At the beginning of March, I turned a scary-for-me age.
I could feel age creeping up on me.
I had become one of those people who no longer understood why “young people" did the things they did.
One thing I couldn’t understand, for instance, was why they spent so much time on Instagram.
I mean: what’s so fun about looking at pictures posted by people you don’t even know?
Ha ha ha…the joke was on me: it’s been two months and not a day has gone by without me getting on Instagram!
It’s been a real fun journey, and I’d like to share a bit of that journey with you today.
In this post, I’ll share pictures that I posted over the past two months that were most liked by my followers and other Instagram users.
These are not my favorite pictures: if they were, this one would have made the cut.
This is strictly a people’s choice list.
READ ALSO: 40 “Summer” Pictures Taken in Tanzania
The pictures on this list were taken in Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa, mostly by me though a couple were taken by and/or edited by family members (thanks @nshemeshe, MRKR, and @RichieWallStreet). I’ll try to keep the photo captions as close to what they were when I published the photos on Instagram, of course, minus unsightly hashtags and references to clicking the link in my bio.
Without further ado, here are the 36 pictures on my Instagram page that were most liked by other Instagram users at the time of writing.
36. A Lion in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
No comment! Lion in Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. LOL!
35. Tanzania National Parks: Two Giraffes by the Road, Mikumi National Park
Two giraffes at sunset sighted on the side of the highway that cuts through Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Learn more about Mikumi National Park here.
34. Heading to Kilwa Kisiwani (the Island of Kilwa), Tanzania
The Kilwa Sultinate was a medieval sultinate whose authority at its height stretched all along the Swahili (East African) Coast. This picture was taken as I sailed to Kilwa Kisiwani, the Island of Kilwa (and center of the Kilwa Sultinate) from Kilwa Masoko (mainland Kilwa), looking back at Kilwa Pakaya Hotel, where I was staying. Can you see the boat from my last Instagram picture, (No.14 on this list), on the shore? 🙂 #MemoriesOfEasterPast
33. Tanzania National Parks: A Pride of Lions, Mikumi National Park
Lions chillaxing under a tree, Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. This was an incredible find. We kept coming back to these time and time again. Read more about these lions spotted at Mikumi National Park here.
32. Tanzania National Parks: A Giraffe in the Parched Savanna, Mikumi National Park
Spotted this giraffe while driving through Mikumi National Park, Tanzania when not even on safari, just driving on the highway. A little hard to see because its colors match its surroundings so perfectly. Nature in all its glory! Learn more about Mikumi National Park here.
31. Driving Through the Hills near Fort Portal, Uganda
Driving on the new Fort Portal-Bundibugyo-Lamia road in western Uganda, driving through the Rwenzori Mountains, on my way to Semuliki National Park. The views were both scary and breathtaking. I had never driven through such steep hills/mountains…and they went on for so long! One of the best trips I ever decided to take.
30. Uganda National Parks: Master of the Elements, Sempaya Hot Springs, Semuliki National Park
My “baby” cousin, @little_red_curious, up close and personal with the geyser at the female hot spring of the Sempaya Hot Springs, Semuliki National Park, Uganda. Water temperature: 103°C. Being that close to the geyser was uncomfortably warm and misty, not to mention dangerous…but super cool!
29. Pit Stop, Chalinze, Tanzania
If ever you visit Mikumi National Park in Tanzania, you’ll likely make a stop at Chalinze petrol station for refreshments, a bathroom stop, and why not browse crafts while you are at it? Read more about Mikumi National Park here. 🙂
28. Extreme Sports at the Orlando Towers, Soweto, South Africa
Would you bungee jump from here? Orlando Towers, Soweto, Johannesburg (100 m). Having done half that height at the Nile High Bungee in Jinja, Uganda, this is next on my list. Read more about my experience in Soweto here.
