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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Friday 20 February 2009


I have managed to grab a little time for the internet here in the Kilamanjaro (Moshi region). It is not easy to locate internet cafes here in town except perhaps in lodges and hotels but I have found one run by a polished Indian gentleman - Indians are the backbone of East Africa's economy - and to my relief, the internet is working at super speed unlike parts of Arusha or Dar. The night winds in this part of the world are very cold. People up north also boast a far sharper Swahili accent. It sounds charismatic as compared to the cruder versions one often hears in Dar People in Arusha are also friendlier and may appear more helpful than residents in Dar es Salaam.

I have been on bumpy roads for the longest time. Tomorrow (Saturday) I have another game drive that starts very early in the morning in Arusha and besides the drives, I will also be doing a lot of walking, say up to 4 hours where the wildlife will roam freely and the ranger will carry a rifle. .. just in case, you know. :-)

I have been caught up in a few comical escapades by the Tanzanians - flamboyant local lads who are always trying to get you to buy something and mothers who balance huge baskets on their heads and adorable babies on their backs - and been so exhilarated by the experience.

I will write later to describe my experiences of the Kilamanjaro and the safari in detail. What I will say is that this is a world and that includes Dar es Salaam, still wonderfully untouched by the West. The East Africans have kept their culture and prefer to live their lives - especially the Massai - as if the West still did not exist and it would be relatively easy to locate the exotica - for real - as often described in the famous british classics and the romance a viewer would absorb from films like Gregory Peck's The Snows of Kilamanjaro, is still readily apparent.

The Massai with their colourful robes and long shiny earrngs and necklaces ,and complete with sticks, tranporting provisions on the backs of donkeys and watering holes from where the buffalo and donkeys drink.. it's all here and I'll tell you this, under the vast eternal skyline,... absolutely surreal.