28. März 2013

Terrific Border Crossing / Verstehen Sie Spaß - oder was?

The Snow of Kilimanjaro - and Kenya is close behind the mountain
Schnee auf dem Kilimandscharo - und Kenia liegt direkt hinter dem Berg
Yes, you are seeing correctly: there is a little guy sitting up there.
Who needs high seats, they are stuffy;-).
Ja, ihr seht richtig: dort oben sitzt ein kleiner Kerl.
Wer braucht schon Hochsitze, die sind ja spießig;-).
Unbelievable, but it is already three months ago when we entered Tanzania for the first time. We can extend our visa for a month at the immigration office in any bigger town in the country, but only if we catch the right official. Since we want to stay longer than four weeks anyway, we decide to leave the country to Kenya. With a bit of luck we can re-enter Tanzania - together with a new visa for three months - on the same day, otherwise the next day. Thus we are going to the next border crossing in Namanga. Thanks to a perfectly tarred road we are fast in the village which is about 100 kilometres away from Arusha.

We go to the Tanzanian immigration officers in order to receive our exit stamps. A friendly young border guard asks why we want to leave his country. Martin says we would like to stay, but our visa expire, thus we have to leave. No, we have not, is his answer, he could help us. And how, Martin wants to know. He can organize a new three-months-visa for us, he declares. Martin and I first look at each other, then at him. Oh, we see, when we leave to Kenya and then come back. No, we would not do that, he replies, he could do it for us. PARDON? How much would we have to pay, we want to know. The same amount as before, he responds. 50 USD per person, we ask. Yes, exactly, is his answer. Okay, then we go for it, we decide, being still pretty staggered by this phenomenal offer. After that the officer puts two large visitor's chairs together and vanishs quickly with our two passports.

Ngorongoro Crater: Welcome to Noah‘s Ark of Africa! / Ngorongoro Crater: Willkommen in der Arche Noah Afrikas!

Breath-taking, the view...
Atemberaubend, der Ausblick...
... onto Noah's Ark of Africa:
... auf die Arche Noah Afrikas:
Welcome to the Ngorongoro Crater!
Willkommen im Ngorongoro Crater!
Where zebras are fighting boisterously, ...
Hier kämpfen Zebras übermütig, ...
... a wildebeest is larking around playfully, ...
... tollt ein Gnu ausgelassen herum, ...
... African crowned cranes parade majestically through the tall grass...
.... stolzieren Kronenkraniche majestätisch durch das hohe Gras... 
... and the hyena is obviously too saturated to pose a serious threat to the zebras.
... und ist die Hyäne wohl derzeit zu gesättigt, um eine echte Gefahr für die Zebras darzustellen.

Let‘s face it: Goosebumps are terrific! Alas nowadays we get them far too rarely, don‘t we? Now imagine the following: Bernd, Claudia, Martin and I are standing on the crater rim of the Ngorongoro, looking down at the gorgeous landscape which is extending in the mild light of the late afternoon sun, just in front of our eyes. At this very moment  we get.... yes, exactly,    g o o s e b u m p s  - , in fact all four of us. That is how beautiful it is here!

Fascinating Serengeti / Faszinierende Serengeti

The Serengeti - finally we are here!
Die Serengeti - endlich sind wir hier!
A rainbow over the Serengeti - We are so lucky!
Ein Regenbogen über der Serengeti - Glück muss man haben!
The first wildebeest alive for me!
Die ersten Gnus live in meinem Leben!
Picture or painting;-)?
Foto oder Gemälde;-)?

Safari with Friends / Safari mit Freunden

Scenic view from the Hatari Lodge onto the highest mountain in Africa
Traumblick von der Hatari Lodge auf den höchsten Berg Afrikas
Thru traffic allowed - the giant, hightly impressing Fig Tree Arch in the Arusha National Park
Durchfahrt erlaubt - der riesige, äußerst beeindruckende Fig Tree Arch im Arusha National Park
Relaxed in the Shumata Camp after an eventful safari-day 
(from left to right): Martin, myself, Claudia, Bernd
Relaxed im Shumata Camp nach einem ereignisreichen Safari-Tag
(von links nach rechts): Martin, ich, Claudia, Bernd
Like in a picture book, no, live even more beautiful: giraffes and in the background
flamingos on one of the seven Momella lakes
Wie in einem Bilderbuch, nein, live noch schöner: Giraffen und im Hintergrund
Flamingos auf einem der sieben Momella Seen

