An amazing experience getting up close and connected to rare and often endangered animals in Africa has left Editorial Director Peter Stonham full of stories and with a rich photographic record from his recent safari to Tanzania.
Peter spent three weeks in the East African country, where he was lucky enough to be helped by a friend whose family run a locally-based tourism company. He flew out to Entebbe in Uganda, which is the nearest international arrival point to the small town of Bukoba on Lake Victoria in Northern Tanzania, where he began the visit. He completed his journey there on a small eight-seater plane to Bukoba’s air strip, which was an amazing experience in itself. Although Bukoba is not in a national park or reserve, it was an early introduction to some amazing wildlife, particularly exotic birds. The town’s main park has a colony of storks, which Peter found a delight to watch with their huge wing span and swooping flight paths. Peter spent 10 days in Bukoba – a really authentic African regional town with an amazing market and other historic features from its German and British colonial history and African tribal traditions.
Peter then began a memorable safari trip organised by Kiroyera Tours, which took in the world famous Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Volcanic Crater and Tarangire National Park. There is so much to talk about that we can only mention a few highlights here, but Peter’s full report and photographs are now a major section on our Discover Animals website – www.discoveranimals.co.uk A few particular memories Peter would like to flag up are watching a vast herd of wildebeest moving together, seeing a family group of hippopotamuses emerge from a watering hole to lumber along to another, observing a lion and lioness in a mating ritual, and marvelling at elephants crossing the road in front of the land rover in which Peter was travelling, to cool off in the mud right by the roadside! There were plenty of giraffe, zebras and okapi plus a rare lonely rhinoceros and lots of amazing birds too. After three days in the parks – which included a meeting with Masai tribesmen at their village – Peter headed for the town of Arusha, which is a major entry point for safari visitors.
All in all, Peter’s trip provided amazing experiences and new understanding, and that’s without mentioning his time in the rapidly growing Tanzanian capital, Dar es Salaam, with its massive marketplace selling everything from tropical fruit and vegetables to famous wax dyed textiles. He thoroughly recommends the journey and the benefits of working with a specialist local operator like Kiroyera Tours.
At the end of Peter’s trip, he flew to the exotic island of Zanzibar with an amazing heritage of settlers from the Indian Ocean and Arabia. The main town includes the World Heritage Site of Stone Town, with its iconic but often crumbling 19th century coralline rag stone buildings. On Zanzibar, Peter saw more great wildlife including vervet monkeys, giant tortoises and a butterfly sanctuary. There was also a visit to a spice plantation where famous produce includes vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom, not to mention exotic fruits like mangoes, pineapples and, of course, bananas!