The only nightlife in our area was one HUGE spider running along somewhere outside! Well, I nearly went crazy at the size of this thing....knowing that the territory it was in was somewhere between our bedroom and the outside toilets (where we would need to be visiting during the course of the night!)
Generally flying to Tanzania is the easiest way of getting there unless you're on some major safari through africa and happen to be driving.
Once there, you can get around on the buses which go between towns. Don't fool yourself by getting a picture in your mind of a luxury coach - it's far from that! The journeys are normally long as a lot of the roads are not in very good condition and the vehicles driven are overloaded.
I suppose you could get a charatered flights from Dar es Salaam to some more popular or isolated areas.
Iringa Local Customs
This is a photo of a girl I met in Iringa in October 1999. I spent a lot of time with her family....collecting water with the children and cooking meals with the mum. One evening I went to visit, and the father had just returned from being away looking after his cattle for a few weeks. He brought back 3 eggs and about 1 pint of milk. The mother insisted on cooking the eggs for me, it was so awkward...Numani (3) started crying because she wanted to have some egg. I wanted to share it with them, but the mother insisted I don't. I appreciated it, but in the back of my mind I was thinking - 'I could go back to SA and eat as many eggs as I want, and here I am'.
Basically if you eat the food they offer you, it means in their eyes that you have accepted them.
Iringa Tourist Traps
You'll soon get to know the familiar site of stalls along the side of the road selling african curios. Take time to 'shop around' and try your luck at bartering...often you can reduce the prices to something more resonable.
Iringa What to Pack
Luggage and bags: Make sure what ever you pack in is strong, as it's sure to get a battering along the way. A rucksak is probably the easiest.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In summer, make sure you have some comfortable open walking shoes. Ladies, you're generally expected to be wearing skirts and no tight tops or too much flesh showing.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Mmmmmmmm, I'm sure you could find what you were looking for eventually, but I'll recommend taking your basic first aid kit and toiletaries. A roll or 2 of toilet paper won't do you any harm!
Photo Equipment: Films can be purchased as well as processed.
Favorite thing: Spend time getting to know the locals! If you don't, well you've missed the oppertunity of turning a holiday into a life long memory.
Fondest memory: I know this sounds strange, but it was the day I left the villiage where we'd spent the previous 4 weeks. As our taxi made it's way down the narrow ground road a young girl threw a letter (with my name on it) through the taxi window. I opened it and the tears came streaming down my face as I read it. She wrote:
'Dear Jackie, I write because I didn't want to see you to say good bye. I'm too sad. I have no school shoes so I can't go to school. Thank you for the soap you give me. Betty'
I left that day feeling very sad, the local people I had met and loved somehow managed to ingrave their names so deeply on my heart!
I will be returning to visit them in January 2003...