Jan 6th Wednesday    Harare   mostly overcast and rainy
Arrived early in the morning, took a taxi to the 'Small World' guesthouse, got settled in. Visited with some of the other travelers there, and between that and a very good travel agent on site, sorted out both canoeing and white water rafting. In the afternoon went out exploring Harare, with Heide, a cute  Australian. Unfortunately between the tiredness of the long flight, the cold coming on, and getting soaked in rain while in the city felt quite tired and sick in the evening and went to bed early. Did do quite a bit of backpack sorting, which made me feel good.
JN -Harare very green, lots of big trees, and in the suburb where the guesthouse is it is like living in a forest. Not a lot of traffic or people compared to Asia, and everything is in English. Asia seems to have a much stronger culture influencing everything.
JN -went to the Natural History museum (ok), the National Gallery (excellent sculpture and paintings), and an Internet cafe in a very modern, 'eco friendly' skyscraper, as modern as anywhere. Overall though, things seemed a bit rundown. Apparently the economy is going through  a bit of a rough patch.
JN -the English farmer claiming that land was selling at 7000 pounds/acre in his area, the high prices a result of farmers with cash from selling land to housing developers wishing to turn it back into land to avoid tax.
PTR (staff) -Pam, Judith, Amanda, Elias.

Jan 7th Thursday    Harare    partly cloudy, on and off rain
After a long night sniffing and snorting, the cold has seemed to turn into a chest infection. Took it easy all day, but decided to go on antibiotics. In the afternoon walked a little way into town into a mall-type area, got a haircut, some supplies, had supper, and watched the movie 'Rush Hour', which was excellent. Back at the hostel stayed up fairly late visiting.
JN -the shopping area very western with a big supermarket, etc. Excellent cinema. Lots of well to do whites shopping around there.
JN -walking back - decided to walk back after the movie instead of taking a taxi as recommended, as it was such a short distance. Didn't like the feeling at all, very dark street, and the guidebook mugging warnings 'always take a taxi after dark' ringing through my head.
PTR -Steve, Dave, Hazel, the N.Z. couple.

Jan 8th Friday    Harare    on and off rain
Still not feeling very well, planning on going downtown but skipped it and slept all morning again. Getting tired of being sick. Prepared for the canoeing trip tomorrow the best I could. All the paperwork for the next few days came through, and I sorted that out as well as some supplies. Had some luck as I found as an Australian woman (Mia) who is leaving on the same canoe trip, which will help as the leaving time is 4.40 am. In the evening there was a barbecue at the guesthouse, (which was very good). Went to sleep a bit early but it was tough to ger much sleep between the party going on late and the cold. The only night the hostel was noisy had to be now.
JN -Heide getting her passport picked in downtown Harare.

Jan 9th Saturday    Harare to the Zambezi valley.    Partly sunny, warm.
Up at 4.00 am, met up with Mia and caught a taxi to the Bronte hotel, where we met up with the other canoeist and caught our ride to Chirundu, where we got on our canoes. Canoed down the river for a few hours and set up camp for the night.
PTR -Charlie, Jo, Rana (English doctors in-training on their way back from working a few weeks in South Africa, 22 to 24), Nina and Hanna (Norwegian researchers working in Angola, 30's, probably lesbians), Mia (Australian doctor in -training, early 20's), Edson and Livingston (guide and assistant).
JN -we're traveling in two man canoes, with the supplies in the center covered by a tarp and a cargo net. The person in the back does almost all the steering, plus a good deal of the paddling, while the person at the front just paddles. It took all afternoon to get a good hang of steering, as there is as much rudder work as paddling in the back.

JN -using the oars as a rudder turns the canoe in the same direction as the oar is in, and can turn it very aggressively. Paddling also turns, but slower. The back is more aggressive paddle turning than the front.
JN -as we are getting carried downstream while we are paddling downstream, avoiding obstacles has to be quite aggressive. First the canoe is turned with the rudder then aggressively paddling forward. For the rudder to have an effect the canoe has to be traveling faster than the current it is in.
JN -the Zambezi is quite a big river, looking similar to the Peace. We zig-zag from side to side, keeping a lookout for hippos, which can charge and flip over the canoes if they feel threatened. The river is also full of alligators, so flipping a canoe is even worse of an idea than it would usually be.

JN -the tent being soo roasting hot inside the mosquito netting early on, then heavy heavy rain during the night, quite the experience in a small tent with two people inside.

