Blogs from Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Nungwi February 3rd 2014

Even though my Swahili is atrocious Tanzania has taught me the words: Karibu and asanti, welcome and it's my pleasure, respectively. These people have class and style! The Maasai of this region are even taller, darker and more handsome...I didn't think it possible! My love affair with Tanzania began at the border, what a beaming smiling immigration officer...Karibu Tanzania seestah! My people my people! The entire country industrious and producing it would seem...little roadside cafés, Colorful art and signage everywhere, the women like brilliant butterflies. The artistic flair of the people evident everywhere I look...the dark red mud huts built just so... The thatch perfect in thickness, texture and design. The way a scarf billows in the wind, the tone on tone or gentle ombré of everyday items...this country is rich beyond compare! The people it's ... read more
Unforgiving land
Sense of humor!
Zanzibar dhows

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar January 24th 2014

Well, the last week and a half has been an absolutely extraordinary experience which I’m truly going to struggle to put into words and which even pictures won’t convey adequately. Jane and I have just been grinning at each other for days now and reminding ourselves just how truly lucky we are… Upon leaving Naivasha we made our way down to Nairobi and jumped on a local shuttle bus, heading south across the border into Tanzania and the safari capital of Arusha. It was a lovely little trip, skirting past the undulating landscapes as the sun slowly set in the distance and then scuttling past the looming Mt Meru, with the iconic Kilimanjaro off in the distance. The next morning we met up with Said, our driver, guide, animal spotter and general fixer for the next ... read more
Young boys showing off
Maasai Warrior on the kopje
Lone wildebeest at sunrise

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 5th 2013

Right, so where did I leave you last leave you? Ah yes, we’d just returned to Snake Camp on the outskirts of Arusha from the plains of the Serengeti in time for some dinner and a much needed shower, that Serengeti dust gets everywhere, my clothes were as orange as my hair. Saying goodbye to our guides from the Serengeti we met up with Henry, our truck driver for dinner and a beer or two, I passed on the darts this time. The next morning we would start the long drive south the Dar Es Salaam and catch the ferry to Zanzibar, this was no inconsiderable drive and would require a night camping half way down. In our absence our driver Henry had taken it upon himself to put the truck in for repairs and borrow ... read more
Arusha taxis
Heading east on the T2
Better then the Tate Modern

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 2nd 2013

Part two of my first trip to Zanzibar! We were very busy the few days we were there meeting with Zanzibar Airport officials and consultants from France and South Africa to work on the various projects we have on the go there. As I mentioned before, Zanzibar's main industry is tourism and as part of the development of the country they wish to improve their Airport facilities to be pleasant for tourists. Currently, the airport is very basic so we are consulting on the items necessary to get it to standards western tourists would be happy with. In Zanzibar, time is very fluid and meetings seem to start late and run late and I found meeting with people well after 8 and having dinner at 10 PM. This left very little time for the usual tourist ... read more
Morning View
Dad in the Window
The Atrium at Seyyida

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar October 27th 2013

I just arrived back in Nairobi after three nights in Zanzibar! What a fascinating place, it's like it's been frozen in time for hundreds of years with instances of modernity plastered on as an afterthought in random places. The tiny set of islands is part of the country of Tanzania off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. As i flew in on the afternoon flight I could clearly see the brilliant white beaches and azure water of Unguja. One of the first satellite islands you see owned by Bill Gates and called Nemba. Then as I flew down the mainland I could see the maze of housing as we approached Zanzibar City. The modern housing is all constructed out of concrete bricks or coral with plaster and covered with corrugated steel roofing. The ... read more
Airel View of Zanzibar City
Google Earth View
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a shadow of a plane!

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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Jambiani October 2nd 2013

Zanibar Beach Resort part 2 Nothing exciting today, just relaxation. Sailed on a local dhow-hand carved wooden boat lashed together with rope. Exciting ride with stiff breeze. Mark , I think this is the perfect sailboat for you and Sheri. Low maintenance with a gallon jug cut in half for a bilge pump. No worries about life jackets- just swim to shore if you capsize. Would have snorkeled but water too rough. Swam in Indian Ocean for first time- very warm. Walked beach for a few miles and spent a lot of time talking to locals. They struggle to survive when tourist season is low as it is now. Many make a living spearing fish but hotels are not buying due to low census. Women gather and sell seaweed. All love to speak with Americans as ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Jambiani October 1st 2013

Zanzibar Beach Resort Most relaxing day yet. Time at pool, reading, walking beach, gathering shells. Linda making friends with locals. Too much sun. Masai security got aloe plant and opened for skin treatment. People here are very friendly, all speak English. Selling wares on the beach but not aggressive like Mexico. More of same tomorrow, maybe some snorkeling if we feel ambitious.... Happy B-day Nancy!... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Jambiani September 30th 2013

Zanzibar Drove To Arusha yesterday and bid our guide SP goodbye. We spent countless hours with him over the past week and came to know him very well. He hopes to travel to the US with his wife and daughter and has an open invitation to stay with usAnother flight on small plane and short drive to Stonetown on Zanzibar. Ancient city with narrow winding pedestrian pathways through city, congested streets, hot with a lot of commotion. Sirens and evening prayers broadcast from various locations occurring after sunset in this Muslim city. Air condition not working- moved to a different room, not the best stay.Traveled today to the east coast of the island. Interesting drive through city with many markets including fish market with sharks and rays being sold literally from the street. Amazing that people ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Nungwi August 29th 2013

My arrival in Nungwei coincided with an enormous Full Moon Party. Due to misplaced nostalgia for my Thailand beach backpacker days, I decided to check it out. Mistake. The music ranged from terrible to appalling. The crowd was a weird mix of backpackers, locals and NGO types who reckoned they were too cool to be there but still came anyway. It was all confined to one resort, forcing you to buy a pre-paid plastic card to get drinks... or smuggle in your own booze. This is how I discovered Konyagi. Konyagi is like the bastard child of Gin and Vodka. You can buy it in SACHETS. I love Konyagi, but Konyagi does not love me. That night I made friends with various interesting characters, including some implausibly beautiful French Canadian girls, my ex-housemate’s little sister, and ... read more
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Rasta bar
Evening meal

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar August 21st 2013

I hopped off the Dala Dala at a roundabout near Paje, then dragged myself and my disintegrating backpack what felt like a very long way down the road. When I couldn’t be bothered to walk any further, I wandered into a little hostel of the generic kind found on backpacker beaches the world over. Thatched huts, hammocks strung up between wonky palm trees, banana pancakes, Bob Marley on the stereo. It could have been Goa, or Thailand. I stayed in the eight bed dorm room, a construction of wood and palm leaves. It’s built directly onto the beach - there’s no floor - and in the low light the fine sand looks like a thick cream coloured carpet. The mosquito nets hang like rows of cartoon ghosts. In the morning you can see the tracks left ... read more
View from hostel down to beach
Sunset
Paje at low tide




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