Danielle N. Lee is a member of the Outdoor Afro Leadership Team. She is a Ph.D. Biologist currently in Tanzania doing a field study of African Pouched Rats. She will be sharing her Adventures from Africa here on Outdoor Afro. You can join her on her adventure at her blog The Urban Scientist at the Scientific American Network.
I took a weekend safari (journey/holiday) with other Ex-Pats to Iringa. Iringa is near the central part of the country and is the launching pad for many other Tanzanian adventures. Many people start their multi-park safaris from Iringa because of its vicinity to Ruaha, Udzungwa, and Mikumi National Parks.
On this visit, my friends and I visited Isimila Stone Age and Natural Pillars. If you didn’t know Tanzania is the Cradle of Mankind. The museum is modest, but the learning experience was one of a kind. I only regret that the travel books don’t warn you of the hiking you will be doing while visiting the Early Human Stone Tool site and the trek to the Natural Pillars. It was beautiful, but be mindful of your steps. There are no safety railings and walking trails and stairs are earth worn. Sadly, this (and most of the natural beauties I have witnessed so far) could not be traversed by individuals with mobility/physical ability issues.
We did stay at a lovely campsite, Rivervalley Campsite. The campsite offers Bandas (cabins), tented camps (with beds) and campgrounds if you want to pitch your own tents. Bandas vary in size and can sleep 2 – 6+ people. The five of us stayed in the larger banda that had its own bathroom plus 2 rooms – one with a double bed and the other with 2 sets of bunk beds. We discovered, as we were checking out, that there was a loft and it had a padded pallet on the floor with room to spare for a sleeping bag.
There are plenty of clean external washrooms and toilets throughout the camp. Plus, there is dining hall also offering hot meals. Prices vary, with bandas being the most expensive and tented camps costing less (and depending on your command of Kiswahili). However, I was very impressed with the accommodations and amenities. We paid $60 USD for one night and that included a hot breakfast. We also had dinner, which cost less than $5 USD. The campsite is also home to a popular language school, so there are many expats around most of the time.
Tented camps seem to be very popular in Tanzania and they are very nice lodging options for the cost-conscious person concerned about comfort. If you want to see and experience the culture, wildlife, nature, and beauty of Tanzania up close, then I definitely recommend this as a must-do adventure for Outdoor Afros.
Visit Tanzania. It is beautiful here!
Outdoor Afros, want a post card from Tanzania? I am here until September 23, 2012, so complete the Dispatches from Tanzania Postcard request form today.