Jan 10th Sunday     cloudy and warm morning, sunny and hot afternoon
 The most canoeing today. Luckily the weather stayed overcast most of the time, keeping the temperature down. When the sun came out in the afternoon it proved powerful, giving me sunburns where I missed (and even where I hit) with the # 25 sun screen. Camped again.


JN -lots of hippos today, causing us lots of detours around them. Apparently they weigh about a ton, looking a bit like a stubby cow. They graze on land at night, but during the day live in the river to keep their skin from getting burnt. They can hold their breath for long periods of time, 7-15 minutes, and can either swim or walk on the bottom. We see their eyes and stubby ears in the water, or hear them grunting and trumpeting. When they feel threatened they run to deep water, which is why we normally skirt them in the shallows, running in single file.
JN -otherwise we've seen a few alligators, elephants, deer-type things.
JN -the elephant crossing the river.
JN -sleeping not so tough this time, have a tent with less mesh, and this time left half the fly open.
JN -lots of stars, and a wildly different pattern than home. The milky way has many more stars here.
JN -how the doctors smoked like chimneys.
JN -found out I still snore, helps if I don't sleep on my back (tie something there).

Jan 11th Monday     Zambezi     cloudy morning, sunny afternoon
Fairly easy day, didn't paddle near as far. Burning more and more so tried the tea towel/cap combination and found it worked well.
JN -saw a big elephant on the bank just beside where we broke for lunch. It crossed the river behind us as we were watching, just walking until only the top of its head and the trunk were out.
JN -canoeing under the banks, watching for the hippos on the banks, going under one almost without realizing it.
JN -rain starting just at supper, barely getting through it before it absolutely poured down the rest of the night.
JN -the lions roaring outside, wondering about whether to go out to go to the bathroom, deciding against it.
JN -38 degrees in the shade at 6.00 pm.

Jan 12th, Tuesday     Zambezi to Mana Pools and back to Harare
Just a bit of paddling today, getting to the extraction site at noon. With waiting at the site for awhile, the 2.5 hr ride to the pavement, and heavy rain all the way on the plateau to Harare, didn't get back until late. Stayed at Small World again, with the rest staying either at Possum or Bronte.
JN -seeing the black cobra on the truck ride out, crocs in the rivers, more deer and deer like things, buffalo, etc on the way out.
JN -how attracted me and Rana were getting as the trip wore on, the conversation on the way out. Interesting how clear the 50% attraction guideline is, here exactly 3 out of 6. Much tougher with me and Mia, although we did paddle together well.
JN -thinking back , I should have got a tent for myself and let the girls share, which wouldn't have tied me to Mia and let me go after Rana. Feeling a bit like a man who married too early.

Jan 13th, Wednesday     Harare to Vic Falls
Flew to Vic Falls, staying at 357 Gibson Rd backpackers with two Dutch women I met on the plane (Margo 32, and Hester 27). Looked at the falls on my own, then met M and H for high tea at the Victoria Falls hotel.
JN -the backpackers a big open fronted thatched house where the owners lived, in a large garden with trees everywhere and more thatched buildings scattered around. Very nice. We stayed upstairs in a loft type area under the thatched roof.
JN -the long conversation about romance, and what the word actually means.
JN -the falls themselves are quite ok, long and meandering and quite high, but didn=t impress me as much as Niagra for some reason, not as much water?, more spread out?
JN -the high tea in the fancy old hotel with the beautiful grounds, sort of like a Maharaja palace in India. How romantic the setting was, and the discussion it started.

Jan 14th, Thursday     Vic Falls     sunny and warm
Whitewater rafting all day with Safari par Excellence. Quite an experience.
JN -had the choice of a 'paddle' raft or a 'hang on' raft, chose the paddle one for more involvement. Five of us on ours and two guides.
JN -falling out on rapid #7, getting pulled back in by Stan eventually, but Edmee (who fell out when I did) going through the next set of rapids before they could get her.
JN -transferring to a hold on type of raft on #8, the whole raft going over, hanging on to the side through the rest until we were through.
JN -taking on the stranded crew of another flipped raft.
JN -the long, long, walk down and back up the gorge.
JN -the river depth of the gorge was 100 meters deep in places apparently, even though it was always quite narrow.
JN -watching the video after, very professionally done.
JN -burning from the sun, should have brought sunscreen.
JN -the spare pair of glasses kept on well with the neoprene strap.
JN -overall quite an adventure, with the first half of the rapids (before lunch) as demanding as I wanted. The last half was a bit slow, but this was ok. After falling in the water twice I did not want to go in again. Interesting how scary it felt being under the water and how anxious to get back on top and take a breath, thought it was psychological (as not under all that long), until remembered how holding breath when breathing hard is quite different than when resting.
JN -the relief of being pulled out, this is what soldiers must feel in war when being helped by their mates.
JN -the long relationship conversation in the evening with M and H.

