Rest Day in Arusha, Tanzania

Day 62 - March 15 - Arusha

Wednesday: After our three day Safari Trip, we spent a day resting up in Arusha, where I had arranged to meet up with George Kondela, a Tanzanian National who had been the Mineral Resources Manager during my stint at the Kibali Gold Project in the DRC.  He has since then left the  Kibali Mine and is running his own Safari Touring Company in Arusha.

George arrived at the Massai Camp at 10 am and picked Judith and I up in one of his Safari vehicles, he was accompanied by his partner in the Business and they proceeded to show us the sights of Arusha.

First stop was the Heritage/Cultural Centre in town which was most impressive, and definitely worth a visit.  Here local Tanzanian artists are encouraged to exhibit and sell their artworks, it is a non-profit organisation with the profits being ploughed back into the Local Artist Community.

This was followed by a visit to the Massai Market, where unfortunately we couldn't buy much in the way of curios or trinkets as we are restricted in the amount of things we can carry in our luggage.  A big pity since there was much to buy and at very reasonable prices.

After, George took us to a local Mall for lunch where four different restaurants share the same seating premises, ensuring a very large selection of food from a variety of menus. Both Judith and I had Chinese food, something different from our usual everyday TDA cuisine.

After lunch, George drove us approximately 20km out of Arusha to the Asu River Area, where George and his family stay. We arrived at his house and met his wife Harriet. Thereafter, we went to fetch his 6 year old daughter at her school. She and her brother attend the Kennedy International Primary School, but he was away playing a hockey match so we missed seeing him.

Even though George's daughter is only 6 years old, she is already so wise in the ways of the world, George and Harriet are going to great lengths to give their children top quality education, and it shows. We didn't get to see their eldest son, since he is away at Boarding School.

Unfortunately, our visit to George's house and his family was short lived, as we had to get back to Camp in Arusha. We were very fortunate that George had taken the time to meet up with us and to chaperone us around.

Later in the evening five of us climbed into a local mini-bus taxi and went to the nearby Kilamanjaro Spur (on recommendation by Liz and I since it is a South African Steakhouse Franchise). It is sad to say, that it was a major disappointment!! It is severely damaging the good Spur Franchise name, service was good, but the food quality and availability was a total disaster!!

Back to Camp by mini-bus taxi, which was an experience in itself. 

Tomorrow we begin a long 7 day section before another rest day in Mbeya (Southwest Tanzania).

Mike T

Meeting up with George Kondela in Arusha
Cultural Heritage Centre Arusha
Inside the Art Gallery

Information about the Belgium Wooden Soldier's Display 

Belgium Soldier's Display

Art Gallery Building

Ujamaa Family Tree - Explanation 

Ujamaa Family Tree

Watercolor of a pair of Lion's (Sold)
Buffalo Watercolor unbelievably so realistic

Local Tanzanian artworks 

Metal Sculptures in the fish pond at the Art Gallery

Posing with George, Harriet and their Daughter

Lunch with George and his Business Partner at the local mall

Kilimanjaro Spur in Arusha

Having a Spur Moment (Not!)