27. Uganda National Parks: A Thin Bridge over (Near-) Boiling Water, Sempaya Springs, Semuliki National Park
As I mentioned in my last picture, getting to the correct puddle of boiling water was treacherous! It looks like an easy enough crossing, except the water running under that stick bridge was boiling/near-boiling, so as I crossed, I could feel the HOT steam, SCALD my ankles. I just knew I was going to fall in and it wouldn’t be pretty. So I simply stopped halfway.
Luckily, they were many gentlemen around to save this damsel in distress…who was wearing a dress. Why would anyone do that?! ????
26. Orlando Towers, Soweto, South Africa
The Orlando Towers in Soweto, Johannesburg are the cooling towers of the now decommissioned Orlando Power Station. The 100 m towers now serve as a location for extreme sports like bungee and BASE jumping, and are true works of art. One tower is covered by the largest mural painting in South Africa and the other is used as an advertising billboard. Check out that art! Read more about my experience in Soweto here.
25. Ruins of The Great Mosque of Kilwa, Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
A tree grows into a wall of The Great Mosque of Kilwa, the oldest standing mosque on the East African coast founded in the 10th century. The dome of this mosque was the largest dome in East Africa until the 19th century. #UNESCOWorldHeritageSite
24. Uganda National Parks: Female Sempaya Hot Spring, Semuliki National Park
23. Lions in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
22. Uganda National Parks: The Male Sempaya Hot Spring, Semuliki National Park, Uganda
Bigger and badder than the female hot spring, the male Sempaya hot spring is simply a boiling lake. Water temperature? 106°C. My favorite story from this hot spring is that the men in this area, in a religious rite, congregate at this spring once a year and throw in a live whole goat (eh, Africans!) in sacrifice to the spirits, which they then proceed to eat together. How do they get the goat in and out? They throw it in with a rope around its neck, and then use that rope to pull it out once it’s dead, cooked,…and ready to eat! #CookingMadeEasy
READ ALSO: Africa’s 100 Most Influential Women 2019
21. Waterfall, Amabeere ga Nyina Mwiru, Fort Portal, Uganda
The Bacweezi (pronounced and sometimes spelt Bachwezi) were a giant, mystical people who ruled a part of East Africa that later came to be known as the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom which covered parts of present-day Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi. No one knows for sure what happened to the Bacweezi. Legend has it that they one day all walked into a lake and simply vanished. In the region where they lived and ruled, the Bacweezi are still worshipped as deities. It is said Bacweezi sightings still occur, and according to my cousin Norm, if you ever see a Muchweezi, you run mad! 😆
This waterfall is located at the Amabeere ga Nyina Mwiru caves outside the town of Fort Portal in western Uganda. These caves are said to have been a place where Bacweezi lived. It’s one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to! To get there, you need to walk through a dense forest, where you hear the sound of running water but see no river or stream (it runs underground). Then out of nowhere, you come to this waterfall that falls into a beautiful turquoise pool. The next time I go, I have to swim in it. I’ll go prepared!
20. Pork Chops at The Bistro, Kampala, Uganda
19. Vino Wine Bar, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Looking for somewhere new to go to in Dar es Salaam? Are you a wine lover who is tired of boring house wines when you are out wining and dining? Then you want to check out the new Vino Wine Bar on Winding Avenue in Oysterbay that opened only 3 weeks ago. I had a lovely time there last night discovering different wines in good company and to the sultry sounds of Carol Anande–Open Bottle Sundays, where you get to taste any wine from any open bottle they have at reduced cost. I am still thinking about the perfectly chilled “Pink Elephant” rosé wine from Portugal that I ended my night with. Truly delightful! Follow them @vinowinetz—you’ll find a map to the wine bar on their Instagram feed.
18. High Spirits Lounge, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
In the past few years, Dar es Salaam has had a growing number of rooftop bars that make the most of the beautiful views the city has of the Indian Ocean. This is the lower level of High Spirits Lounge at the top of IT Plaza in downtown Dar. Not shabby at all!