Jan 15th Friday      Vic Falls to Harare      sunny and hot
Slept in, visited with Yvette (24, Dutch), and spent the rest of the morning downtown with her doing various things, including more tea at the Vic Falls hotel again. In the afternoon flew back to Harare, staying at Small World again.

Jan 16th Saturday       Harare
Met up with the Encounter Overland tour in the morning, meeting everyone for the first time. Afterwards had some time and took it easy by watching 'Out of Sight' at the movies. Met up with the truck again in the evening and headed out to Harare campsite.
JN -Monique and Andrew (Aus) 21
     -James and Liz (US) 27 and 28
     -John (Norway) 21
     -Caroline (New Zealand) 24
     -Thisbe (Hongkong/Australia) 42
     -Stephanie (France/Australia/England) 32
     -Sven (Germany) 34
     -Bianca (Germany) 30
      -Tina (Germany) 22
     -Inika (Australia) 22
     -Molin (Sweden) 27
     -Pia (Sweden) 27
     -Inger (Sweden) 25
     -Susan (Sweden) 23
     -Mia (Sweden) 21
     -Josephine (Sweden) 20
     -Me (Canada) 33
     -Stewart (the driver, Australia) 25
JN -the Encounter truck is a heavy 4WD with a row of seats along each side in the back, like a paddy wagon. The luggage goes in a pull behind trailer. Everyone sleeps in two person tents, with cots inside. Cooking is done by the travellers in shifts. Only one staff, the driver.
JN -playing pool and foozeball in the campground bar.

Jan 17th, Sunday     Harare to Lake Kariba
Packed up, got groceries, the rest of the day driving to Lake Kariba, where we camped.
JN -driving takes a long time as the truck doesn't go very fast, but it's fairly comfortable.
JN -a long search for a campground in the evening, camping and cooking in the dark.

Jan 18th, Monday     Lake Kariba
Got on a houseboat that went across the lake, parking on the far shore where we met up with another and the group split up between the two.
JN -very hilly around Kariba, and with the marina at the bottom and nice houses on the hills it seemed more like what I thought Italy or Greece would be like.
JN -how nice the houseboats are, lots of room.
JN -bad sunburn, ow.

JN -diving off the houseboats upper deck in the middle of the lake.
JN -going out in the small boat fishing in the evening with Andrew and Monique, getting lots of smallish fish (Breem?). Fishing is lots of fun when there is lots of bites.
JN -sleeping out on deck under the mosquito net in the wind, Tina laughing at me as I tried to set the net up.
JN -how hard it was to thread the surprisingly active worms onto the hook.
JN -the hippos, elephants, deer-type things, and zebras on the shore.

Jan 19th, Tuesday     Lake Kariba
Up early, went fishing again, this time for tiger fish. No luck but went out again in the middle of the day and got lots of Breem which we cooked up for supper. Up a bit late, slept out on deck again.
JN -lots of elephants near the boat, including some babies, a big herd of buffalo, and some zebra.
JN -eight of the people had traveled here together on the Capetown to Harare leg. That group was only 13 in total.
JN -working in McDonalds being accepted as credit to school in Australia as the training is so good.

Jan 20th, Wednesday     Zambia
A big day driving, up at 5.00, gone at 6.30, across most of Zambia in 13 hrs. Camping in the dark again, at another prepaid campsite.
JN -the talk on how we did not want to rough camp in Zambia if possible, the two overland drivers with their throats slit and their money stolen rough camping a few years ago.

Jan 22nd, Friday     Zambia to Salima Bay, Malawi
We got money (eventually) in Llongwe, the capital of Malawi, then drove on to Salima Bay. Camped at a beach.

