Monday, November 2, 2015

Tanzanian Experience

From the time we first visited Africa in 2013, we knew we had to visit this amazing continent again  so this year we headed towards Tanzania with the spectacular Serengeti and its bountiful wildlife being our main destination. In preparation I got myself a new Nikon full frame camera and a 600 mm telephoto lens to capture both animals and small birds on my camera.

Tanzania is one wonderful package of wildlife, fascinating cultures, smiling and friendly people, beaches and of course Kilimanjaro – the highest peak on the African continent as well as the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.

Our visit started with the city of Dar es Salaam , Tanzania’s largest and richest city. This multicultural city is located along a natural harbor on the Indian Ocean and besides Africans, is home to Arabic and South Asian communities and British and German expats. Its diversity in culture is reflected in the different cuisines and restaurants that exist in the city. We move on from here to Mwanza , Tanzania’s second-largest city. Known for it’s strong Indian influence, the city is set on the shore of Lake Victoria. This is also the starting or finishing point for safaris through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
From Mwanza we embark on our 7-day safari covering the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara,  Arusha national Park and finally Arusha from where we return to Dar and back home. We drove over a 1200 kms in a land cruiser through the savannah and bush of East Africa in our search of wildlife in their natural habitat.

 Sunset in Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam

After a long 9 hour flight from Delhi via Doha , we land in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest and richest city and the largest city in eastern Africa by population. Known simply as Dar, the city’s name literally means ‘the residence of peace. Even though the city  is not a tourist destination, it  get’s its importance as the main arrival and departure point for tourists visiting Zanzibar and the famous wildlife parks of Serengeti for safaris. Dar es Salaam is located on a natural harbor on the Eastern coast of Africa.

Kivukoni Fish Market

One of the places that one must visit is the Kivukoni Fish Market in downtown Dar. There is an auction every morning at 7.00 AM of the fresh catch that is bought in boats. Unfortunately missed this as I reached at 9.30, but there still was still plenty of action there. The place is dirty and the stench of fish fills the air with both traders and customers bargaining for the best price.
The place is an interesting melt of culture and business. Since the market is on the waterfront, one can see colorful boats unloading fish. The market has all types of fish that the locals come to buy. The place is great for photography though my guide advised me not to – I still managed some great shots.

Azania Front Lutheran Church

One of the best-known landmarks and tourist attractions of Dar is this Lutheran church located in the city center and close to the ocean facing the harbor. This Bavarian style church was built in 1898 by German Missionaries.

Visited in June 2015

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