17. Tanzania National Parks: Trees, Mikumi National Park
16. A Tree Overtakes the Ruins of The Great Mosque of Kilwa, Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania
Look at just how completely the tree took over the wall (see picture No.25 to know what I am talking about). —The Great Mosque of Kilwa, Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania #UnescoWorldHeritageSite
15. Tanzania National Parks: Trees in Black & White, Mikumi National Park
A baobab tree in all its splendor, Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Read more about my experiences at Mikumi National Park here.
14. Rusty Boat, Kilwa, Tanzania
13. Tanzania National Parks: Sunset in Mikumi National Park
Sunset over Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Find out more about Mikumi National Park here. What sun!
12. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater
The view over the Ngorongoro Crater, a wildlife-filled “big hole in the ground” in Tanzania, formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself millions of years ago, from Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, located on the very rim of the crater/caldera.
11. The Garden at Bomani Beach Bungalows, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
Lush tropical gardens are always inviting. They make me just want to stroll through them….especially when the lead to gorgeous waters.
10. Tanzania vs. Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania National Main Stadium, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
This must have been one of the weirdest soccer games I ever watched: the country of my birth, Tanzania, playing against the country that raised me, La Côte d’Ivoire. Who to support? La Côte d’Ivoire of course. Allez Les Éléphants!
9. Uganda National Parks: Female Sempaya Hot Spring, Semuliki National Park
The female hot spring of the Sempaya Hot Springs found in Semuliki National Park in western Uganda. With temperatures of 103°C, the female hot spring is used for cooking by the Semuliki park rangers and is known as female because this is where the women of the local community carry out their annual religious rites. (There is a male hot spring whose temperature rises to 106°C where the men celebrate theirs which includes cooking a whole goat by simply throwing it into the hot spring. #CookingMadeEasy)
8. Ledger Plaza Bahari Beach, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Staring out at a horizon made up of (almost) uninterrupted ocean stills the soul.
7. View from the Rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Taking photos on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.
6. Uganda Safari Parks: My Brothers at Rwakobo Rock, Lake Mburo National Park
5. Wild Fruit, Western Uganda
Does anyone know what these fruits are called? I ate them for the first time on a road trip from Mbarara to Kabungo (western Uganda). Why didn’t anyone tell me not to eat the seeds?!????????
Update: So I have found out that they are called ‘Amatunguru’ in Runyankore, the language spoken in that area, ‘matungulu pori’ in Swahili, scientific name: ‘Aframomum sanguineum’, and simply Aframomum, Wild Cardamom, or Seed of Heaven in English.
4. Tanzania Safari Serengeti: A Giraffe in the Serengeti
A giraffe, Tanzania’s national animal, in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park. Read more about driving through the Serengeti here.
3. Uganda Safari Parks: Family Time at Rwakobo Rock, Lake Mburo National Park
On the edge of Lake Mburo National Park, in southwest Uganda, lies Rwakobo Rock, an eco-friendly, family-run hotel that lies on this gorgeous rocky outcrop. What a view! Read more about Lake Mburo National Park here.
2. The Lagoon at Bomani Beach Bungalows, Bagamoyo, Tanzania
Hanging out at Bomani Bungalows in Bagamoyo, Tanzania on the shores of this beautiful Indian Ocean lagoon. #NoFilter
This was the first picture I posted on Instagram taken on the day I turned that scary-for-me age. As they say, the rest is history. 🙂
1. Igongo Cultural Centre, Biharwe (Mbarara), Uganda
Right outside Mbarara, Uganda is this museum/cultural centre with beautiful lawns and authentic local food. If ever you are in the area, you don’t want to miss it! Read more about Igongo Cultural Centre here.
Are You on Instagram?
So there you’ve got it: those are the photos I posted on Instagram that were most liked by my followers and other Instagrammers. Are you on Instagram? Then let’s connect there. My username is @ChickAboutTown (like it is on most social networks). I look forward to seeing you there.
Until the next time,
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