater and saw the big 5 in one day!!!! the black rhino wasnt really playing ball and was looking mroe like a rock!!! and we didnt see the leopard until we were on our way out and it ran from us so again no photos!!!

off to dar tomorrow and then on to zanzibar!!!

Posted by leiasj 15:49 Archived in Tanzania Comments (1)

the lion roars!!!

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So we travelled to Naivasha, where we were able to go for a walk to green crater lake. this meant a 45 minute boat ride (where i didnt feel sick!) but we did see hippos finally and a python!!! when we got to the land, we had a couple of hours walk to the crater. on our walk we saw zebra and giraffe up close. we even herded the giraffe a little.

the crater was really beautiful, having been formed by volcanic activity. there were lots of flamingos in the lake at the bottom and we saw somer colobus monkeys.

the next day we travelled to the masai mara national park, saw lots of masai women and men. we drove around all afternoon seeing the usual antelope and giraffe. when we spotted some elephants most of the group had not seen them before so gt very excited. we were buzzing through to the driver to stop but he kept going. we then realised that justn a little further up he had spotted a male lion by the road. he paraded around for us for a little bit before settling down, but we could see that he was looking over at something, and when we looked in that direction we saw all his females and cubs under a tree. we headed over there and were watching them for some time. not long after all of the matatus had heard about our find and the place turned into a car park!!! we heard about a cheetah spotting so headed in that direction, but when we got there the guide was stopping people going there, we think maybe there was a cub with the cheetah. so we headed back to the elephants but they had moved on.

our campsite was jsut outside the park, but with no fences up the animals still roam around, luckily a well equiped maasai man was keeping guard. once again we could hear the hyena in the background, and hippos too.

the next morning we stopped the lionesses again. this time they were a little more actve and walked right beside our truck. in total i have probably 100 pics of the lions!!!! still no leopard or cheetah in the wild yet tho, but still serengeti and Nungoragora crater left tho.

from the mara we were supposed to drive to a campsite an hour from nairobi, but we were making good time so in the end we arrived at nairobi at 8pm last night. the cook group were let off cooking their goat meat (it was the only meat the butcher had!) and we ordered pizza!!!!

Posted by leiasj 15:01 Archived in Kenya Tagged animal Comments (0)

leaving my mark in kenya

building bridges

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Not a very eventful week this week. mostly just been in transit. travelled back to uganda to join the rest of my group to begin with. Went swimming in Lake Buyonani, thanklfully no crocs or hippos around. Also t\went out for an early morning cvanoe ride, tho me and rachael werent very good at steering it.

THen tra elled back to kenya via the equator, where we expereinced how water floows different ways in each hemisphere and on the equator just goes straight down. Went to a drum market where a lot of people bought big drums but i settled for a modestly small one.

Went for a walk up a hill when we got to kenya, had some local boys take a small group of us up. followed in the evening by some t raditional dancing that we were able to join in. unforunately it was quite dark.

travelling to lake baringo and a truck had got stuck in a big dip in the road, they had the army type people helping, we found our own way across, but we had to build the road up to begin with with some more rocks. huge cheers when we got across, but we had to leave the other truck stuck. apparently we only help out other overland trucks.

yesterday we went for a morning walk i i got to hold a scorpian. we also saw a snake and lots of plant type things. We climbed up a ridge of the rift calley in order to get a good view of the lake.

after breakfast we went for a boat trip, which was unsuccessful becasue we didnt see and hippos. although we did hear them at night, and were scared to leave our tents to go pee in case one charged us. though we did have a guard loking out for us apparently. we did see some crocs on our boat, and saw a fish eagle catch a fish that we threw for him.

after lunch we went to visit a local tribe. i think i got married several times. else they were jsut interested in my watch! there was a language barrier! it was good to learn about them. and we got to dane with them although it wasnt as good as the other dancing that we saw, becasue they were really just jumping around, fun none the less.

today we have just driven from baringo to nakuru on our way to naivasha.

Posted by leiasj 10:20 Archived in Kenya Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

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