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Alisha's African Adventure

Hi all,
Welcome to my African travel blog!! I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures through Africa...

Diary Entries

Monday, 08 January 2007

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Well I finally made it home and managed to put my photos up!! The internet connections are alot faster here and much less expensive so I was able to put most of my good ones up for you all to see....

The trip home was not without dramas! Me and the other 2 girls made our way to Nairobi airport at 5am ready to catch our flight to Joburg at 7. However, our flight was delayed and we didnt end up leaving until 10am!!!! We were supposed to have a 7 hour stop over in Joburg before catching our flight to Sydney, so we spent that time eating lunch (we didnt have breakfast so by that time we were pretty hungry!!) and shopping in duty free. Our plane to Sydney was supposed to leave at 2.00pm, however, the in flight entertainment was broken so they were trying to fix it for over an hour... so again our flight was delayed.
I had 2 hours in Sydney before I had to catch my flight to melbourne, but due to our flight leaving Joburg late, we were late arriving in Sydney, then going through customs I got pinned for all the stuff I brought back with me, and got charged $60 to have it all cleaned... this made me miss my flight to Melbourne!!!
All I wanted by this time (over 27 hours in transit) was to GET HOME!!!

I finally got on a flight to Melbourne and when i got off and saw my dad I just cried and cried. Having been away for a month, in places where I was robbed, the minority, dirty and out of place I think coming home to familiarity was just so overwhelming.

I really enjoyed my time in Africa, it was such an amazing experience and although it sounds a bit dumb I think being there changed me in alot of ways. I now appreciate small things we take for granted like roofs, lights and hot water!! But mostly I appreciate our quality of life, and that every single person is not trying to rip you off or swindle you in some way.

I wouldnt call it a holiday, it was a "travelling experience" to say the least. But at least I can say Ive done it, I have camped by myself in rain, heat and feezing cold across 7 countries of Africa. I have experienced poverty and nature, been confronted by people and places but I made it home!!!! I am proud of myself. Now I have to plan my next adventure! :)

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Our last day in Africa.....
We crossed the border into kenya this morning and arrived in Nairobi mid afternoon, from what I hear Nairobi is even more crime ridden than Joburg, so after my experiences there I decide to stay put in our camp site which is fully guarded with 2 armed guards at each gate!
Nairobi isnt that flash, not as dirty as Joburg but only by a small amount. It looks scary, alot of people but their seems to be more modern infrastructure than other cities we have been.

My flight home leaves at 7am tomorrow, and as luck would have it 2 other girls from my tour are travelling on the same planes all the way to Sydney!! Im so excited, IM COMING HOME!!!!!

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Location: Arusha, Tanzania

After our 3 day-2 night stint in the Serengeti, we drove back to Arusha in the safari trucks where we were staying at the Meserani Snake Park, and yes, as the name suggests, its filled with snakes. They are all in cages though, and I even got to hold one! There is also a heap of crocs and hunting birds as well.

At the snake park in Arusha we went on a Masai Village walk, which to be honest was a bit dissapointing. Their school is sponsored though so they have computers and really good facilities, they are all fairly well educated.
It was dissapointing because hardly any Masai were there, although the ones that were were great and did a traditional jumping dance for us, I also got dressed up like a Masai woman and joined in... The only thing I didnt like about the Masai is some things they do I dont agree with- for instance they shoot cows in their jugular and drink their blood, they drink no water! Just blood mixed with milk...yum. Also I really felt nauseus when the Masai guide was explaining circumcision. Both guys and girls still have to be subjected to the ritual, although the Tanzanian govt has outlawed female circumcision they still practice it in secret. Then they drink a heap of blood to compensate for their own blood loss.

The sad thing is this happens when the girls are about 14, and then they get married to a guy who is over 50. its pretty off and although it is their custom I still think it is wrong!!

We also went for a ride on some camels, which was a crazy and scary experience!! We got led around a part of the Masai village and they all thought we were so funny being scared of these huge camels... it was fun though!!

Our last nght in Arusha was alot of fun, as soon as we got off the safari trucks from the Serengeti all of us made a sreaming dash for the showers, given we hadnt had any in 3 days!! The water was freezing (most places in Africa dont have hot water) but at that point I didnt care and I stayed in there for an hour.
We then all headed for the bar where a completely tragic tragic band was playing called the Dust Angels, they were crap but we didnt care, we stayed up all night and had alot of fun!

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Location: Serengeti, Tanzania

Hi All,

I have arrived in Serengeti from Arusha after a 9 hour driving day in a 4x4 safari truck!!

