Sunday, May 17th-Monday 18th, Safari to Mikumi National Park

Sunday, May 17th-Monday 18th, Safari to Mikumi National ParkMr. Lema (favorite translator and tour guide) joined us on our Safari to Mikumi National Park. I wasn’t alone in raising an eye brow when we pulled into the Genesis Hotel and Snake Farm for the night. But the accommodations were a lovely surprise–quaint bungalows and a charming outdoor dining room. The food was delicious, but actually I was coming to expect that now and would have been surprised if it wasn’t.
We got up at 5:30 Monday morning (the best time to see the animals before the daytime sun drove them to seek shelter). We saw giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, warthogs…Don’t bother asking any of us to see the pictures from that day unless you have a free hour or two!
By safari standards ours was a short one and we headed back in the afternoon to Dar. Driving into the city after dark and against the outbound traffic was an experience. The traffic- Wow! And the roadside shops – I’m not sure whether shop owners actually close up their shops at any point. There would certainly be a problem with securing them as most were three sided structures with open fronts. In the evening each shop is lit by a gas lamp with a single yellow flame. This was an amazing site on our way back from the Safari when the highway was lined with gas lit shops and cooking fires. Except for the occasional petrol station there was no other lighting.
One of the girls commented “It’s so pretty with all the campfires.” Now, at face value this was a very “valley-girl” comment. After all, this wasn’t camping. These were people living by the side of the highway, guarding what little they owned, cooking, and surviving. It was a comment from a road weary 20-year old returning from a full day safari and perhaps she didn’t think before she spoke. But, on the other hand, she wasn’t wrong. It was a strangely beautiful nighttime landscape.

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