Tanzania: pre-trip reading list?

Apr 15th, 2005, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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West with the Night, by Beryl Markham (personal narrative by pioneering female aviator from Kenya -- first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west, also friend of Karen Blixen and Denys Finch-Hatton).
lisa is offline  
Apr 15th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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In The Dust of Kilimanjaro by David Western autobiography of the former director of the Kenya Wildlife Service who grew up in Tanzania. A wonderful insight into the co-existence between people and wildlife in Amboseli.

The White Masai by Corinne Hoffmann not well written and badly researched, but the candid personal story of a Swiss woman who, when on a beach holiday with her boyfriend, met and soon afterwards married a Samburu warrior, is difficult to put down once youve started reading. Not yet (but soon) translated into English. Its translated into many other languages and a film has been made.
Nyamera is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:37 PM
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Hello h3rne,

Congratulations on your marriage and good luck with your trip. Ww have been back two months and are still excited about how wonderful the trip was. Ronnie, Gibson and their staff took great care of us from the moment they picked us up at the airport in Arusha until the time that they dropped us off for the return flight a month later. The trip was fantastic. The guides were friendly and knowlegable and after a month we were in no rush to get home.

I have posted a Trip Report here:

It is mostly about our climb on Kilimanjaro, but also includes safari photos, partial book list, swahili, and other stuff.

Let me know if I can answer any specific questions.

Nelson is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2005, 06:28 AM
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Nelson, what a better way to begin the weekend than to read your report and see the photos!! Thanks. Your wife is one tough lady! I am not into climbing so I really can not appreciate all that that part of the trip involved but WOW!
Great photos. Am interested in knowing what camera you used and film (if a 35 mm camera). The shots were excellent! More photos please. We all relive our trips thru posts and pictures such as yours. Thanks
rsnyder is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2005, 09:11 AM
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I actually read your trip report before this post and was so inspired by both you and your wife.

My husband and I will be attempting Kili in August and I know your story will keep us going strong. I already have hand warmer packets (with no objections from DH) and I am convinced now that I must bring Dove chocolate bars--though my skepitcal husband thinks they will melt.

Anyway, thanks for the great info and story!
schlegal1 is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2005, 10:34 AM
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rsnyder and schlegal1,

Thanks much for your kind remarks about my TR, photos, (and wife!). We had doubts that she would make the top, but she did great.

Dick, the camera used was a 12 year old Canon Rebel XS, with Fuji Provia 100F and 400F film. I used the 100 on the mountain and 400 on safari, mostly. I had Canon 24-85 and 100-300 zoom lenes. Yes, at least one of the wildlife photos (the gazelle & stork) was taken at 24mm. The only time I really wanted more than 300 was with the birds. (The Malechite Kingfisher and Lilac-breasted Rollers shots were cropped slightly after scanning). I used a beanbag for steadying the long lens on safari actually a rice bag - a kilo or so bought at a market in Arusha, then dumped into a soft stuff sack.

For the first time I did bring a digital (Canon S70) as a backup, and my wife ended up using that, but I used it less than I should have.

Dick, I won't be scanning any more shots in the near future as I am packing right now for a month-long business trip, leaving next week for Singapore. But one of these days I'll load some more shots and post it here. Thanks for asking.

schlegal1, I can tell you that the Godiva chocolate did not melt, and don't forget your Downy Fresh fabric softener sheet!

- Nelson
Nelson is online now  
Apr 23rd, 2005, 10:35 AM
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For a light, fun read, there's always "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency."

And "Things Fall Apart" is also wonderful.
althom1122 is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 04:09 PM
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Hello Nelson

Thank you very much for the reply. I'm afraid my spam filter is a bit overly aggressive, so I didn't get notification you'd replied and it's been about two weeks since I checked this thread.

The trip report is super, with lots of great information, but I do have a couple of slightly bizarre, but very important questions related to how bumpy and dusty the safari is.

My fiancee Claire has very poor eyesight (~ -15 D) and is heavily dependent on her contact lenses - her glasses tend to produce headaches after a couple of hours. I've read a number of reports that contact lens wearers suffer from the dust and therefore end up using their glasses mostly. Do you have any insight into the actualities and practicalities of this?

Secondly her retina has deteriorated in one eye and she has been advised to avoid any prolonged bouts of mechanical shocks to prevent a similar occurrence in her other eye - for instance rollercoasters and bungee jumping are banned. She has, however been ski-ing (so that's okay). Exactly how bumpy are these "dried river beds" that you drive along?

Obviously we take full responsibility for any decision we make, but any input would be most appreciated.


h3rne is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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Hi Simon, I don't check this too often either, but happenned to look today and see your reply. Glad you enjoyed my trip report.