JN -having cooking detail with Molin: Thai vegetables, rice, and 'feed' corn-on-the-cob. Oops!
JN -tried sleeping under the truck instead of in the tent. Cool and can see the stars, but at 3.30 am a strong wind and rain came as we (Tina, Caroline and me) moved into the truck. Later the rain stopped and we moved the camp beds to the beach and watched the sunrise.
JN -heavy lightning all day in the distance, didn't seem to be getting closer until the sudden early morning storm.
JN -evening in the hotel bar, sitting on the beach, Inika's phoning home aggro.

Jan 23rd Saturday     Salima Bay, Malawi
Most of us took a boat trip to an island off the beach, looked at souvenirs at the market, and went to a village supper / traditional dancing in the evening.

JN -the island was mostly rock and we climbed around looking for the big lizards that lived there. I tried a swing on a 'tarzan vine', nearly broke my back, and earned a 'tarzan' nickname.

JN -big bargaining going on with the others and the souvenir stalls, over some really good woodwork. As soon as one walked out of the campground an 'escort' materialized to go along to the stalls. Some people got some quite large stuff, like chairs, which the rest of us are wondering how to pack.
JN -poor third world villages seem much the same anywhere in the world.
JN -walking with Hilda, Tina, and Caroline deep into the (quite large) village, shown around by some young guys. Absolutely dark, all twists and turns, felt a bit nervous for a while, but everyone was friendly.

Jan 24th Sunday     Salima Bay to Candi Beach
Traveled onwards to another beach up the coast. This one more developed as an overland truck stop, and quite a few other trucks there.
JN -another very nice beach. Spent the day swimming and playing volleyball.
JN -the bar a big hut built around a living tree, looks really good.

Jan 25th Monday     Candi Beach
We were planning on leaving this morning but the truck won=t start at all, and hard rain all morning made it hard to fix. Played pool, foozeball, ping pong, and darts all morning, volleyball all afternoon. Very tired in the morning, went to bed after a bit of time in the bar.
JN -caught a lot of hell this morning for snoring all night, will try a tied up wad of socks elasticized to my sleeping shirt to see if that will keep me off my back and fix the problem.
JN -volleyball in some ways isn=t all that tough, as the ball is light, soft, and easy to hit. Makes me wonder why I had such a tough time as a kid learning it.
JN -some of the other overland truck groups are hard drinking bunches.

Jan 26th Thursday     Candi Beach to Nyika Plateau
Got the truck going and traveled north, getting groceries and supplied at Mzuzu before heading inland up into the park at Nyika Plateau, arriving in the dark.

JN -a long drive up into the hills, up rough dirt roads. The park plateau itself is very green grassland with strips of woodland, looking like farm pastures in England. Lots of the 'Africa' trees finally -flat topped Acacia.
JN -removed the top for the park drive, standing up through the bars, much better view.

Jan 27th Wednesday     Nyika Plateau
Very cold overnight, but on the temp gauge still 13.9 (but at 97% humidity). Got up really early at 5.00 to go to the bathroom, came back, and by 5.15 the sun and risen and could see a herd of seven zebra appear out of the darkness, grazing in front of the campsite. Most of us went horse riding in the morning and walked to the camp center for tea and cake in the afternoon. Helped Stu monkey with the truck in the evening. So far the battery connections were cleaned, starter changed, the negative cable to frame connection cleaned, the battery checked, and still we haven=t fixed the problem.
JN -just like home, so much trouble from starting/charging systems. Without a voltmeter on the dash, without a battery tester, and with poorish battery cables, life is a lot more complicated.
JN -the horse riding was more like a walk, as most people were new or uncertain on horses. Just as we got to the far end of our walk and were heading back, a big thunderstorm came down on us with heavy rain turning into hail, and a tornado funnel in the distance. The way back fighting with the horses (who wanted to turn away from the wind), calming the people (some were getting a bit fed up), and getting soaking wet and cold, was quite an experience.
JN -very little game to see, a few zebra and antelope.
JN -the heavy spruce forests at the riding stables, how it felt like Europe.
JN -the hyena warning signs on the shelters we were sleeping in.

