On a cold
and murky evening in March what could be more diverting than
a photographic safari in beautiful Tanzania? For this is what
our fellow-member Ann Farr undertook, making it possible for
us to imagine the 40+ degree temperatures and the wealth of
wild animals in the game reserves.
From Dar-es-Salaam to Zanzibar, Ann and John immersed themselves
in this land which, with its new President, John Magufuli, is
attempting to eradicate corruption, ensure and extend education,
resolve tribal differences and build up the economy by encouraging
tourism. 38% of the country is already a conservation area,
with reserves and national parks.
Strict measures deter poachers and rangers defend animals. For
tourists, safety is a prime consideration and guards patrol
the resorts at night. The guides, all of whom have university
degrees, are helpful, very knowledgeable and earn good salaries.
Near the edge of the park the lodges, with their swimming pools,
are meticulously maintained, with large en-suite rooms separate
lounge and restaurant. The bed-covers, rugs on the wooden floors,
the draping curtains and cushions, are beautifully made locally
in vibrant colours and designs. The white mosquito nets around
beds and windows give an Arabian Nights atmosphere.
Many animals can be seen near the lodges, particularly herds
of impala, while iguana lizards bask on the rocks of forest
pools. One morning, on opening the blinds, Ann and John were
startled by a huge bull elephant not a metre away. Since African
elephants are not as amenable as those in India, he was not
disturbed and took a full day before he moved on.
The range of animals they saw from their vehicle provided wonderful
photographs: Nile crocodiles, water buffalo, giraffe, warthog,
zebra and hippopotamus were all fascinating subjects, whilst
sleepy lion cubs with their pride produced fond smiles.
Later, our secretary had news of four rather more local outings,
which will no doubt prove interesting but, as the ladies went
home, there were some who wished the list could include a trip
to Tanzania. The next meeting will be on April 13 when we hope
to welcome new members for an in-house craft demonstration by