So I am in Morogoro for three weeks. In the dry season. Hence the title of this post.
I am going to be honest with you, there isn’t much going on in Morogoro. This is where the government decided to hold the training because it is close enough to Dar es Salaam (3-4 hours) that you can get back there on short notice if you need to, but not close enough that anyone expects you to do it regularly. And, to be honest, you want to make sure you pick a town that isn’t too interesting because you want the 70 people that you are training to be in their guesthouses at night reading their training materials – not of out having a good time. (It is perhaps also not an accident that this is one of the more staunchly Muslim cities in Tanzania.)
But that still leaves me. In Morogoro. For three weeks. In the dry season.
And things here have been extra special uneventful in the past week. I have managed to locate a decent hotel, find a place to run in the morning (as long as I am careful of the snakes), stumble on a place that sells a fair variety of South African wine, and am steadily, through process of elimination, trying to locate a decent restaurant. Some monkeys got stuck in my ceiling early one morning – making a god awful racket. That’s about as exciting as it is going to get in Morogoro.
So I took the research assistant and snuck out yesterday. Just for 24 hours. And just an hour and a half down the road to Mikumi National Park. (Mikumi is probably the most visited and least exciting of Tanzania’s national parks but whatever, at least I wasn’t working.) The game drives were a little lackluster (“guiding” prerequisite seems to be a driver’s license), but there were a couple of good lion and hippos sightings. It was also “baby season” in the park, so you will notice a fair number of little ones in these pictures. The lion sighting was actually pretty spectacular. Mother and three older cubs with a fresh wildebeest kill. You can see from the pictures how close you can get. (Note that we are actually driving in my little Rav 4 for this.) We also invested afair amount of time at the hippo pond – waiting for some sign of movement. Hippos are basically nocturnal, so other than a couple of yawns, all I got was tsetse flies in my hair.