More On Zanzibar
Mar 22, 2008
|Well! Yesterday was my 20th birthday, and sadly I don't ever think it can be topped.
We woke up at 6:00 am to go on an early morning game drive in the Serengeti, and drove around for about 20 minutes before Abass, our driver/guide, spotted a family (pride) of lions. They were sitting in the tall grass next to the road, and there were 6 of them-- three lionesses, 2 cubs, and a male lion, who walked behind our car, not 10 feet away, right after we got there, because he spied another lion. As he walked to where the other lion was (which we couldn't see) he roared. It was awesome. The female lions and the babys were like 100 feet away from us, sitting up and the cubs were playing with eachother. We watched the male lion for another 20 minutes, he ran to a bunch of wildebeests and zebras and tried to catch one but no luck. Then we drove down the road back to the lodge for breakfast (at 8 am), when we came upon a hyena with a red face who had just killed a wildebeest. Its face was red from all the blood, but in my opinion it's still one of the cuter animals on the plains. Then the vultures and eagles began to circle and a few more hyenas joined, fighting the first one for the leftovers. While we were leaving we saw jackals joining the mess.
It was the last of our 6 day safari, which we had been to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Oldepi Gorge (where the Leekeys found the first homosapien skeletons), a Masai village, and the Serengeti. We took a 12 passenger prop plane to Zanzibar, in which we had to fly through the rains on the Serengeti, which was terrifying.
Zanzibar, as it seems, is HOT. It's hotter than I have ever been in my life, it is so hot, it is oppressive. It's not just the heat, the heat I can handle-- it's the humidity, that does not let up regardless of the ocean that is surrounding us. Anyway, it is hot, but since its south of the equator, it's also summer here, so all of the rest of the year it's supposedly beautiful. In the plane as we landed all we could see was th ocean which is so perfectly teal I could hardly believe it, and the roofs of the houses that were made of corregated metal, and rusting. It was a weird asthetic thing.
We are staying (until Monday, when Sophie and I have to start paying for our own hotel), in Stone Town, the oldest part of Zanzibar. Because of its history, which is lost upon me, but involves Arabic and Indian slave traders, it looks kind of North African, sort of like what I imagine Morocco is like. There is a lot of Middleastern influences in the buildings, there are a lot of mosques around, and a bunch of signs are in Arabic. The doors here are beautiful.
So we got to our hotel which is on the ocean, unpacked, then headed out to walk around a bit. We then had dinner at a rooftop restaurant, Emerson and Green, which had to be reserved weeks ago, with a deposit in the morning, and you have to show up at 7 or earlier because it is so high and small, I guess. After climbing 5 floors, we reached the top, an East African looking place, in which 20 people fit, and we all sat on the floor on cushions, and had little footstools in front of us as tables. We ordered, and then cultural dancing of some sort started up in which a lot of shaking and yelling/singing insued which made for interesting dinner entertainment.
It was a really wonderful birthday. Zanzibar is gorgeous, though we havent looked around the whole thing yet. Much of Zanzibars exports used to be spices, and there are a lot of spice farms on the island, one of which we visited today. We got to see how and where cardamom, tumeric, pepper, cloves, vanilla, chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and lemongrass grows. It was really cool, cause we got to taste tea made from these afterwards.
Tonight we went to a street food market, which was all kababs and Zanzibar Pizza which is a bizzare crepe thing with onions, mayo, soft cheese, meat and an egg fried. I also had octopus tentacles cooked on a fire, and baracuda.
Ok I must go, some Germans need to book a flight and are looking at me like I've been on too long.