The whole Serengeti/Ngorogoro crater area is so amazingly beautiful, its so green and so many mountains and watefalls, it is like nothing I have seen and it really epitomises what "the real Africa" is about. Its exactly like all the pictures in books you see.

First we toured the Serengeti, going on a day long game drive. We saw EVERY possible animal, SO many lions! The higlight for me was seeing 2 lionesses, one had just given birth to cubs and was carrying one in her mouth right alongside the road we were driving on! And the other lioness was essentially "babysitting" the rest of the cubs, to protect them from the hawks and vultures circling above.

What I couldnt get over is that pride rock actually exist!!! Its just like it is in the lion king, exactly the same and it is really where lions sit with their cubs to protect them from predators, we onl;y saw it from a distance though so I couldnt take a photo....

We camped our first night in the Serengeti- no fences, no guns, just tents and the wild animals. I was hoping I didnt have to go to the loo in the middle of the night coz there was no way I was getting out of the tent! The guides even told us if we get out of our tents to waive our arms and make lots of noise just incase we were being watched- not a good feeling! I woke up to the sounds of hyenas outside my tent, being scared I figured they were right outside but I think they were about 10m away rummaging around...

The next morning we got up and headed for the Ngorogoro crater, which has the highest concentration of animals anywhere in Africa. We looked down into the crater from the rim, and from where we were it looked completely empty, just green plains of nothingness. When we got into the crater though we were surrounded by every possible animal!! I saw about 20 lions, all so close to our trucks I could have touched them, they were all out because it is mating season, and I saw some lions doing the dirty (heehee) so of course I took photos.

In the crater we also saw 2 lions hunting, and one fully jumped on the back of a buffalo! It was amazing to watch, but the lion was a bit silly in that she jumped the vuffalo from behind and got kicjed hard in the guts as a result, needless to say the buffalos got away.
We saw so many other amazing animals, flamingos, warthogs, giraffes, rhino, hyena, cheetahs, leaopards. It was such a sensory overload being in that place, and the last couple of days have been by far by outstanding higlight of the entire trip.

We camped in the crater the second night, and it was FREEZING!!!! I had all my clothes on and was still cold, and this night instead of hyena outside we had buffalo! Apparently there was wild pigs as well, we had fun when a girl on our tour went behind a tree to go to the loo, just as she went to go we yelled out PIG!! and she came flying out from behind the tree tripping over her pants in fear! Mean I know but it was funny at the time.....

Wednesday, 06 December 2006

Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania

I think I am now up to date basically with what I have done so far, we arrived in Tanzania 3 days ago, and waited 4 hours to catch the ferry to our campsite in Dar es Salaam. Dar is a huge city, the first "western looking city" I have seen so far. Like most other places here it is fairly dirty and overcrowded, but a bit more cosmopolitan.
Tanzania is not what I expected, it is a devout muslim country and you cannot take photos of anyone, and they are not particularly friendly. I think they were staring at us firstly because we are white, and secondly because it is about 40 degrees here and we were dressed entirely inappropriately given they are all muslim.

2 days ago we arrived in Zanzibar, and spent one night in Stone Town. Again it is devout muslim, and we were told if we go out to ensure our shoulders and knees were covered. We spent the first afternoon walking around the town, which has a very strong arabian feel, with alot of metal trinkets and aladdins cave type shops. That night we had a traditional swahili feast at a restaurant where we sat on the floor, it was really good.

The next day we went on a spice tour to see all the spices they grow on the island. The spice tour was amazing, they grow so many: vanilla, coffee, chilli, nutmeg, ylang ylang, tarragon, cardamon the list goes on. We then sampled some teas made from lemongrass, ginger and cinnamon and had another traditional lunch made from the spices we saw on the tour.
Following that we looked at all the fruit grown on the island, and got to sample it all. I ate pineapple, orange, passionfruit, marmalade orange, pink grapfruit, banana, starfruit, coconut and jackfruit which is a weird combo of banana and pineapple. We then watched a man climb a palm and harvest the coconuts, he was crazy and just hanging on with his hands 30 metres up.

After that we toured the former slave trade site, which was a sad and humbling thing to see. The conditions are appalling, in a darkened, airless room of about 4x5m, they fit 75 slaves in for 3days with no food or water, to see who were the strongest. As an example of how cramped they were, 24 of us were in that room and we were struggling to fit. Also they have the original chains still hanging, men were chained by their necks 30cm apart, and to make it worse the roof is too low so they were constantly crouching. I know this may sound silly, but you could really feel the sadness in that place.

