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 Jackie Legge.

Barbara Alcock