Having friends coming for a visit is great. Having friends being flexible and coming for a visit while we are on tour is even greater. Hence we are really looking forward to meeting with Bernd, also called Merte, and Claudia from the Sauerland/Germany in Arusha/Tanzania. Lake Jipe is not too far away from Arusha and we can cross the border between Kenya and Tanzania near the little town Taveta easily.

7. März 2013

Lake Jipe - Jewel in the Border Area / Lake Jipe - Kleinod im Grenzbereich

Peaceful ambiance at the Lake Jipe
Friedliche Stimmung am Lake Jipe 
Our arrival is THE event for the kids in Jipe.
Für die Kinder in Jipe ist unsere Ankunft das Ereignis schlechthin.
Jipe is.... where the fish is flying directly in your mouth:-)...
In Jipe fliegen einem zwar nicht die gebratenen Tauben in den Mund,
aber immerhin frische Fische:-). Wo sonst gibt es so etwas?
„Nestled in sublime scenery“, this is how Lake Jipe is described in our guide book. Reason enough for us to go to the little lake in the middle of which runs the boundary line between Kenya and Tansania. We are driving southwards along the Kenyan waterfront, through the little village Jipe with only a few huts to a side entrance of the Tsavo West National Park. Camping on the campsite of the National Park, which is situated directly behind the fence, costs 130 USD per night (inclusive entrance fee for the park, I grant), camping in front of the fence is for free. Since we just came through the Tsavo West we decide for the „in-front-of-the-fence" option.

5. März 2013

Longing for the Bush / Sehnsucht nach dem Busch

Look into my eyes, then through my eyes, and you will see:
Schau in meine Augen, dann durch meine Augen, und du wirst sehen:
The spell of the moment...
Die Faszination des Augen-Blicks...
... and the achievable harmony on Earth,...
... und die mögliche Harmonie auf Erden,...
.... for after all it is "A Wonderful World"!
... denn es ist in der Tat "A Wonderful World"!

Now we have been long enough at the East African seaside. The wonderful time on Lamu more than compensates for the countless wakeful nights and the heavy sweating before. However it is time to move on: back into the heart of the continent, the spacious bush land, the remaining wilderness and above all to the fascinating African wildlife. From Malindi we are going between the two National Parks Tsavo East and Tsavo West northwestwards to the Tansanian border.

„80 % of the people... / „80 % der Menschen...

picture taken at the bar of the Lamu House Beach Club, Manda Island
fotografiert an der Bar des Lamu House Beach Clubs, Manda Island

"80 % of the people are exceeding in their self-display!“
This is the assertion of a globetrotter we meet underway. Hmmm, that is contrary to our experience. However, this figure is still in our head when we meet an older lady by the name of Errol on our boat trip to Manda Island.

When I ask her what she did for living she looks at me bewilderedly. Then, only after a while, she tells me measuredly she is a writer. What kind of literature she is focused on, I would like to know. „Do you know ,Out of Africa‘?“, she asks me. What a question! Of course I know this classical movie! She lets me know that she has written one of the books which are source material for this film. Ahaaa, I say, thinking by myself: but the movie is based on a book written by Karen Blixen...?....

Lamu, a Divine Gem in the Indian Ocean / Lamu, ein traumhafter Juwel im Indischen Ozean

Typical Dhau scenery
Typische Dhau Szene 
Perfect posing - thank you, Lamu cats!
Perfektes Posen - vielen Dank, Lamu-Katzen!
Even on Lamu you find them everywhere, the cellphones!
Selbst auf Lamu findet man sie überall, die Handys!
A few little islands next to the northeast coast of Kenya, surrounded by coral reefs and still without any cars, that is the arabesque oriented Lamu Archipel. Thankfully the isles are too tiny to be suited for mass tourism. The archipel is unknown even to lot of Africa travellers, much to our joy, since here we can experience a quite pristine part of this continent.