I do not remember if it was the 5th or 6th trip to Tanzania for me and my 12-year-old son. We have agreed with Kili Sky Safaris a Wild trip : safari car with Italian speaking driver-guide, overnight stays chosen by me or suggested by them in camping and cheap B & B, with some exceptions.
The parks in the south are much less frequented than those in the north. The difference is not due to the beauty of the landscapes or the quantity of wild animals, but to comfort. In the North the parks are all close, in the South they require long distances. But that was also what we were looking for on this trip.
We land in Dar es Salaam and we stop in the central area in a very cheap but spacious and clean B & B, with a well-functioning fan: Econo Lodge .
The next day we decide to celebrate our birthdays at ‘ Amani Lodge in Ras Kutani , a promontory not far from the big city, but already wild and lost. We cross the port with the ferry, first me and Emanuele with pedestrians, then Daniel with the “gari”: the off-road vehicle. Of course you do not go unnoticed in this crowd of people who clings to more I can not to let everyone go! Although the spaces are infinitesimal, the peanuts, water and candy sellers rush to reach their hungry customers. The children at the necks of mothers are the most daring to study with wide eyes. And we smile. No danger here, people are curious but very quiet.
Ras Kutani beach is beautiful: deserted, white, wide as far as the eye can see. The next morning we get up at dawn to find shells but the sea has not been generous today. We arrive to the nearby lagoon , which almost joins the sea. They also organize canoe and horse rides.
The Amani Beach is too luxurious for us, very spacious and well spaced bungalows, fine finishes and swimming pool, excellent cuisine.
We leave late and we will pay for this time. The road to the South is one, it connects the economic capital to the whole South and beyond, and is the only way to supply a population as large as … invisible! The streets are full of overloaded trucks but people? Where are the people? The south is the most populated area and yet people live in villages in a traditional way, are content with little, do not trade and do not live along the streets like in many other areas. Driving is very challenging, trucks go at top speed and you do not understand how they will stop if needed. While Daniel remains focused, we admire the arid hills covered with shrubs, in contrast to the valleys traveled by the Little Ruaha Riververy green and full of trees full of leaves and fruits. Every so often a baboon looks at us with an air of sufficiency. I really appreciate the prudence with which he leads Daniel because it allows me to relax and enjoy the movements. In reality it is very attentive to all our needs. It is obvious that he has been doing this job for many years.
One of the most spectacular valleys is Mbuyuni , literally “where there is a baobab”. I’ve never seen so many all together! Their immense trunks look like the work of an artist. Every now and then on the street appears the colorful stain of women selling tomatoes, arranged neatly on buckets.
We arrive early in Iringa. We stopped shortly before, at the Rivervalley Campsite , which I had chosen for its location along the Little Ruaha River. Indeed the river full of water and the huge boulders from unlikely positions give a fairytale touch to this Campsite! It offers different solutions for housing but we assemble our tents. Luckily we had a sleeping bag, Iringa is at 1500 m altitude and that night is really cool!