Monday, August 9, 2010

Aug. 3, 2010. Goodbye Kenya

We left the lodge at 7:30 AM. I'm not really sorry to leave this hotel - intermittent lights, low water pressure, mediocre food and peculiar service. We drove around the back way of Amboseli in hopes of finding better road conditions. It was still pretty bumpy but we did get a good look at Kilamanjaro along the way. The road was very dusty, particularly when we drove through a dry lake bed. Several hours later we reached the border town. We stood in line for exit passports from Kenya and then five minutes down the road we stood in line for entrance passports to Tanzania. Yusuf waited with the van and luggage and new drivers from Tanzania. After completing the entry paperwork, Yusuf introduced us to the new drivers and we said good-bye to him - very sad.
Our new transportation is a Land Rover and there are four of us in each one. It is great to finally have some space! Donald and Maryanne went into the other jeep with Elizabeth and Rachel.
We drove a long ways to the city if Arusha where we had a pizza and pasta lunch. Tanzania seems to be a bit more progressive than Kenya-with better road construction and lots of building going on.
Samson is our driver. He took us to an ATM and gift shop before leaving for Tanangire National Park. We arrived in the park fairly late in the day and were fortunate enough to see quite a bit of the park at sunset - it was beautiful.
We saw mongooses, elephants, zebra, wildebeests, gazelles, impalas, warthogs, eagles, a hammertop, and an owl - which I spotted.
Arriving at the lodge - which is located right inside the park we encountered our first mosquito nets in the rooms. They also spray the room with insecticide before bed.
The Sopa Tanagire Lodge is a big hotel. There are no fences around it and sometimes the animals in the park will walk onto the property.
After dinner the wait staff and cooks sang for us and accompanied themselves with instruments made from kitchen items.
Tomorrow, on to the Serengeti.

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