A long journey and a great safari

July 22, 2012 in Life, Africa, Front, Tanzania by Mark

The last few weeks have been a busy time for us with a lot of traveling, driving and bus-ing across East Africa. We left home four weeks ago to head to our branch conference on the Kenyan coast, via stops in Sumbawanga, Mbeya. Iringa, Morogoro (due to a minor car problem), Dar es Salaam and Tanga along the way. While it was certainly a long trip (a grand total of 89 hours of travel over three and a half weeks) it was worth it to see so many friends again!

The conference went well, and we enjoyed seeing many friends and colleagues, some of whom we hadn’t seen for six years, before driving back to Dar es Salaam again where we met David and Amy, who had come for a brief visit from Oregon in the US.

Unfortunately the office vehicle that we had been hoping to drive back to Mpanda was not fixed in time, so we ended up taking the three-day bus journey, giving David and Amy the full Tanzanian experience… On the final 8-hour ride we were crammed into the back seat, with a whole inch-and-a-half of leg room to the seat in front!

David and Amy’s time with us was very short, but we did get to show them our office and a bit of Mpanda town. On Wednesday we went on a safari in Katavi National Park, which ended up being the best safari we have ever done… Here’s a quick look at some of the large and mildly ferocious animals that we encountered!

David, Amy and some hippos...

David, Amy and some hippos somewhere in the background…

Hippos in the river

Tembo - elephants

Tembo – elephants

Giraffe

Some kind of impala-like animal

Some kind of impala-like animal. Maybe impala…

Laura is more interested in the beautiful multi-coloured birds

Laura is more interested in the beautiful multi-coloured birds

A leopard hiding under the tree, with his prey

A leopard hiding under the tree, with his prey

Leopard eating its prey

Elephant

David and Amy with the lions...

David and Amy with the lions…

Lions laying down

Crocodiles

Another leopard, sleeping in the tree

Another leopard, sleeping in the tree

Looking out

Elephants, giraffes and zebras crossing the airstrip

Elephants, giraffes and zebras crossing the airstrip on their way to lunch

A lion next to a buffalo he had just killed

A lion next to a buffalo he had just killed

Two lion cubs

Two lion cubs

A lion next to his kill

The whole lion family

The whole lion family

Two lions

I think the guy on the right may be Aslan…

The hippo pool

The hippo pool