Tanzania 2018


For as long as I can remember, I have been passionately intrigued by ‘Africa,’ by the word itself, by its flora and fauna, its topographical diversity and grandeur; but above all else, by the sheer variety of the colors of its people, from tan and sepia to jet and ebony.”
– Henry Louis Gates (Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University)

I have been wanting to visit Africa since I was a young boy. I loved animals and seeing huge elephants, lions and other African animals on TV National Geographic, Nature and other wildlife shows. At the time, it was a bucket-list dream adventure that seemed well beyond my reach.

In 2010 I was a graduate student at the University of Arizona. I was studying biogeography and I was invited to go to Nairobi, Kenya to teach a species distribution modeling class as part of a biodiversity conference and workshop organized by the JRS Biodiversity Foundation. I jumped at the chance to attend the conference and teach a course. Though we spent most of our time at the Multimedia University of Kenya, we had a few occasions to go on excursions where we briefly experienced the Maasai Mara and went on a one-day safari in Nairobi National Park. I was only in Kenya for 10 days, but I was hooked.

People say that once you’ve visited Africa, it changes you and you are never the same. I was not prepared for this, but it’s most certainly true. From the moment I returned from my short trip to Kenya, I knew I had to return to the region and experience more.

It took 8 years to get back there. Along the way we dealt with challenges posed by the economy, a cancer diagnosis, unemployment, and moving, My wife, Christine, was unable to accompany me the first time, so I had been eager to return with her so that she could experience the region and understand how it changed me – and hope that it changed her the same.

The following pages include details on our trip along with some of the many photos we took along our safari.

Pre-Trip Planning

Tanzania, Arusha Region

Tanzania, Serengeti National Park

Tanzania, Manyara Area

  • Day11: Lake Manyara
  • Day 12: Ngorogoro Crater
  • Day 13-14: Tarangire National Park
  • Day 15: Shanga



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