Jan 28th Thursday     Nyika to Chitumba campsite
Got the truck running with a boost and headed down off the mountain. Got supplies in Rumphi, then kept going to another lakeside campsite.
JN -talking with Stewart. There was a bit of a blowup yesterday as the group was running out of food supplies much quicker than expected, and after the rainstorm when everyone was cold and wet people got pretty grumpy. Amazing how a crowd mentality goes. I think it has a lot to do with many people being young and on their first trip. It seems the toughest part of being part of an overland truck driver would be the people babysitting.
JN -this campsite / beach is also quite nice. No showers though, so we jumped into the beach with soap and shampoo. Interesting feeling floating in the surf, cleaning my hair while being suspended in the water being rocked by the waves.
JN -visiting with the backpackers in the bar. Getting around by bus and train does not seem to be that difficult on your own.
JN -the truck problem looks as though it is probably in the internal heavy solenoid contacts. We were fooled because when the starter and solenoid was changed the battery was not strong enough anymore to turn the engine over.
JN -visiting with the girl behind the bar. Apparently a big rain is expected for tonight again. So far it is just thundering lightly in the distance. She warned against sleeping in the shelter and advised a move into the bar area if things get bad.

Jan 29th Friday     Chitumba campsite to Tanzania
Travelled into Tanzania, delayed by a series of mishaps.
JN -It did start to rain big time at 5.00 in the morning, starting slowly but getting more and more, and with a strong wind blowing it under the shelter. Almost everyone is sleeping in mosquito nets only now. Remembering the bar girls advice, I picked up the sleeping bag and cot and headed into the bar before the rain got too bad, the only one to do so. I therefore got another few hours sleep, while the others got pretty wet. Leaving was delayed until the rain stopped and all the wet stuff was gathered together. Truck full of clothes and sleeping bags drying out.

JN -once we did get going a return fuel line cracked, spraying fuel all over the engine and the road. Luckily the leak was slow enough that we could make it to the next town and get it brazed up.
JN -I have a much better idea now of just how independent backpacking toughens people up, giving them character and making them interesting. Next time take locally organized tours (like the flying Kiwi, Siberut, the canoe safari. They have always tended to be filled with independent travelers, rather than most of the people here, that fly in, take the tour, and then fly back out. This trip is more like a tough version of a tour bus than the tours I was used to.
JN -another key may be that when I take the longer 3 month trips there is just more time to collect experiences.
JN -how interesting the Newsweek gets while traveling.
JN -the pen, kwacha, etc begging.
JN -the rough camp off in the banana trees by the village. Everyone from the village gathering around and staring at us. A very nice site though. It seemed so foreign at first, and then we find out that we were meant to camp on the church grounds, and that the man talking so excitedly to Stu is actually the apprentice minister for that church just clearing up why we camped a few hundred feet further on (the original site was overgrown).

Jan 30th, Saturday     Tanzania transit
Traveling all day across the south of Tanzania, rough camping again at the end.
JN -a long days driving. The countryside is getting quite dry and brown, a big contrast from the bright green and lush trees and crops of Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi.
JN -the time has changed one hour ahead, so sunrise is now 6.15 rather than 5.15, making our early starts quite dark.
JN -camping this time in a clearing in the forest just off the road, amid warnings to keep our flashlights off in case someone sees and comes to rob us (which apparently has happened before at this site).

Jan 31st, Sunday     to Zanzibar
Traveled from the rough camp to Dar-es-Salaam, where most of us caught the ferry across to Zanzibar, got set up in a hotel, and went out for supper.
JN -we saw our first giraffes today.
JN -not a lot of driving, which was a relief, especially as the roads changed from the surprisingly excellent conditions yesterday to very rough as we neared Dar.
JN -excellent fast ferry, and the captain let a few of us stand on the bow in front of the captains control room to better feel the speed. Had to hold on hard for fear of falling off.
JN -close to Dar the scenery changed to tropical, the air got much more humid, and this continued all the way to the coast and out to Zanzibar.
JN -Zanzibar is an Indonesian-type island with an impressive 'Stone Town' of narrow streets and tall stone houses.

Feb 1st, Monday     Zanzibar
Spice tour for the morning, wandered through town in the afternoon, out for pizza with everyone in the evening.
JN -the spice tour was extremely good, with almost every spice and fruit shown in walking tours around the countryside. Got to climb (about 4 ft, very difficult) a coconut palm, as well.
JN -wandering through town with the other group and the hotel guide. I quickly got lost, and had to make my way back on my own through the twisty streets. It=s what I thought old Italian towns would be like. Quite relieved to make it out.
JN -lots of culture here, with a strong Arab trading presence over the centuries. The island is 95% muslim, and the minaret cries 'Allah Hu Acbar' (God is Great) go out in the morning. Africa so far is usually really different than Asia that way, in that the local culture is not very strong or different normally.

