A Gator in Dar Es Salaam

"Ex Africa semper aliquid novi - Out of Africa always something new" -Pliny the Elder

Friday, November 04, 2005


I left the University of Dar es Salaam campus at 5 yesterday (Thursday) morning. Caught a dalladalla to the Ubungo bus station and we paid a guy 50 cents to help us locate our bus, nothing is free of course, ha. Our bus, suprisingly left on time at 6 and we got hooked up with the seats in the front, we had some leg room and didnt ride in the back where the ride is rougher. The road to Arusha is pretty good and quite scenic. Saw miles and miles of Sisal and it got increasingly green as we made it closer. About 90 minutes west of Arusha is Kilimanjaro, which rises from the savanna and monstrously huge. I couldnt see the top because it was in the clouds, but it was pretty neat. You could see it from a long ways away, as one might imagine. It is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and has beautiful green slopes up as far as I could see. We arrived in Arusha at 4, so it was exactly 10 hours. Arusha is listed in Lonely Planet as the home of "street touts" who try to woo you on to real or non-existent safaris as this is the major departure for Serengeti and other National parks. So we got mobbed getting off the bus, but that is pretty typical. We ate a place called PizzArusha, which claimed to serve "The best damn pizza in Africa" Quite a claim, but it was pretty solid pizza. This morning we had a nice breakfast for 3.75 total, for 4 of us, not bad at all. Our room is 5 bucks each and we have a bed and I got to take a lukewarm shower, for the first time since August. Tried to go to Rwandan War Crimes Tribunal this morning but it is closed because of Eid, the Muslim Holiday. Just been walking around the city and getting offerred ugly overpriced paintings, and the like. Not sure what else we have planned, but I was pretty excited about seein Kilimanjaro, even if it was from a distance. Heading back to Dar on Sunday morning and another 10 hour bus ride, which wasnt actually bad at all. Going to the Arusha Declaration Museum now, which commemorates Nyerere's Arusha Declaration which proposed his socialist policies in 1967. Ujamaa was an economic failure but united the people of Tanzania, all 127 tribes. I just saw a paper that said US doesnt recognize Zanzibar poll results. The subtitle said CCM questioned the 2000 Presidential election in the US. Obviously the point being that the US has little show as an example of totally fair and effective elections. I think the violence on Zanzibar has calmed down and CCM was overwhelmingly the winners, so their was no doubt some trickery at work. Let everyone know what comes of that and Im sure you dont here anything at all about the US calling out Tanzanian elections in the US. From Arusha, a very green and pleasantly cool city.



  • At 11/04/2005 3:40 PM, Anonymous Mom said…

    Sure was glad to hear you made it there safely. I wasn't sure how eventful the bus ride might be! Stay safe and have fun. We want lots of souvenirs and pictures!

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