Home

Glamping in Tanzania with African Environments

Leave a comment

This posting is cross-posted on noplasticshowers.com

During our 15 day trip to Tanzania in September, we saw some remarkable things about as up close and personal as you could get. We hiked over 70km in four national parks. And we stayed in tents. But don’t let that last bit fool you, we were “glamping.”

So what, exactly is “glamping” anyway? That’s the subject of this posting. There are 92 pieces of media in this posting.

If you are going glamping, you will need a truck

This is the passenger seat. Just for the record.

On the way to our first tent, we did a game drive for a few hours and saw many things. Including an albino baboon. But that’s another posting.

Without further ado, our first tent in Arusha national park.

The tent in Arusha

These tents have multiple rooms, double beds, and non-plastic showers.

This bed is better than a thermarest pad

Of course, readers of noplasticshowers are going to want to know about the bathroom area. There was a chemical toilet. And some sinks that drained directly outside.

Sinks without water

Mirrors in a tent?! Dang.

The shower also had no running water. It was somebody’s job to put 3.5 liters (not quite enough, that is) into the dispenser just before a “glamping shower.”

Those little handles control the water flow.

The shower from outside

Home for a couple of nights

Then there was the food situation. Just great. Really. No camping food here. Fresh fruits and veggies. Great chefs. Delicious.

Our first lunch. This is a theme we will return to.

Of course, some lunch spots were better than others. Like, say, this one. No bees and only one land shark sighting.

 

The fig tree in Arusha is famous. This is a staged video.

 

Lots of stuff happened between camps. By the time we got to Ngorongoro crater we had seen elephants fighting, black hippos, and more. See this posting for all that nature stuff.

Driving between parks

The roads in Tanzania vary widely. This one, recently completed by a Japanese engineering firm was all shiny and new. We stopped for gas. That’s because in Africa, the cars take gas, just like ours.

Gas station. Mostly familiar.

 

We’re here for the tents, though, and so tents it is. These tents are manufactured in Arusha. They are sturdy and must weigh several hundred pounds. Fortunately, whenever we arrived, they were already set up.  Oh, and the best part about the tents?  The views.

 

 

Another cushy double bed

In the morning, hot coffee was always delivered here. Just outside the door, er, flap.

There was a lunch, this time close to some bees.

Denis does not serve honey near bees

 

 

Base camp with the Maasai includes solar panels

Our little panel pales in comparison

The Ngorongoro base camp was another two night thing.

This lion is checking the exhaust system

More lunch is in order.

Fresh

Product placement opportunity

Did we mention that lunch was great?

Lunch was at hippo-land. I counted 53 trucks.

After Ngorongoro, it was off to the Serengeti for a completely different thing.

You go, Denis!

Your faithful crew enters the Serengeti

Pre lunch yoga

Yeah, there was lunch.

More lunch

Our guide Denis was by this time a great friend.

The roads in the Serengeti get some serious use. And so they also get repaired.

Road repair happens

Our third tent in the Serengeti looked suspiciously similar

We arrived at sunset and were delayed when we came across a pair of mating lions less than a kilometer from camp. For more about the lions, see this posting.

 

The camp lions. We saw this pair 4 times.

Solar

Our tent was cushy

The common areas in the Serengeti base camp were all hipster and very cool.

Firepit. The sand had lion tracks in the morning.

The Living Room tent, charging station and location of cold beer

Stuff

The mess tent

Breakfast was also good

Hitchhiker. This guy forgot his towel.

Make sure that you make up some Pele Pele for every meal. It is best if it stews in the sun for a week in some vinegar.

Dinner setting in the Serengeti

Base camp was great, but our plan was to do some hiking. Actually, it turned out to be mostly a walk in the park.

 

 

 

The scariest thing we came across on foot was this.

Camp was set up each night. Two different camps within walking distance.

Serengeti field camp

Even in the field, there was wine.

 

Who needs civilization?

Our tent in the afternoon. Sweltering.

Reading

Sunset was spectacular everywhere we were. This view from a Kopfe was typical in its atypical beauty.

 

 

Sundown on the Serengeti

Though the walking camps were less cushy than the base camps, they were still pretty cushy. Like, they were all set up, there was no carrying in stuff in a backpack, there were field showers with warm water, and so on. Yeah. We’ve backpacked 65 miles in Montana. This was definitely not the same thing.

Home glow

Field camp 2

Oh, and even when walking the Serengeti…there was lunch. This time buffalo.

Hiking lunch

Grill

The guys tried to surprise us with lunch, but we had binoculars and a sense of what was up.

Lunch was trucked in

James was our walking guide

Everyone was armed, though they were not really paying much attention to their rifles.

Morning at field camp

Then it was back to base camp for a night.

Glamping involves chairs and a fire at sunset

We had another lunch. Just under these bees.

And holy cow. On our way to the Hadza bushmen, there was this cheetah. In a tree. Remarkable. Cheetahs do not climb trees.

 

 

Sometimes there were goats in the road

Fire at night in the Hadza camp

Denis was a very serious person

 

 

Even while hanging around in camp, the Hadza were busy. Making arrows.

On occasion, one must stop for onions.

Onion stop!

Street vendors. Read the signs.

Another lunch shot. Because lunch!

