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Mwanza is called rock city because of the stacks of prehistoric granite blocks formed from lava flows that solidified before reaching the surface. A description of how they formed is here:
Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar are very hot and humid. Mwanza is 70 degrees F and low humidity. Altitude of 4000 ft is responsible for the pleasant weather.
Sunsets in Mwanza are beautiful and lead to sundowners on decks or porches of people that live on the lake shore. I used pictures taken from Angie's porch to separate days.
In Mwanza you can't buy land and hold it. If you don't build on it every year the land reverts to the state. So it is common to build a foundation one year, the tie beams the next year, walls the next. The roof comes last so that squatters can't move in. If a squatter moves in, eviction is difficult and can stop further building for years. Such a stopped project is along the route from Angie's house to downtown.
Lucas is Angie's guardian angel. He is
of Indian descent and grew up in Mwanza slums. Started an auto repair
shop with his brother. Now owns a few businesses, many houses, and
the Ryan's Bay hotel where Angie's met him on her first visits to
Tanzania. He liked her, and when she was looking for a house to
rent, he offered to rent her his first house he built on the lake. It
is next to his present house in his gated compound, so he is
selective in who he rents this house to. When Angie and Victor
needed a car, but couldn't buy one until they had a resident visa,
Lucas found a car, had his mechanics, check it, bought it by letting
Angie transfer money to his NY account (is that legal?) then
transferred it to her when she got her visa. Lucas is like a good
Zanzibar was ruled by the Portuguese
for 200 years, then the Sultan of Oman for198 years. He ruled both
Oman and Zanzibar, but made his home in Zanzibar.
The English took over Zanzibar in 1890
to stop the slave trade and ruled until a revolution in 1964, one
year after the revolution in neighboring Tanganyika that freed them
from the English.
We stayed in the Dhow Palace Hotel, a
refurbished mansion that had been abandoned in 1964. Duh. Rich
merchant, stay and die or leave and live, hard decision. The new
government held the abandoned house for 23 years, then sold it in
1987 when the socialist revolutionaries lost power.
First pictures are quick, but are just
for the intro credits, which are not present. Credit go to the whole
family. Some of the pictures are from Facebook posts, some from each
person's phone or camera. But the close-up pictures are from
Victor's Christmas present, a new 500 mm
Arrived in Dar Es Salaam late and went
next day to south beach to see a turtle hatching. They came out of
the sand like a volcanic flow when the surface sand was scraped off.
Instinctively headed to ocean.
Dar was hot, humid, and crowded; not as bad as the shop photos show.
Pictures around Angie's house.
The girls on a rock in Angie's back
yard. Her house, the netted bed where we slept with fabulous view of
Lake, bathrooms all have a personal hygiene hose, her car, the house
compound, Lucas' house.
Our puppies holding new puppies, one of
three sets in six months.
A walk down to Mwanza downtown.
Past a stopped house construction due to squatters.
Past a dump collection point with
storks that pick through it. This dump was cleaned up and permanently
closed a few days after we arrived. New president is pushing for
pride and end to corruption. Already, area may be poor but it is
much better kept than Costa Rica. No junk in yards.
Streets are busy.
View of Mwanza downtown from top of a hotel.
Fuzzy photo is U-Turn grocery. Too expensive for all but expats and upper crust Tanzanians.
Sofie at school scared of monkey in background.
Road with “SMALL” rut on
way to girls school. Big ruts will stop a car. Note goats in front of
Chicken running through Kuku Poa
chicken restaurant; the only fast food restaurant in Mwanza.
Tilapia Hotel was at edge of Mwanza
downtown, about a block from where Angie's office, on the lake shore.
Picture of Angie at Tilapia Hotel. You
travel 8200 miles for moments like this.
Major form of goods transport is
Return trip to Angie's.
The skinny things are cows.
Sandy was sick the next day so the rest
of us went to Jembe.
Road there was not major road so was
dirt. Except for a stretch of granite block road paid for by a rich
person who wanted a road to the village center.
Saw one of many rice fields.
Next day walk to down town by back
route over hills with view of lake. Tan building in background of
photo of lake is Ryan's Bay hotel, owned by Lucas.
Giant hotel under construction by
Chinese. Built with teacher's retirement fund; will never be
profitable as no tourist traffic to fill it.
Goats going down street in front of a
Dumpsters in a different location that
replaced the open dump – storks found them.
The communications building.
Went to expat birthday party the next
Girl in purple to left of Sofie is in
her class and is the same age.
Pin the tail on the ZEBRA.
Cookie bake off or baking lesson,
depends upon your point of view.
Market with Joan one of Angie's
Pick your live chicken and it is
"prepared" while you wait.
