Today is Kakasii’s birthday but since we had some other plans in place, we opted for an early celebration yesterday with a family trip to Arusha National Park. It had been several months since we were last at the park and as Max and Elly’s vocabulary continues to grow, we thought it would be a good way for them to learn some new words (as well as burn off some 2-year-old energy of which they have no shortage).
Before we could set off on our safari, though, Max needed to make sure the Land Cruiser was clean and ready to go.
The nice thing about Arusha National Park is it’s only about a 45-minute drive from home. Max and Elly get in free and I get a special resident rate which is about half of what tourists pay.
When we first arrived at the park entrance it was about Max and Elly’s usual snack time so we ate some graham crackers while Kakasii took care of the entry paperwork. While we were waiting, we saw this unusual sight:
I’m not sure where that goat was headed but he really didn’t seem too happy about it. Max and Elly thought it was hilarious to see an mbuzi (goat) riding on a pikipiki (motorcycle).
Before we started our safari, Kakasii popped up the roof on the Land Cruiser for better viewing.
(Don’t worry, Max and Elly didn’t actually ride up there. They remained safely inside the vehicle at all times.)
Just minutes after starting our game drive we found this giraffe family.
We saw several more giraffes throughout the day and lots of flamingos.
As far as Max and Elly are concerned any feathered creature is a kuku (chicken). All day long they kept saying, Kuku! Kuku!
I was especially excited about our game drive today because it was the first time I had been at the park and had such wonderful views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Usually during the day the mountain is hidden in the clouds.
With the mountain peak rising up out of the clouds, it gave the illusion that the mountain was floating in the sky.
We took advantage of the great mountain view to get a group picture.
Mazaa comes from a different part of Tanzania and had never been on a game drive before so she was really happy to join us for the day.
By this time we were getting pretty hungry so we headed for the picnic area near the edge of the park. Max helped Kakasii do some of the driving.
(This is the Tanzanian equivalent to a Nebraska farm kid getting to help his dad drive the tractor.)
I was so excited to serve the special picnic lunch that I had spent most of Monday and very early Tuesday morning preparing. I was also a little nervous, though, that no one would like the food. I knew Max and Elly wouldn’t like the potato salad or cole slaw because they had already tasted and spit out both on Monday when I was making them.
Kakasii is always willing to give my American cooking a try and enthusiastically loaded up his plate.
I’m guess he liked it, too, because this was his plate after eating a second serving of everything:
Once we got home we enjoyed the birthday cake I made and Anita and I decorated. It’s the same sheet cake recipe I made for Brenda’s graduation, but this time I used almond essence instead of vanilla essence and it was so yummy.
After drinking Sprite all day and then eating cake loaded with butter cream frosting, Max and Elly were on quite the sugar high. But it was such a fun family day for us to celebrate Kakasii’s birthday.
Great pictures of the mountain. Hope everyone had a good time on your outing.
Awesome pictures! Looks like a fun time had by all.