Thursday, December 9, 2010


After stopping in Dar Es Salaam to go to the Moz embassy, we were finally off to Arusha to organize our safari. We were lucky enough to find three fellow to join us on a safari. We decided to arrange our safari through Sunny Safaris with JoJo as our guide and Marceli as our chef extraordinaire. Over four days we'd travel to three parks: Tarangine National Park, the Serengeti National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater.

JoJo told us we were lucky because we were all girls, but whatever the reason, we saw incredible animals and were lucky enough to see the big five. Everytime we turned around we saw something new, birds flying off the back of running giraffes, a lion and lioness playing together, lion cubs, baby elephants digging in the dirt, a cheetah above our head, leopards enjoying their kills, and plenty of beige brigadiers.

We then went north to Nnuguni Beach and spent a few days doing a whole lot of relaxing.


We flew from Ghana to Tanzania. When we arrived we headed straight to Zanzibar. For the first few days we stayed in Stone Town. We ate amazing street seafood, enjoyed the sunsets, went swimming with dolphins at Dolfini beach (clever right?) and walked around a ton. The most memorable experience though was going scuba diving for the first time. I’m still not down with fixing my mask underwater, but I killed on the phantom drill. Scuba diving was incredible. Leah and I were able to see a shipwreck and tons of coral and fish.


Lucky run-ins.


Global Mama store. ( )

Ellie the Elephant.

Fro yo in baggies.


We finally reached Mole and went for an early morning walking safari. We saw tons of warthogs, monkeys,’ bambons’ (as our guide calls them), and antelop or kob. The forest smelled incredible, like mint in your face, it was hard to remember we were in Africa because it was so lush and green. The hotel overlooks the watering hole so I spend the afternoon on elephant watch while chitchatting with people and reading. We didn´t see an elephant on our walk or at the hole, but WAWA. West Africa Wins Again. We were staying up talking to an Australian couple and the guard came up and just whispered elephant. Very dramatic and very close. There was an elephant just hanging out in front of the hotel, eating plants. Ellie in all her natural glory?


We headed to Kumasi from the Botel and had to take very tong Trotro rides up to Tamale. We finally connected with some Peace Corps volunteers and spent the night at their regional house. It was nice to hear about their sectors and experiences, but unfortunately the next day it was time to push out again for the bus to Mole National Park. The bus stops were loud, chaotic, and reminiscent of Santiago in Cape Verde. I devoured more street food in one stop than I probably have elsewhere in my entire life.


We caught a trotro to Hans Cottage Botel with a few other travelers including a couple Mirana and Charlie who were Benin volunteers. We all headed to see the canopy walk and a few of us tried to do it sans hands. Tricky on a rickety rope and wood bridge. From there we parted with Brett and Amanda and a five of us headed to the monkey sancturary where we met a wacky couple and got caught in the rain. At the Botel we soon saw tons of the crocodiles that they boast about. One of the staff went up to one to pet it and tried to convince us to do the same. No way, ma’am. That’s crazy and I’m no Steve Irwin. The Botel was probably the weirdest place we´ve stayed in. It kind of reminded me of the setting for a creepy horror movie.



We then headed to Cape Coast. As we were walking into the slave castle we ran into Brett and Amanda, two other volunteers who just COS´d. Surreal. We stayed in Cape Coast a few days and walked around and explored the city. I nearly cried when I saw a book store.


From Senegal we flew to Ghana, after a short stop in Cote D’Vore . We spent the first day in Accra getting oriented to the city. Whereas in Senegal the Talibe was heartbreaking, in Ghana the kids were incredible. They were just so excited to see Americans, and would scream “HELLO! HOW ARE YOU? I AM FINE” across a busy street. Another striking contrast between Ghana and Senegal was religion. Ghana is extremely Catholic. I’ve never seen so much publicity for God. After being in Senegal for Ramadan, it was a bit of a shock to see so many Jesus loves you signs. Did you know that Jesus would want you to get your haircut at Christ’s hands haircutters? You are in God’s hands now…


Our hosts.
N'Ice Cream, pastries, and fresh bread.
Kayaking through mangroves.
Hobbit huts.
Holidays: Konkrite and Memorial Day.



A sept-place ride with seven or eight loves of bread later...



The birthplace of Akon.

I'm including a link if you want to know more by seeing more... Image