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Tanzania-approaching Ngorongoro Crater is one of many articles to be created from photos taken on three connected safaris (Botswana and Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya) between June 20 and July 31, 2009, with Cheesemans Ecology Safaris, Saratoga, California (www.cheesemans.com). We had previously traveled with them to Antarctica, 2000/2001.
Diane and I flew out of Peoria on a 6:00 AM flight to Minneapolis on June 20. After a 7-hour wait, it was on to Amsterdam. After a 5-hour wait, we boarded a plane for an 11-hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, where we stayed overnight. From there, we caught a flight to Maun, Botswana.
After completing the Botswana/Zambia portion of the journey with Grant Reed and three other tourists, we were ready to proceed into Tanzania for the second leg of the three.
From Mfuwe, Zambia, Diane and I were the only passengers in a plane designed for four passengers for the one-hour flight to Lilongwe, Malawi. The 33-pound limit per person as to both checked and carried luggage was applicable to this flight had there been two more people on the plane. The flight from Livingstone to Mfuwe had been on a slightly larger plane, but that also could have had the same weight restriction if it was a full plane.
After a two-hour wait in Lilongwe, we boarded a 747 for the short flight to Nairobi, Kenya, where we overnighted before flying to Arusha, Tanzania, where we spent two nights at the Mountain Village Lodge.
Doug and Gail Cheeseman joined us at this time to lead the group through Tanzania and Kenya. There were seventeen tourists participating on the Tanzania safari. Three of us were from the first leg, Botswana and Zambia, and fourteen joined us in Tanzania along with the Cheesemans and five native drivers.
We boarded vehicles which were like vans but had roofs which lifted up allowing us about 20 inches of open space for unobstructed views and photography.
Each day began early with breakfast either at the lodge or taken with us. Lunch was either at a lodge or taken with us, and we usually arrived at our lodging not later than 6:00 P.M. If we were doing game drives within a short distance of the nights lodging, each vehicle of four participants could decide on its arrival time back at the lodge. If we were changing lodging, we usually tried to arrive together early in the afternoon for check-in before continuing on with a game drive lasting until about 6:00 P.M.
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Jim and Diane Tanner
article published 2/9/2010