Chapter 33 African Safari by VW Bug… Part 1 Wandering through Time and Place — Volkswagen Safari

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Chapter 33: African Safari by VW Part 1

I climbed out of our VW bug to photograph elephant family in Manyara Park with my Kodak Ah that I would have had a camera.

African Water are known for their nasty and we were facing a whole of nastiness. Thirty minutes the gas pedal linkage on our Volkswagen had broken on our trip through National Park in Tanzania. We had a temporary fix by tying the pedal Stopping involved pushing the in while the engine revved at throttle. It was loud.

The herd of buffalo crossing the road in of us apparently didn’t like Or maybe it was just my imagination. I get when 2000-pound beasts large, formidable horns are a charge. The fact that our VW Bug the scales at just over and all its horn could accomplish was a beep did not reduce my anxiety.

My companions were already Earlier in our exploration of the park, I had a solid lecture for stopping and out to snap pictures of an elephant The week before a bull in Manyara had caught a whiff of in a VW Van and chased them down the in an earth-pounding run. Having up, he rammed his tusks through the widow.

Fortunately, neither the elephants nor the buffalo considered our tiny car and its worthy opponents. Just dark we drove the limping VW into our lodge overlooking the Valley and Manyara National We had successfully accomplished another in our 2500-mile safari through Africa.

Peace Corps in Liberia were encouraged to go on during the second “summer” of two-year tour. The majority of VI had chosen to charter a jet to East for our month of escape. Our share of the jet had seriously depleted Jo Ann and my savings, the self-guided VW safari. We hooked up another married couple, and Chris Ogden from New to share the adventure and expenses. Jo and I, John and Chris had graduated college in 1965, married and the Peace Corps.

John and Chris Ogden me in front of the Plum Hotel in Kenya during out 1967

Our first stop was Nairobi, an attractive, modern city we could actually drink the It is amazing how much meaning a small thing can assume. I have been happy to hang out and enjoy the amenities adventure called; there lions and gazelles and rhinos, “oh We rented our VW bug, crammed the of us plus luggage in, and rolled off Tsavo National Park on a dirt road. Our eyes glued to the windows searching for

“There’s an elephant!” Chris and we screeched to a halt. It looked big from the perspective of our VW Beetle. So its droppings. We drove around than through them. on elephant dung was not part of the We spotted an ostrich and then a porcupine. John and I jumped out of the car to out the porcupine. He stood at least feet tall, had six-inch and exuded a ‘don’t mess me’ attitude. We called him sir. as dusk arrived we spotted our zebras. John raced the road to keep pace them while Jo Ann and Chris about juvenile behavior.

Mysterious Malindi on the Indian came next. Visiting was like dropping into the of an Arabian Night’s Tale. da Gama had come through at the close of the Fifteenth Century, up a local pilot to guide him and left behind a stone Long before Europe crawling out of the Dark Ages and da Gama began his perilous Malindi had been an important on the busy Indian Ocean routes. Goods from as far as China had made their way its bustling markets while the of the Prophet Muhammad echoed its streets.

Visiting Malindi, in 1967 was like dropping a Tale from the Arabian

We camped out on the beach in huts and introduced to sailing by John and We also tried snorkeling. A outrigger canoe, complete three natives, carried us out to a coral garden. A jellyfish stung me for my efforts while and Jo Ann received exotic shells the natives. Unfortunately, the shells still occupied by their owners. After several of hot tropical sun, opening our became an exercise in courage. We up paying five dollars to the shells cleaned. It was a small for the guy that did it, but we thought it was a great

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Mombasa was next on our agenda. We into town under sculpted elephant trunks, a of the role that the ivory had played in East Africa’s There was also a reminder of tiny Portugal had been a world power; a dark, Fort Jesus looked out to sea the objective of protecting precious routes to the Indies. What us the most, though, were the highly crafted wood the city was famous for. Out our wallets as we shipped off piece piece to the U.S.

Giant tusk sculptures greeted our to Mombassa.

We crossed from Kenya Tanzania and Mt. Kilimanjaro slipped by, in the clouds. Several volunteers our group had chosen to climb the (The Kilimanjaro link is for a group that follows my We opted for a more sedate and drove up its side to check out the plantations. Heading on to Arusha, we at a hotel that Hemingway had during his East Africa

Much to the amusement of my companions, a swarm of flies chose to around my head during Even more annoying was the waiter who chose to point out a very British accent I used the wrong knife on my

“That, sir, is your knife!” he announced in a booming Hemingway probably would challenged him to a duel.

I did have one responsibility in Arusha, buying pipes for Morris Carpenter, who had returned to America. Unfortunately, I one when we returned to Gbarnga and the mistake of trying it out while my porch. It would be years I could break the addiction. was much more dangerous the elephants and water buffalo we at Manyara National Park we went after Arusha.

In my next blog we encounter the Rhino on the floor on Ngorongoro chase giraffes across the Plains, and dodge crocodiles on the Nile.

Volkswagen Safari

Volkswagen Safari
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Volkswagen Safari
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