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// MY NAME IS DANIELAnd after years of dreaming I've sold everything I own and set off on the open road. I've made this site as a sort of photo journal of my travels. The map shows where I've been (red), where I've stayed a month or more (yellow), and where I plan to go (white). And so, armed with little more than a backpack, a camera, and a dream, I now take the road less traveled by. So it goes.


ZANZIBAR Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island off the coast of Tanzania. Part of the Swahili Coast, Zanzibar was at various times under the control of Oman and Portugal. It was also the major port of the Arab Slave Trade, with as many as 50,000 slaves being sent to the Middle East each year. The British took the island in the mid-1800s and abolished the slave trade there (something they had been attempting to do all over the world for some time) and even built a church on the site of the former slave market. In 1963 Britain ended its protectorate status of the island to allow it to become an independent nation however only a month later a socialist revolution overthrew the local government and merged Zanzibar with the mainland country of Tanganyika, creating the United Republic of Tanzania (which is a combination of the names Tanganyika and Zanzibar). It's worth noting that the Socialist targeted ethnic minorities, particularly Arab and Indians, who had lived on the island for generations. As many as 20,000 people were murdered on the island during the revolution, forcing many minorities to flee. Among them was one particular Parsi Indian family that fled to the UK and whose son was named Farrokh Bulsara. Today, however, he's better known by his stage name, Freddie Mercury. Below you'll also see my host, as well as a group of American Peace Corp volunteers we'd actually met in Zambia and randomly encountered again at a restaurant in the historic Stone Town district. In the final photo you can see the ferry ride that brought us to the island.
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK Well, here we are. My sister and I did a several days long safari through the Serengeti and a few of the neighboring national parks. Reaching it was no easy task. We took a three day train journey from Zambia, across east Africa, to Dar Es Salaam, then a ferry to the island of Zanzibar, and then a flight to Arusha, which is near the park. But worth it. I'll let the photos do the talking, but notice the campsite and tents near the end. In Kruger National Park in South Africa you could only stay in camps with armed rangers and eight foot electrified fencing encircling the entire premises. In the Serengeti you just pitch a tent under a tree and pray.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK Tarangire National Park is not so far from the Serengeti but has a surprisingly different terrain, rugged, hilly, and more tree cover.
NGOROGORO CRATER Ngorongoro Conservation Area The Ngorogoro Crater is the largest volcano caldera in the world, more than 100 square miles in size, formed 2-3 million years ago when a super massive volcano exploded and then collapsed in on itself. The photos don't quite capture the feel, but it's large a large bowl surrounded on sides by an imposing, cloud covered cliff. The Maasai used to live here but were forced out when the crater was designated a conservation area. The same happened to them when the Serengeti National Park was created; they were forced out of their ancestral homes and resettled into areas unfamiliar to them. This is one of the dirty secrets of conservation, particularly in Africa. In the final few photos you'll see our campsite. In the dead of night, a great amount of noise and grunting was happening just outside my tent, rather unsettling in this part of the world. Fortunately it just turned out to be some Zebra. You'll also see a monument to early human discoveries in the nearby Olduvai Gorge. It's taken for granted today, but it was because of fossils discovered here, far older than any found before, dating back nearly 2 million years, that scientists were finally able to establish that humans originated in Africa.
LAKE MANYARA LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK Lake Manyara sits at the edge of the Great Rift Valley and is home to quite a lot of wildlife.
MAASAI VILLAGES I've stayed with Mongolian nomadic herders. With Laotion hill tribes. With indigenous Amazon villagers. With Quechua pastoralists. Mayan farmers. Tajik goat shepherds. Tibetan Buddhists. San Bushmen. Now I can say I've visited the Maasai. Or at least danced with them. They made me dance.
DAR ES SALAAM We actually arrived in Tanzania at Dar Es Salaam (via the three day Tazara train from Zambia). So I don't know why I put it here last. We overnighted here so we could catch the ferry to Zanzibar the following day, so I didn't see much of the city. It's massive though, one of the largest cities in Africa. I'll be curious to come back in twenty years and see how much it has changed. But for now, it's time to continue on. My sister flew home from Mount Kilimanjaro Airport but I remained in Africa, heading to Rwanda.