Three adventures in one day including giant tortoises on Changuu, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

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September 21st 2018
Published: September 21st 2018
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Tanzania day 13

Three adventures in one day including giant tortoises on Changuu, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa.

We had a bit of a shock this morning when some hot water came out of the shower. It didn’t last long but we have called the relevant authorities and the Garden Lodge will hopefully be dealt with accordingly. Claire was so disturbed she threw the toilet roll into the toilet.
We failed to sleep though to a 7am alarm despite staying up late last night writing about what an exciting day we had yesterday. There was no noise-we have seen no other guests where we are-but we were both awake by 6:30. After breakfast up on the roof, this time even better as they had avacado, it was time for another trip.
Today was our rest day and before we left home, we had nothing planned so we decided to cram three things into one day and booked it in one tour. Pick up was at 8:30 and Salim was our driver for the day in his air conditioned car. It’s been very hot today so this was nice.
We drove a while on decent and quite empty roads to Jozani forest, the home of the red colobus monkey. Now I might have had one on my knee yesterday but she was brought up never knowing freedom and is now totally reliant on humans. The monkeys today are wild, free and protected.
You cannot enter the forest without a permit and without a guide to make sure you don’t get the usual idiotic tourist behaviour. You don’t get long with the monkeys but when fool tourists can’t shut up it’s better for the monkeys. It’s wonderful to have then jumping around you, especially as they have young at the moment.
Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and has quite a few qualifications in forestry so he was really interesting. Quite quietly spoken so difficult to hear and understand at times but interesting none the less. Even the Italians in our group listened to him and didn’t talk over him for the most part. Also, I’ve been to Belgium and I’m pretty sure they have forests and hence trees there yet the two Belgians on our trip knew they were going into a forest...and wore flip of them had a too short T-shirt with a blubbery belly popping out as well....and one stroked a tree like it was the most amazing thing in the world like she was fondling something that would purr was a tad bizarre.
The tour continued through the forest as our guide talked about the work they are doing, the trees, the coral etc whilst pointing out any animals he saw. This amounted to a squirrel and some frogs that were no more than 5mm long fully grown; how he spotted them I have no idea! I’m pretty sure I’ll get home and delete the photo thinking I’ve just taken a picture of a leaf....
Everyone was then driven up by their drivers to the mangroves which we found really interesting. Again we were given lots of information. Claire got to wait for the Italians to take a selfie and was somewhat aggravated as they took AGES. Can we set a limit on how long a simple gurning selfie should take please? If you’re just going to grin like a twit then surely 5 seconds is all you need, maximum?
Next stop, a spice farm. We didn’t have time to do a spice tour which I remember as being really good so a spice farm would have to do. While I found this interesting the visit included making us silly hats weaved from leaves, selling us stuff and wanting tips. Where else can a mobile soap shop suddenly appear as you are checking out some lemon grass?? Where else does someone expect a tip for climbing a tree even if he does sing as he’s doing it?
There were lots of things to be told about though including a different kind of coffee bush than we had seen in Arusha. We were also given fresh young coconut to drink and taste and a few fruits to try out. Then we went to the shop where the man with the mobile soap shop would give me a special price....if I bought about 8 packets of spice or tea or coffee. I only wanted three so he remained grumpy and offered me another at the same price it was anyway. Cheers.
We took our hats and they are now sat on the wardrobe where I suspect they will remain after we check out tomorrow. I was given a holder made from a leaf early on to store bits of spices and stuff. Quite amusingly they made Claire a basket to put this in later and she looked incredibly happy carrying this around....not!
I did taste fresh pepper from the tree and it was quite spicy but manageable even for me. And the guy did shimmy up a palm tree whilst singing and doing balancing tricks but failed to get a coconut.
Our third part of the day was a boat trip to Changuu Island also known as prison island, also known as quarantine island. Home of many giant tortoises and previously a slave holding island but never actually a prison. There were a lot of half naked tourists being tourists. Salim told us a lot about Zanzibar and Changuu as we went over and stayed with us giving us more information whilst on the island.
There are lots of tortoises yet people seemed only keen on the ones we were with but at times we managed to escape them. The oldest is 194 years old, the next oldest a wee bairn at just 160. They have their ages painted on their backs., we didn’t just guess, count the rings on their shells or ask them.
Last time I was here you could ride them but thankfully that practice has been stopped and they are looked after (as long as you don’t offer to take them away to give them medical aid according to Jenny yesterday). They have tortoises of all ages and there are lots of them. You can feed them and give them massages as Salim called it but was more like stroking as you rubbed their necks, legs and feet. They did seem happy and would stretch their necks out and stand up when they were massaged. Better than us jumping on their backs that’s for sure.
We then went to look round the prison part that never held any prisoners and wasn’t actually very big. Claire then went paddling in the sea while I walked along the pier before it was time to go home. We had some cool sea spray on the way home and had to protect our cameras but it was a nice boat trip anyway.
Salim drove us back to our lodgings and then okayed the amount we paid him in shillings with his boss. Don’t forget folks, treat Trump with the contempt he treats everyone else, use your own currency and #ditchthedollar.
After a rest we ventured out for something to eat and had some great curry before heading for a last night time stroll along the sea front. Another grand and busy day. What a holiday!

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21st September 2018

What an experience. wow.

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