Our last camp in Tarangire was at a tent lodge. The lodge had power, running water, a bar, and a pool. There was net too. Talk about glamping!

Civilization

A pool

Of course we were still, technically, in a tent.

The luxe tent

Which had a view.

View from the lodge

Though the showers were not all that, they did have LOTS of hot water that did not stop after 2 minutes. Woo hoo!

Not the best shower in the world, but hot water.

Anyway, that is pretty much what glamping in Africa is like. African Environments makes everything incredibly easy and fun. If you’re a real camper (like we are), it will seem unbelievably luxurious.

More product placement. We cannot recommend this firm any more highly.

Arusha HQ of African Environments. Where we had…anyone? anyone? Lunch!

Our guide Denis Mollel made the trip outstanding. Best guide in Africa. Ask for him by name.

Burn Baby Burn: 2017 Winter Solstice Fire

7 Comments

Cerbe meets mogli before dark

Music. Great food. Huge fire. Friends. Boilo. What more could you want?

Early birds get to see the lighting

Mmmmmm. Beer.

The lighting

Put it in perspective: 100 feet of flame.

This year the fairy ring of osage oranges turned into a warning line for fire spread. We had to get water buckets and a hose out for the first time ever.

The fire spreads

View from the field

The two (or three) pods making up the solstice party are always a good mix. Food and cheesy Christmas music in the barn. Fire and live music in the field. This year some of the real music moved into the barn during a brief rain.

Lights

Boilo causes time warps

Marco

Boilo

Turn sun turn

Thanks to all who came. An excellent iteration.

The morning after the Morning After..

Leave a comment

That fahr was HOT!IMG_20170710_102346-1.jpg

 

 

Still smoking, they are.

IMG_20170710_102258.jpg

 

Perfect Weather Window for the 2016 Winter Solstice Party

1 Comment

Cold and rainy weather was a real possibility during the winter solstice party. But a day that started with a coating of ice everywhere turned warmer and beautiful before the party started. The next day was rainy. So boy are we lucky!

Before (a fat one)

Before (a fat one)

The sunset was outstanding.

Impressionist evening

Impressionist evening

Impressionist Shenandoah

Impressionist Shenandoah

Party prep complete! Ready for the hard core solstice revelers. It’s way easier to come to the summer solstice!

img_2814

img_2811

Newly resurfaced footbridge

Newly resurfaced footbridge

Tiki trail across the creek

Tiki trail across the creek

Get lit: Winter Solstice fire 2016

Get lit: Winter Solstice fire 2016

img_2833

img_2836

After lighting, it was time for music. The music lasted all night, right up to 5am when the weather shifted and it started to sprinkle.

Music at the solstice

Music at the solstice

unknown-1

unknown-2

We decided that due to rampant political disgust we would burn some flags. Real ones. This is a new thing. Thanks Trump.

Flag burning time

Flag burning time

Into the fire with you nazis!

Into the fire with you nazis!

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

And we’ve had it with racism too.

Flag two for the flames

Flag two for the flames

Down with racism

Down with racism

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

Warning: exuberant potty mouth host on a mission (with a nice buzz) in this video!

Then it was back to the keg of dogfish head 90 and the fantastic potluck dinner in the barn. Super fantastic.

TURN SUN TURN.

Thanks to all who came.

After

After

Winter Solstice Fire 2015

4 Comments

Winter Solstice Fire 2015

Winter Solstice Fire 2015

It all started out with champagne, celebrating Team Tartan’s 2015 Leukemia Cup accomplishment with a crop of Timex watches. (About which this.)

bubbles

bubbles

Burn barrel before the lighting

Burn barrel before the lighting

Then it got dark, the keg was tapped, the cheesy xmas music was put on infinite repeat in the barn, burn barrels were lit, and off we went! Early birds got to see the bonfire lighting. Middle birds got to see music and sparkling guitars. Late birds shut down the bar inside with Berryville Passages at 6am. Are we too old for this? No we are not.

Fire

Fire

Who let the banjo player in?

Who let the banjo player in?

Fire too

Fire too

Thanks to one and all for coming! We turned the sun around again!

One Week From Solstice: Where is Winter?

Leave a comment

Tacking Willie

Tacking Willie

Tacking Paloma

Tacking Paloma

Not coming

Not coming

What? 70 degrees on December 13th?

IMG_0624

IMG_0632

Riding by the Shenandoah

Riding by the Shenandoah

Well, the solstice is coming anyway!

Solstice fire is ready

Solstice fire is ready

Apothecary shed?  Ready!

Apothecary shed? Ready!

Red shed?  Ready!

Red shed? Ready!

Muddy face

Muddy face

Lil Tiny Fall Fire

2 Comments

A beautiful evening for a lil fire

A beautiful evening for a lil fire

In the early Fall, there’s nothing like a few tunes, some cold beer, hot dogs, and a fire up on the hill. Lil fire is good practice for big fire.

The lil fire before lighting

The lil fire before lighting

Puck wonders where all the people are

Puck wonders where all the people are

Pepper showed up first in white pants. Now where did that boy grow up??

lil fire

lil fire

We moved it down the hill around 11 and kept things rolling until 5am. Pepper was still going!

Cleanup Sunday

Cleanup Sunday

Fall in Virginia

Fall in Virginia

Cleanup brigade takes a rest

Cleanup brigade takes a rest

Older Entries