Regarding your questions, obviously this will be my opinions, so take that FWIW. First, plan for dust and a lot of it. If you happen to luck out and it isn't dusty, great but plan for it. So what can you do? You've probably thought of this but:

1) Bring some good fitting goggles that Claire can wear to keep as much dust out of her eyes as possible. During periods of bad dust just put those things on regardless of how funny they look. My wife suffers from respiratory problems if she inhales too much dust and she brough along surgical masks to slip on when it was really dusty. She got some weird looks from people in other vehicles, but maybe some envious one too. Clair could also cover her face with a scarf a la a Toureg nomad. There are good reasons why those folks dress like that!

2) Bring a ton of saline eye drops and use it frequently to keep flushing the dust out of her eyes. That was another thing Jude brought. I almost never use the stuff but was glad to have it on this trip. Lying down on the bed in the lodge and dripping some of that in your eyes was pure heaven.

3) Bring glasses and wear them as much as possible.

Regarding the roads, Jude and I both felt that they were nowhere near as bad as we feared. Of course this is highly subjective and based experience, but there was not a constant bumping and jarring. In the places where the roads were particularily bad our driver just slowed down a lot - he wants to save his vehicle after all. If its just the two of you in the car then you can make sure the driver understands this and they'll take extra caution. Bottom line: not that bad, certainly nothing like being on a bus in Nepal.

Hopefully someone else will chime in, since this is pretty subjective stuff.

Good luck!
Nelson is online now  
May 7th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Hi Nelson

Thanks for the reply. The opinions and the advice are really helpful. As this is really our dream trip and anything else would be "Plan B" we're really looking at practical work-arounds much in the vein you suggest.

The "Pole Pole" approach to the "road" travel seems to be sensible too.

We'll let you know how we get on.

Incidentally, I also read your account of Jude's lightning strike. Dramatic and harrowing stuff. Would you mind if I used an edited version next time I teach Electrostatics to my third form?

Thanks for all your help.

h3rne is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Hi Simon,

Good luck on your trip! Odds are you will have a great time.

Yes, please feel free to use my lightning story. If it keeps someone else from being in the same situation (or makes sure they know CPR!) then that is what it was intended for. I would just appreciate if you use my name and maybe a copyright notice.

Take care.
- Nelson
Nelson is online now  
May 8th, 2005, 06:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I just want to add a wonderful book:
The Circle of Life, Wildlife on the African Savannah.
- Anup and Manoj Shah
Extraordinary photograph book whose pictures have been included in National Geographic, National Wildlife, Natural History and so on.
Web address: www.abramsbooks.com
Concentrating on the Serengeti-Maasai Mara region and Ngorongoro Crater. Beautiful book to own and look at.

Your trip looks wonderful!
RLC is offline  
May 9th, 2005, 02:04 AM
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Did anyone mention :

"The wilderness family" by Kobie Krüger ?

A remote ranger station in the wilds of South Africa's Krger National Park provides the landscape for this memoir of the 17 years that the author, her game warden husband and their daughters lived in the bush amid the big cats and other exotic fauna of this idyllic region. Whether she's recounting a near-slapstick encounter with a creeping python in the bedroom on the family's first night in the backcountry, the nocturnal calls of a prowling local leopard, continual and scary confrontations with a grumpy hippo or a raging bull elephant's death charge, Krger's sturdy and unadorned prose is well suited to the book's natural setting. The animal anecdotes tumble across the pages, at a pace that will engage readers who enjoy natural history and plainspoken yarns; indeed, the book hit #1 in South Africa. Meanwhile, the adversities of a stifling climate, jungle diseases and ornery vipers provide grim balance to the more uplifting adventures recounted here. The land, its creatures and its unchanging laws of survival serve as mentors to the author and her family, and lead the reader toward deeper insights about life beyond the furthest reaches of civilization. For instance, the poignant episode of raising an orphan lion cub into adulthood becomes a lesson in responsibility, freedom and loss for the girls and their mother. The wilderness depicted in this book, is by turns, a demanding teacher and a provider of wondrous gifts. Illus. and photos not seen by PW.
May 9th, 2005, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 334
My recommendation is ~Shadow of the Sun~, written by Ryszard Kapuscinski. I didn't read it until after my husband and I got home from our trip to Tanzania in January...It really helped solidify some of the thoughts and ponderings I'd had while over there, and also helped explain some of the things I was still questioning... It's an extremely well-written book about all of Africa (not just Tanzania) and I think it's a very important read, for before or after a trip to Africa (or even for those who aren't travelling there, but want a greater understanding of the continent and its people)... highly, highly recommended. Enjoy your trip! Oh, and I've included a little write-up about the book that I found online:

What emerges is a depiction of Africa -- not as a group of nations or geographic locations -- but as a vibrant and frequently joyous montage of peoples, cultures, and encounters. Kapuscinski's observations, analysis and humanity paint a remarkable portrait of the continent and its people. His unorthodox approach and profound respect for the people he meets challenge conventional understandings of the modern problems faced by Africa at the dawn of the 21st century.

Happy Reading and Happy Travels!
alwaysafrica is offline  
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