Fresh fish. Fish caught last night is
cleaned after you select one.
Aisha Angie's other housekeeper.
Well-to-do houses of Angie's Capri
National park Saanane Island took 40
minutes to get paperwork done for entrance and a double check of
papers before we could enter. Part of anti-corruption effort I think.
Some wild animals, but we saw so many
more on the safari that I left them out of slideshow.
Isa's best friend. Sofie couldn't climb
up the fence.
View from Angie's porch: left, center,
center-right with ferry that goes by every so often, and far-right.
Trip to Geita, location of a gold mine.
Angie was going to meet with mine management to negotiate terms for
spraying their employees houses, not part of governments project.
Stayed at the luxurious Lenny Hotel,
best in town. Note rush hour in front of hotel. Bicycle taxis
taking people to work.
After rush hour, traffic was decidedly
Coca Cola is available around the
Fruit stand where Sandy got banana that
made her sick at the beginning of the safari.
From ferry we saw locals washing
clothes and fruits/vegetables in parasite infested water.
Local transportation of goods by
bicycle, firewood by head or bike.
Carrying loads on the head is learned
at an early age.
Daladala is a van bus. Man hangs out
left rear window to coax customers aboard.
Christmas was on the 23rd.
A swim at endless pool in resort on
lake, then gift exchange by the Charley-Brown Christmas tree.
The safari started on Sandy's birthday,
, translates to endless plain. A few
animals, then we saw a long dark line that we first thought was a
ridge but was in fact the great migration. Nobody had yet gotten out
Water buffalo up to their necks in a
Gazelle with his harem. One male, 50
Our first resort, cottages shaped like
huts. Escorts required from huts to main building.
Sandy not well, but her birthday party
was on the 24th
Sofie joined the floor show, was
invited back the next night.
When animals are spotted, there is a
traffic jamb of safari vehicles.
Some roads were a little muddy. Yes, we
went on through it.
Leopard in a tree barely visible.
Nine lions sleeping in a tree. Note
gazelles underneath tree. A second later they noticed the lions an
beat feet. Kind of an “oh shit” moment.
Note lion to left of two-lion picture.
That's a wart hogs's head. There was some disagreement later as to
who deserved the prize.
Red pictures are victor trying out the
infared setting on his camera. I think they are very impressive.
Zebras nap in pairs with heads resting
on each other.
Hole is side of hill is a wart hog's
An ancient volcano crater now a vast
plain surrounded by a ridge and loaded with animals protected from
poachers and people.
The big five animals are those that
don't have predators - Lion, elephant, water buffalo, leopard,
Roads and Ngoro's guide rules keep
endangered rhinos away from poachers. We saw them but from quite a
A hyena taking its nap lying on its
back in a roadside ditch.
The wart hog is a skittish animal and
it's hard to get a head-on photo.
Lion pride, lions sleeping on their
Flamingos - photo only shows one-third
Back at resort, floor show was original
twerking – very embarrassing for one patron.
A termite mound on the way to a Maasai
Maasai are tall skinny people that can
jump two feet straight up without moving their arms as they
demonstrate in their celebrations. They dress in shades of red
usually except for the chief who is in blue. We were welcomed into
the village as guests in red garb.
This is an example of the largest-tree
Look carefully at first slide above
clouds. That is Mt. Kilimanjaro. Rarely seem after dawn. Climbers
only get to see from peak at dawn. Last day of three day climb starts
at midnight so climbers get to top at dawn.
We took tour with guide to waterfall
near Mt. Kilimanjaro and were an oddity to locals who followed us.
Sandy is always talking about Plan B on
our trips. We found Plan B restaurant.
Does climbing up Mt. Kilimanjaro to the
starting gate count as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro?
After a night in Arusha, we flew to
Old Stone Town
Our room in the refurbished house that
had been greatly expanded and converted to a hotel.
A reading room in the house, not our
Hotel is open except for bedrooms.
Streets are narrow.
Sandy bought scarves to cover the
girl's bare shoulders in Muslim Zanzibar. Later a man informed us
that it was the head not the shoulders that needed to be covered.
Building door and a grave are reminders
of last super rich slave trader – still trading in 1911.
English colonial government building.
English fort. Note Girl Guides plaque.
Girl Scouts originated in England as Girl Guides.
Girls both got henna paintings on their
Sultan of Oman palace before British
Restored Tembe Hotel where English
elite stayed during colonial period.
Isa on porch of beach resort we stayed
at starting New Years Eve.
Lucky to get beautiful resort. Travel
agent said it was only place he could find.
Saw shacks and free-ranging chickens on
way to resort, and we thought, “Oh well, we can sleep with the
chickens for two nights”. But, we found walls separate resort
from shacks and chickens.