The Constant Apprentice is a place for curious humans to explore craft, visual arts, writing, nature, food, and all things classic, then and now.
{ Curators: Roseann & Jonathan Hanson —> }|{ Craft }|{ Classics }|{ Travel }|{ Food }|{ Nature }|{ Science }|{ Writing }|{Visual Arts}

Everything takes longer in Africa ...

...But fortunately the rewards are commensurate.

Delays because of roads, ferries and long lunch service put us behind our hoped-for schedule but that means an extra night on the shores of Lake Victoria. Not bad for the eve of Jonathan's birthday (his third in Africa).

Tomorrow: long day to Nairobi where we have a meeting, then on to the South Rift to deliver the tents, GPSs and binoculars to the game scouts.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Katavi to Kigoma to Lake Victoria

The track from Katavi NP to Kigoma was a surprise -- beautiful scenery, wild, up and over the Masito Escarpment, including a dramatic waterfall. It was a long day, but Kigoma, on Lake Tanganyika, held a little gem to revive us: the Livingstone - Stanley Memorial and museum. It is strictly a labor of love for a delightful Swahili gentleman who gave us a charming tour. He is passionate about the history.

Kigoma has tons of colonial charm but its past is dark: millions of Africans began their forced slave march to the east coast of Africa here.

Tonight we are en route to Lake Victoria where we take a ferry to Mwanza and then cross to Kenya.

Beautiful zebu cattle near Bwanga.

Most villages have guard stations going in and out. The guards are almost always friendly.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Remote Africa

Katavi National Park is one of Africa's most remote and largest, as well as least visited, parks. We saw only a handful of people this morning and then no one the rest of the day as we pushed farther into the park on little travelled tracks. We we rewarded with this idyllic scene -- waterfall and elephant.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Moonset over Lake Tanganika

Our reward this morning after an epic drive yesterday. Halfway over a mountain, no people, no cellular, the Land Rover died. At dusk. Visions of real bush camping, but Jonathan got it going. Today: Kitavi NP.

-- Posted from my iPhone


Rock chip turned into a huge starburst on the road to Ruaha. Luckily it does not obscure driver vision. We have 1000 miles to go-- hope it will hold.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Leopard day

Entered Ruaha National Park this morning (barely got in -- they only take US dollars and we had changed most of our funds to shillings). Within 30 minutes we came upon a lovely big leopard sitting in an acasia. Shortly after lunch we found another leopard. And then six lions snoozing off breakfast. Ended the day with sundowners at the Great Ruaha River with the hippos and crocs.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Dodoma to Ruaha National Park

We have covered 600 miles of some of the roughest of Africa's classic 'b' roads -- major routes (buses, trucks) but unpaved or historically surfaced but now rocks and ruts. We had hoped to make Ruaha NP last night but only made it as far as Iringa, a really lovely town near tea plantations. Guest house was US$10 including breakfast and classic Tanzanian dinner with 2 Serengeti lagers was $8. Ugali (polenta-like corn), greens, meat and peas in delicious sauce & fruit.

We found a great Tanzanian-owned campsite just outside the park--includes a big tent for just $15 more a night. Campsites in the park are $50 bare--no shade, no services. We can cook or have food cooked, and they have hot showers. Another plus is daytime security while we are on safari. Our camp for the next 2 days:

-- Posted from my iPhone

Arusha to Dodoma

Leaving Arusha, it was a tight fit. Footpaths suffice as roads barely as wide as a Land Rover.

Tarangire National Park, at Whistling Thorn Camp. A perfect first night.

One of the very best things about Tanzania are the enthusiastic kids. Everywhere you go they chase you or wave.

We arrived in Dodoma today, after 300 miles of classic Africa dirt roads, cattle, goats, trucks. Just had nyama choma (BBQ) and Serengeti lager.
-- Posted from my iPhone

Safari Land Rover

Picked up our Land Rover from Shaw Safaris--fully kitted out for camping and with everything you would need, including a sling shot for marauding baboons!

-- Posted from my iPhone

Environmental Bill of Rights

Kenyans just voted in a new Constitution. Interestingly, it includes several environmental articles. It's very inspiring.

Kenyan coffee

One of the top reasons to spend some time in Nairobi. Outstanding Dorman's Coffee, sitting at a sidewalk table at Karen Dukas, ogling Land Cruiser diesels and classic Land Rover.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Nairobi - cool and wet

Arrived last night after an easy journey, with all our bags! Always a gamble flying Amsterdam route. We are staying at a private residence that was built by Beryl Markham's father. This week is a climate change conference, meeting with BBC, and business for ConserVentures.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Win an overland trip to a jaguar reserve

Apply to win a spot on our Nov. 26-28, 2010 Sonoran Safari to the El Aribabi Conservation Ranch in northern Sonora, Mexico ~ sponsored by Overland Experts. Winner will also receive 50% off a one-day training with Overland Experts. For more information about the trip, click here. All you have tell us about yourself, why you are interested in exploration, and how your participation can help jaguar and ocelot conservation. Enter now, we will announce the winner on October 20, 2010.

Donations for wildlife rangers

The five tents donated by Sierra Designs arrived today. We are busy packing for the trip to take them to Kenya's South Rift Game Scout Association. Five Garmin GPSs and 5 waterproof Bushnell binoculars are also on the way. Thanks to everyone for your support!

Fall is in the air

Anyone else feel fall this morning? In the desert, it is quiet, sneaky. It was nearly in the 60s this morning ~ cool for us! ~ and the sun is mellow golden, the air crisp, with a hint of something other than the 100+degrees days we've been having. Bird migration is underway, we have vultures gathering in large kettles, and orioles, grosbeaks, and hummingbirds moving through in larger numbers.