I arrived in Tanzania today. Eventually, I plan on hiking up mount Kilimanjaro but it might take a while to climb so I decided to do some other things first. It was about 75 degrees out which wasn't too hot; in fact, I thought it was a good temperature for July. I decided I wanted to see the Ngorongoro Crater. It's one of the world's largest unbroken caldera's because it was formed from the collapse of a volcano millions of years ago. It was huge, about 20 km across! I thought it was really impressive. Lot's of vegetation and animals have come to live there now. I noticed that most people spoke Swahili, which is the official language but a lot spoke English too.
Today I tried some Ndizi Kaanga. It's made with butter, sugar and fried banana's. It was sweet and delicious. I didn't think I'd like it but I ended up loving it. I thought I'd try at least some African food while I'm here.
As I ate that, I took a walk around. I saw some children playing soccer. I used to play soccer when I was younger and I watched them for a while. It's a popular sport in a lot of countries I guess.
I noticed a lot of the houses were beehive shaped but I was told that in other regions they were rectangular when I asked about it. I found it sort of strange because I wasn't used to it.
Today when I was on my way to Serengeti National Park, I noticed a lot of farms. About 90% of Tanzanians live in rural areas and 80% of the workforce is dedicated to farming. Finally, I arrived at Serengeti National Park. Lot's of people came here from Kenya, where they make a lot of their money from safari's. There were hot air balloon trips over the park. We got to see the many plains from above, and boy that park was huge. We saw zebras and wildebeests. Even though we were high up in the air, it still was incredible to be so close to those animals when they were running free because I've only seen them in zoos before and they seemed so much more alive now.
Finally I began my climb of mount Kilimanjaro. It's the highest mountain on the African continent at 5985 meters. It will take at least a week to climb and I intend to go as far as I can. The lower slopes are forested which sounds appealing compared to the snow capped peaks. I loved rock climbing walls when I was little and now I'm ready for the real thing. There are many routes to the top but I'm choosing to take the most popular one, the Machame route, which is supposed to have spectacular views. Wish me luck!
Overall, I loved the many things to see and the culture of Tanzania and I'm positive I'm going to come back for a visit because I didn't get to see the beaches and a lot of other tourist attractions that Tanzania offers. Tanzania was a beautiful country.