Feb 2nd Tuesday     to Nungwe beach and back
With a bunch of the others rented a couple of Suzuki 4wd jeeps and drove up to a beach on the north end of the island. In the evening ate at the market, sat in a restaurant and talked, and went souvenir shopping.

JN -under great pressure (as I haven't bought anything yet) from the girls on the trip, I finally bought a few things for presents.
JN -stopped by the police 4 times on the way up, and twice asked for 'presents'.
JN -Nungwe beach was quite nice, some rocks around but blazing white sand and nice water. Nice restaurants and guesthouses around as well.
JN -the excellent beach massage, wave surfing.
JN -cut short a bit as some had to head back early to shop, but I probably would have gotten sunburnt anyway.
JN -those short wheelbase Suzukis ride incredibly rough on poor roads, especially when riding in the back seat.

Feb 3rd, Wednesday     Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam
Slept in a bit, wandered around town and had a nice meal, ferry back late afternoon and traveled to a campsite outside Dar where the truck and the few people that didn't go to Zanzibar stayed.
JN -traveling on the Dala Dala (share taxis), pickups with bench seats on the sides packed as full as possible and stopping everywhere. Like traveling in a bemo in Indonesia, and likewise incredibly crowded at times. Everyone seems very friendly to each other and takes no notice of me as a tourist, which is nice.
JN -nice to get away from the group for a while, amazing how traveling then changes from a 'group experience' to a 'country experience'.
JN -the food being so excellent at the Blues restaurant, interesting how good food can get.

Feb 4th, Thursday     Dar es Salaam to Korogwe
Molin and me are cooking again so we rode in the cab. Another transit day. rolling through eastern Tanzania on the way to the game parks. Camped in a campground, dry again so sleeping out in a mosquito net is no problem.

JN -Stewart forgetting his money belt, but not having to turn around anyway (after a certain amount of panic).
JN -very hot and much drier than Zanzibar (37 Celsius and 25% humidity), even the wind from driving feels hot. Trading up the water bottle from the 2 liter to a 1 2 liter one.
JN -the countryside is looking dry also. Apparently the rains move up from Zimbabwe and will be starting here in a month or so.
JN -the cactus plantations (looking like large aloe vera plants) are sisal, also used in Mexico for tequila.
JN -helping cook doesn't give a lot of spare time in the evening, but does give something to do and gets you involved with people. The meal today was very good and I ate a lot, only to find diarrhea setting in in the evening. A few other people have been going down with stomach trouble lately, and the water tank is suspected.

Feb 5th, Friday     Korogwe to Snake Park campground via Arusha
Mountains showing up now as we drive, including Kilimanjaro, which appears (very rarely apparently) free from cloud. Drove on to Arusha where we got supplies before heading on to a campsite 2 hour farther on.
JN -no eating settled the stomach quickly, but I'm very hungry. Went to sleep early.
JN -guarding the truck in Arusha. Apparently it's a haven for thievery, so four of us kept an eye out while the others went shopping.

Feb 6th, Saturday     Snake Park to Mt-wa-Mbu
Drove farther towards the game park to a campsite in a town just outside the gates. Dropped off the trailer then toured with the truck through Manyara game reserve.
JN -saw lots of baboons and zebra, big giraffe quite close, some elephant, warthog, and wildebeest.
JN -the thorn tree branches swinging in the sides of the truck, not a joke with 2" thorns sharp like needles. A few people got slashed.
JN -just a few tse-tse flies, but enough to wind everyone up. Like a horsefly that does not go away until it is killed.
JN -a hot, dusty, bone jarring day, but interesting.
JN -started eating again in the evening. Spaghetti never tasted so good.

Feb 7th, Sunday     Mtu-wa-Mbu to the Serengeti
Went out with the truck to a Masai village in the morning, then back to the campsite where we were loaded on three Landrovers for the long drive through to the Serengeti, where we camped.
JN -a long drive over very rough roads up first to hilly farming country, then the Ngorongoro crater rim. Once around it we headed down again through rolling grassy hills to the Serengeti plain.
JN -the landrovers driven so quickly for the condition of the road, tilting this way and that.
JN -as soon as we went up a bit the temperature went down, the rains arrive a bit earlier, and the country looked quite productive with farms and tilled fields.
JN -lots of animals in the Serengeti, deer and antelope and zebra and wildebeest and birds, etc. We were also lucky enough to see cheetah, one group of two and one of three, in both cases lounging around on rocky outcrops in the plain. Also one lion.
JN -how the cheetah just lie there as the trucks circle around and everyone takes photos.
JN -the Masai village on the plain. Cattle inside, houses outside, no windows in the huts (very dark and smoky), the women not allowed outside for three months after birth, lots of discussion over the fact the chief had four wives and that any of his friends could sleep with them as long as he allowed it and they were at least his age.
JN -losing one caliper/pad locating pin on a landrover and replacing it with a steel tent peg.

