Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tarangire Safari

Just back this evening from two days at Oliver's Camp, Tarangire having had a fantastic time - lions, leopard, and lots of special mammals you don't normally see too. A selection og photos to prove we had fun before we disappear again tomorrow to Zanzibar.

What was Mama thinking?!

Boy sees Ele, ele sees boy!

Bath time...

For the giraffe fans

Fringe-eared Oryx were a treat

Temminck's Courser with cute chick!

Kitty with cute chick...

What's up doc?

Lesser Kudu are smart too!
We love Tarangire!

Friday, 26 August 2011

10 years and grandparents

Yesterday marked 10 happy years of marriage for Mr and Mama B. How lovely. I've have posted more but there was no power at the critical moment last night. For those waiting to hear, Grannie and Granddad arrived safely on Wednesday, we're all off on safari today for a couple of nights. Hopefully there'll be more pictures to show then too!

Monday, 22 August 2011

What's the place coming to?!

So, as our series of visitors are now just about upon us and probably fixed on their travel plans with no way out of it, I thought I'd share a little of the joys of being in Tanzania at the moment, as many of our usual minor irritants are at full strength and a few new ones are thrown in the mix too.

So, the big discussions on the street are all to do with power. At the moment most of the country has 'scheduled' 17 hour power-cuts. At least, there's supposed to be a schedule, but really it depends on who gets to pull the fuses out as to where goes off when. And, of course, even if you're schedule dto have power it doesn't mean something won't break down and the whole town go off anyway - that's just normal! So, no power. Not too good. Why? Because no-one's invested in the national power company for a decade or so, the population has grown and demand grown massively. And we're most supplied by hydro-power and there was precious little rain last wet season so the dams are dry.

Last week the news was all about fuel shortages, with several hour long queues at petrol stations and several of our friends not venturing out in order to keep fuel use to a minimum. An artificial crisis caused by government price setting angering supplies to the point that they say they were required to sell below import prices and consequently stopped shipping fuel around the country.

And now we're out of water - apparently the pump that supplies our neighbourhood died at the weekend and won't be fixed until Wednesday. We'll see if that happens on Wednesday! Meanwhile, we're ekeing out our water tank with minimum use policies...

The good news for our visitors is that there now seems to be fuel in the petrol stations again (albeit rather more expensive!), and somehow, whilst the rest of the country lives in darkness, we on our power-line up here rarely get long powercuts. Rumour has it this is a hang-over from an early presidential decreee that Ilboru secondary school - just up the cable from us - would be a model for the rest of Tanzania and never have things like powercuts. Which is fine by us! Water, well, we'll see. There are always swimming pools...

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Fun fun fun

Playing in the mudpit sandpit at our friends house yesterday, and then party time with bouncy castle today - what could be better? Only an enormous aubergine donated by the owner of a field we walked through...

Sayings of the Mancub 4

The Mancub is now 3 and very very chatty. Good entertainment too. Here are some of his recent comments.

I'm giving my baby a small number of sweet cereal because she's small and has a smaller liver.
Note parents who have been explaining why small chidren shouldn't have alcohol

I found a good path back to the Bible cottage
Walking back to our friends' house at a Bible college 

Before we came to Tanzania, were we dead?
From a boy who's trying to understand the concept that we haven't always lived here and we won't always live her.

I think I got this tub out Easter day
you mean yesterday 

Russia's a very big country
rather randomly in the middle of a phone conversation with Grandma

Oh the grand old Dupe of york
He had thousand men
He marched them to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again
And when theywerenup theywerenup
And when theyweredown theyweredown
And when theywereonly half way nup nor down

and my current favourite, from a Mancub who's discovering letters and which words start with which letters, and knows that his name starts with an A...

Look! I did a letter! I writed the letter 'willy'! For William!

See earlier sayings of the Mancub, sayings of the children and very early sayings of the Mancub

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Views of Eyasi

I found a missing set of pictures today from our visit to Lake Eyasi last week. Here are some of the nicer ones. All courtesy of Mr B.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Safari photos - Lake Eyasi and Mwiba

We're home and clean again. Everything that was in the car (including us) was covered in a thick layer of dust by the time we got back - the perils of the dry season and a holey landrover.

Had a WONDERFUL time! So nice to get to bits of the bush that are not overpopulated with visitors (we were the only ones in Mwiba, joined for our last day by a friend from Arusha), and generally nice to get away from it all.

Here are some photos. We spent two nights with friends at Lake Eyasi. They run Kisima Ngeda tented camp which is a beautiful camp in an idyllic location. There is also a campsite, which we have used twice on previous trips, though this time we stayed in the owners' guest cottage. Thanks guys!

We then headed to Mwiba - a private game reserve in Serengeti, staying at Mwarabushu tented camp for four nights. Can't find a website for them, probably because they only opened to visitors a month ago. We thought we'd be roughing it (relatively speaking) in the conservation area manager's camp but ended up being lodged luxuriously in the visitor's camp itself, in the biggest bed we've ever seen (7-8 ft wide at a guess). Mr B was there to discuss burning plans with the manager, having made a previous visit in January, and we tagged along for the ride.

Swimming pool at Kisima Ngeda

Driving up the escarpment from Lake Eyasi to reach the Serengeti

Lunch stop

Kids playing in camp, happy to have reached Mwiba aka "The Scorpion Place"

Much clambering to reach a deep waterhole carved into rocks

Nowhere shallow enough to stand made catching the kids interesting...

Some of the local Manyati tribe were watering their cows at a nearby but lower pool. They were fascinated by our binoculars (and by us being able to swim!)

Also fascinated by the camera, and in hysterics when they saw themselves reproduced in the view finder. Some of them didn't want to be snapped but these young lads thought it was very entertaining.

Lots of game. With the visitors camp only opening last month they were still unused to vehicles and a bit skittish. Defiinitely our duty to help them accustomise to people watching them!

Lilac-breasted roller. These beautiful birds were very abundant.


Plenty to be found when we went looking under stones, but none took us by surprise at any other point, thankfully!

Kitty the Klipspringer. We saw several of the real ones - a new mammal sighting for me! No good pics though.

Sundowners in the bush is one of my very favourite things...

Greater Kudu - another new mammal for Mama B!

Sundowners the next night. Beautiful setting but freeeezing cold! We were shivering in our sweaters and wishing we had hot chocolate with a wee dram of something in it rather than cold beer...

More rocks to scramble over - kids loved it

Eles appeared in camp as we had our lunch one day.

Swivel chair mounted in tree - what a great way to watch game coming to drink at the waterhole! Getting the Mancub up was a challenge but some great teamwork made it possible!

Roan antelope - the other of my three new mammals for the trip!
So, back home for 'normality' for the next ten days until Granny and Grandad, the first of a veritable rush of visitors, arrive. And then off to Zanzibar and lots more safariing - we're making excellent use of all of the free bed nights Mr B earned while training safari guides!