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We entered Tanzania in quite possibly the most difficult, unorthodox, and (in hind-sight) rewarding ways possible. After our four-day overland haul we were rewarded with Zanzibar’s white white-washed Swahili architecture, lush spice plantations, and total luxury on the eastern white sand beaches. Then we made our way inland, staying with friends in Arusha, helping a bit at Living Water orphanage, and going on safari in Serengeti’s Ngorongoro Crater. From the remote border towns to the depths of the crater, we experienced a number of wacky and wonderful things that will let You Know You Are In Tanzania When….
– Pole Pole (meaning “take it slow” in Swahili) isn’t just a traffic signal, it’s a way of life.
– Even your capital city has topless tribal pedestrians (no photo, but you can ask Anne for more details).
– Your borders are patrolled by 18-foot long crocs and angry hippopotamuses.
– Your immigration officials are so nice they will negotiate a loan to help you secure an entry visa.
– Your in-boat entertainment consists solely of MTV Islam
– The only way to serve your PB&J is on chapati.
– All your street food comes on a (news)paper plate.
– When you crack open a Kilimanjaro beer because…”If you can’t climb it drink it.”
– You boast more spices than McCormick.
– Where a beach cover-up literally covers you head-to-toe (*Zanzibar is 97% Muslim)
– Your sultans over-zealous claims lead to the shortest war on world history (*38-minutes.)
– The doors of Zanzibar are such works of art you are almost afraid to knock.
– More often than not, people clarify where Americans are from with the phrase…”Oh, you’re from Obama-Land!”
– The Serengeti is so spectacular that over 5 million animals make the annual pilgrimage.
– You take up bird watching because you’ve already spotted the Big Five before lunch.
– The term “run-flat tires” takes on an entirely new meaning… especially when you literally have to run from lions (FYI: Our guide had over 15 large scars on his arm and shoulder from a lion attack).
– You find yourself on a bus full of Maasai and you are the one who stands out.
– When standing room only includes the bus’ bumper (photo taken on the way to Arusha at 80km/hour).
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12. A list of everything we packed