Feb 8th, Monday     Serengeti to Ngorongoro crater
Serengeti game drive all morning, then drove back to a campsite on the edge of the Ngorongoro crater, stopping at Oldevai gorge (where the Leakeys did all their archeological work) on the way.
JN -more of everything, including a couple of hyenas and a bunch more lions. The lions were in each case sleeping in groups of 2 to 6, piled up together under trees, etc, looking incredibly docile. Only one male with a small ruff, the rest all females.
JN -hyenas came to the campsite at night, drinking out of the washing bowls and carting some of them off into the bush. Thisbe was treated to the sound of this happening outside her tent.
JN -some controversy about who got to ride in which jeep, as two of them are smaller and much rougher, and most of the people in the nice jeep don't want to move. I moved, and yes, they are much rougher and there is less room. Still ok though.
JN -the Ngorongoro campsite overlooking the rim, a beautiful spot.
JN -the body piercing discussion, Caroline and the 'Prince Albert' comment.

Feb 9th, Tuesday     Ngorongoro crater back to the Snake park campground.
Up early, down into the crater for the morning, the rest of the day driving back all the way to the Snake park where the truck had moved to. Sat in the bar all evening until late.
JN -lots of ordinary (by now) animals again, but as well saw a black rhinoceros, ostrich, a wildebeest mother chasing jackals away from her new calf and last, but not least, a leopard, which apparently is very rare to see. Everyone is very excited.
JN -rode in the back of the smallest landrover this time and had the ride from hell for the three hours it took to ride out of the park. Incredibly bad roads and fast speeds.
JN -my diaphragm and kidneys do not hurt as much if I forced myself to keep breathing instead of holding my breath on every bad bit (keep in mind when motorcycling).
JN -so cold in the morning.
JN -getting breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked for us seemed like a big luxury.
JN -putting popcorn on for something to eat while supper was being cooked was an excellent idea.

JN -the hiccup cure (drinking from the backside of the glass) seems to work very well. Apparently the concentration necessary to do this is what cures the hiccup.
JN -the lamb on a spit supper when we came back, very nice.

Feb 10th, Wednesday     Snake park campground to Masai park campground (Arusha)
An easy day, doing a few things around Arusha and transferring between campgrounds. Breakfast made for us in the morning, then looked at the campground namesake snake park and went shopping in a big souvenir store nearby. Did some food shopping, set up at Masai campsite, and spent some time relaxing at a (unswimable to Bilharzia) lake side.
JN -the snake park was really interesting. Quite a few snakes here are deadly, some extremely so. The deadliest, the Black Mamba, kills in 20 minutes (respiratory paralysis), is aggressive and will chase. It is not black, but greyish or even brown (black refers to the inside of its mouth). The black snake we saw in Zimbabwe was probably a cobra.
JN -generally doctors can tell by the symptoms of the poisoning what antidote to give. It is not recommended to wash the wound, as often the traces of poison left on the skin can also be a clue.
JN -horrible photos of a untreated puff adder bite, which attacks vein tissue and causes swelling and gangrene (necrotization) of internal tissue if the antidote is not given in time.
JN -another snake has a slow acting but very potent poison that destroys the blood, causing uncontrollable bleeding at all orifices. No antidote, only transfusion can save these cases.
JN -handling some of the (non poisonous) snakes.

Feb 11th, Thursday     Masai camp
Most people went to town and shopped. I stayed at the campsite and updated three weeks of journal. James and Liz visited in the evening. The rest of the evening in the bar with everyone.