In the afternoon we travelled across Zanzibar to Nungwi, which is a beach coastal resort, which is where I am right now. I spent yesterday laying on the beach, and got very very burnt! But its not so bad today.... Last night we had a seafood barbeque on the beach, and I think we are doing the same tonight. The beach here is soi amazing, it is crystal clear and the water is so warm, we were swimming yesterday and looked down to find we were surrounded by bright red starfish.

I have been spending up at the markets here, there is masai tribes around the area so I bought a necklace made from a lions tooth and also a masai knife, which im still thinking about smuggling back to Oz...

Tomorrow we are leaving here and heading back to Dar es Salaam, to then drive north to a place called Arusha for 2 nights, then onto the Serengeti and Ngorogoro crater. And its only a week until I am home!!!!!

Tuesday, 05 December 2006

Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania

Hi all,

It has been awhile since I have written anything, and alot has happened so bear with me...

Last time I wrote I think i was in livingstoneabout to fly over Vic falls, which I did and it was amazing,i didnt realise buit there has actually been several vicfalls, the weight of the water actually causes the rock to crack and create a new vic falls, and it looks amazing. After that we had 2 solid days driving to get to Malawi. Malawi is a beautiful country, for the first time since being here I felt as though Malawi is whatI came here to see. The scenery is beautiful, so many mountains and animals walking along the sides of the roads, and by animals I mean elephants and giraffes! the place we stayed was called Kande Beach, and it is so clear and picturesque. I went horse riding in the ocean and throught\ some villages and was scared because it was bareback, buit it was such great fun. The rest of the time was ours to just relax and I spent most of it either on the beach or at the markets. The markets were great, the stall holders had names like Dr Love and Flash Gordon, I bought a beautiful necklace of a guy called Christopher Columbus. One of the nights we went on a guided walk through a village, and it was so sad. The children were running up to us alol and hugging us, jumping all over us and asking for pens. We visited a school, which was a shed, and the hospital, which was also a shed, and sat in the maternity ward which was 10 beds pushed against each other. It was pretty confronting, the doctor asked us to donate our malaria medicine because they had none, I felt bad but I didnt donate mine, I dont want them to get malaria but I moredont wantit myself.

After we saw that we had a traditional meal cooked bythe women of the village and then spent the rest of the night doing african dancing with the children.

Malawi is the poorest country in africa but also the friendliest, it is known as the warm heart of africa and it really lives up to it. Everyone was so friendly and willing to talk to you and not rip you off. The first night we were there a bunch of the villagers asked us down to the beach and they gave us lessons on how to play african drums, and i loved it!! I was playing songs with the villagers and they were singing these gorgeous african songs, it was great and so much fun.

Im in Zanzibar nowafter travelling from Tanzania, but I have to save that until tomorrow as it is sunny and beautiful outside and I want to go work on my tan!!

Alisha

Thursday, 23 November 2006

Location: Livingstone, Zambia

Hi all,

Just a quick one today, i was supposed to be on a flight over Vic Falls today, but it is raining and cloudy so it has been postponed until tomorrow morning.

Yesterday I went across to Zimbabwe, interesting border crossing, there was heaps of guys standing everywhere with machine guns. Zimbabwe tself is more developed than I thought it would be, there is a casino there and the buildings are okay...although I have never seen so many baboons all over the streets! We went there to do a lion walk, and it was unbelievable!
We got told we were walking with 3 cubs, 2 girls who were 10 months and a boy 8 months. The way the guide was talking he made them sound ike they were small and playful, but when they came running towards us they were HUGE!! I was pretty scared.

We walked with them for about an hour, we got to pat them, and walk behind them holding their tails. One of the lionesses also licked my hand because I had water on i and then chewed on my hand! I am trying to download pics of it buit the computers here are expensive and slow, but the look on m face in the pics says it all! Their tongues are so rough, it cut my hand a bit and the guide said when they are fully grown they can lick the skin off a buffalo! Also the paw swipe of a full grown male is the equivalent of a ton of bricks!

They were so amazing, and at the end I was wary but not scared. They didnt mind at all that we were playing with them and seemed to really enjoy it.

Im off on my flight early tomorrow so will try to make the most of having the internet while Im here so will write again tomorrow!


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Recent Messages

From Julie Smith
I'm very excited for you, it sounds fantastic and I just feel like I want to be there as well.
Keep up with your travel stories.
Cheers , Julie Smith
From Fleur
Bubb whooo hoooooooo your over there!! Loving reading your blog, have saved it to my favourites! Just keep safe, enjoy yourself and blog when you can!! Love Fleury
From Canberra Andrew
Hi :) I love the blog idea. I wish i remembered you were going this week cause i would've called to wish you a good trip. Keep the entries coming. I'll pass on the feather duster...unless it's a magical one.