Feb 12th, Friday     Arusha to Nairobi
Drove to Nairobi and got set up in a hotel there. The end of the organized tour.
JN -saw the peak of Kilimanjaro (or Meru?) from the Kenyan side, very sharp and pointy.
JN -left Andrew and Monique (climbing Kilimanjaro), and Sue and Mia (flight to Zanzibar) back at Arusha. Lots of room in the back of the truck now.
JN -only some of us could stay at the hotel where Encounter usually ends up (Salama Annex), so me, Thisbe, Inneka, Stephanie, and John stayed at another down the street. This turned out to be  mostly a pickup bar/whorehouse.
JN -we waited in the bar before going out for supper in the evening. Some (most) of the prostitutes were quite pretty, and some were extremely beautiful. The clients appeared to be mostly middle aged white guys (businessmen and workers on expense account?).
JN -the big game meat meal in the evening: zebra, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, various types of antelope, as well as beef, pork, and chicken. It was surprising how good beef tastes in comparison to the others, although the zebra was quite good. Crocodile tastes mostly like fish.
JN -the restaurant we went to was one of many in a huge hotel complex, very nicely done. Lots of package tourists here and it was a good reminder of just how different their travel experience is.
JN -the bodies in the street on the way there. Josephine swears she saw bullet holes, and she is usually right in what she sees.

Feb 13th, Saturday     Nairobi
Moved hotels, back with everyone at the Salaama Annex, sharing a room with Thisbe and Tina. Not feeling well so slept most of the day. Visited John, went out for supper (at the whorehouse) with Tina, Josephine, Molin, and Hilda.
JN -sore stomach right after the meal, turning to diarrhea in the morning. Probably just not used to eating so much meat. So much for me eating anything here for a while.
JN -John turned out to have malaria, which was a big surprise, not least for him. Ever since Zanzibar he has had a bad day followed by a good followed by a bad, etc; but his bad days were not anything too drastic (fever 102, not much energy, sometimes diarrhea). He just went in to the doctor today in case it was something, and right in the waiting room his whole body went into spasms. This didn=t subside until the antimalarial (artimether) and sedative injections started to work. When the fever started the sweating started until he was absolutely soaked. Overall it seemed like quite the experience, and not something to be trifled with. He=s not too happy with the chloroquin/paludrin pills, at least if the lariam doesn=t work a lot of time isn=t wasted.
JN -Bianca has malaria too, but it has been difficult persuading her to do anything before her flight tonight. But Johns incident scared her enough she got one shot before being bundled off onto the plane, looking very miserable.

Feb 14th, Sunday     Nairobi
Shared a taxi with Thisbe to do a tour of Nairobi. Saw the National Museum, the Railway Museum, viewed the city from the tallest tower, went with the driver for a local meal, then I tired out (still not eating). Didn=t end up getting sleep as visited with Tina, Hilda, and John the rest of the day. Went out for supper with Tina, Hilda, Inge, Pia, Inekka, Stuart, and two other drivers, visited mostly with Tina in the evening.
JN -taken to the local restaurant with the taxi driver, completely full with ordinary poor black people, Thisbe wanting to take video, the taxi driver stopping her.
JN -Nairobi much nicer than I thought it would be, much more the modern city than Harare. Apparently there has been a major street crime cleanup in the last few months, which probably explains it. Quite expensive though, many things as expensive or more so than home.
JN -a cut away elephant skull showed the brain of the elephant to be the same size or smaller than a human one, with the whole top foot of the skull just a mass of porous bone. Explains why elephant drivers use a hammer to guide the elephant and why elephant hunters had such a hard time to kill them unless they fired at exactly the right place.
JN -Tina saying that in a little girls idealized relationship they are always happy, always together with a man who loves them, 'put up high'. 'Romantic' is not always about love, it can just describe things, places, and situations that make them feel special.

Feb 15th, Monday     Nairobi to Harare and London.
Said goodbye to the remaining people and headed out, flying from Nairobi to Harare, having a long eight hour stopover there, then heading to London.
JN -the stopover in Harare went surprisingly quickly with visiting with other backpackers waiting there. Amazing how interesting independent travelers can be.
JN -Nairobi airport was (again surprisingly) quite nice.
JN -a Canadian backpacker couple managed to get out of the airport into Harare during the stopover and traded their unopened liquor bottles from the airplane for sculptures in the city.
JN -the same couple took Lariam also, they did get vivid dreams the first few times they took it, and were disappointed when the dreams stopped.
JN -swapping the Africa-South guidebook for the Edmonton travelers all Africa. Gave him a hand, and I don=t usually read them after anyway.
JN -the plane from Harare to London was new and half full, so could stretch out and sleep.
JN -he took the 2 week Uganda gorilla trip with Dragoman and praised both highly (although he wasn=t so keen on the group experience).