Blogs from Tanzania, Africa


Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro January 5th 2023

From the Female Traveler: A solo trip is about you and what you need or want to do for yourself. The best solo vacations give you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment and help you grow as a person. Regardless of whether or not you have done this, always remember that traveling alone can be a defining moment. The fact that you can travel alone is a gift and privilege, and you should use it to the maximum of your ability. Above all, don’t forget to have fun! Over the last few years of solo travel, I have met more and more fellow solo travelers. The common traits are: independence, confidence, inner peace, and good planning. On my last trip to Europe, I met some interesting travelers, since it was winter, and not the tourist season. ... read more
A lonely road?

Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam November 25th 2022

There are great lessons to be learned from this backpacker lifestyle. I’m older now, with kids and responsibilities. I travel with 2 carry-ons and 2 checked bags now, rather than the solitary backpack I began with. But, I still travel like a backpacker. I’m not one of those tourists who come for Mai Tais on the beach and a few souvenirs. I don’t spend much money when I travel. I don’t stay in fancy hotels. You see a lot of middle-class Americans living it up in developing countries where their dollars go further, playing at the life of a celebrity or aristocrat for a day. I don’t do that kind of thing. I still like to see how they local people live. I still like to walk barefoot sometimes, to eat with my hands, to take ... read more
Contentment is the Greatest Wealth
Don't Do Evil
Overcome Evil by Good

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 24th 2022

Literally. No metaphor here. We visited Zanzibar before, and now have visited Zanzibar again. Here are some highlights of the trip. - We stayed at the Dhow Palace Hotel (got a great deal by calling direct even when the booking sites said it was all full). This was literally the palace of a man who built it in the mid-1600s. His family kept it for about 200 years before it was taken over by his clan. Now it is a private hotel. Very cool place with lots of quirks, secrets, and fun antiques on display. - We found a great community shop run by this Rastaman. It's all local arts and crafts for sale to tourists like us. Some special stuff in here. I got the boys new shirts and gifted the owner with a portrait ... read more
Rad old mirrors
Community shop
Rastaman connect

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 24th 2022

Zanzibar is a place that is immensely photogenic. It’s not all pretty. Some of it is exceedingly beautiful, but some of it is ugly and dirty and pitiful. Even those parts are photogenic. I saw tropical beaches and antique palaces, I saw mangy street cats and overflowing garbage bins. I wanted to take pictures of all of it. Appropriately—for someone like me with the artists eye, the photographers love of the natural subject, and many years of training and practical experience in photography—I brought along a great camera. Most of the pictures I’ve been posting on my blog have come from my iPhone. It’s not the new one and I don’t really care. I didn’t buy it for the camera, it just happens to be one as well as being all the other things it is. ... read more
Door 1
Secret Garden
Pretty Woman

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 24th 2022

According to some things that I have read, Zanzibar has been continuously occupied by human beings for some 30,000 years. According to some other things I’ve read, the earth was created less than 8,000 years ago. I wasn't there for either, I just read about it. Either way, people have been living on Zanzibar island for a very long time. The name Zanzibar comes from the Arabic words for, “land of the blacks”. They named it for the African people they found living there, whom they called the, “Zanj”. The Arabs mixed with the locals, forming the Swahili peoples, who built thriving trading cities over the past 1500 years or so. Inviting the Persians, Indians, Chinese, Indonesians, and others to join the trade in ivory, precious metals, and enslaved humans from the mainland, they built up ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam November 21st 2022

My fascination with Ethiopia began in 2007, learning from the Rastaman in Kenya. I spent most of that year living in Kenya, and a lot of that time walking far and wide around the area north of Mombasa, reasoning with this Rastaman or that Rastaman. Some of the old "Burning Spears" I met were remnants from the Mau-Mau days and had not trimmed their locks since the war against the British began in the 1950s! These men told me many stories about Ethiopia, about Emperor Haile Selassie I, and about the ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. It was because of their stories that I first went to attend an Ethiopian church service in Seattle that year. Since then, I have come to know very many Ethiopians in my home area of Seattle, where we have a ... read more
Emperor Menelik II
Emperor Haile Selassie I
Virgin Maryam & Iesus Kristos

Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam November 18th 2022

And now for the reason behind our visit. We came to Tanzania to celebrate the marriage of our niece Grace (affectionately known to us as "Gee") and her husband Hussein. But she has a new name now in marriage, Ayla, a Muslim name as it is customary for women here to take when they marry a Muslim man. More people know her by her stage name Sai Kenya. She's a pop singer in the Bongo Flava style of Tanzania and an upcoming star in Kenya. She's immensely talented and we're all extremely proud of her. From the first time I heard her sing I knew this was something special and we've only seen her talent grow. The performance she gave at her sister's wedding last year blew us all away. Check her videos out on YouTube. ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam November 16th 2022

This is basically a Dar es Salaam photo dump. We had a whirlwind trip to Dar and did so much in only a short time. These photos are all from like the first 3 or 4 days! We came upon this great Tanzanian chalk artist illustrating an image of some children breaking through from the other side of a TV. The TV doesn't talk about the real issues, but they want to bring them up. Chelly and had a date night at a top-notch beach bar at Coco Beach (Oyster Bay). Wow. She's beautiful. I got so lucky. The place is called Wavivu Kempu and you can see some photos here of the vibe there and the excellent tapas plates with fresh seafood from the Indian Ocean. I loved this "Get Shape, Be Fit" poster that ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro October 9th 2021

Summit day was obviously the hardest day of the trip. I woke up at 10pm after about a 2hr nap from dinner to get ready. It had been snowing, and there was fresh 1/2" of powder on the ground. At 10:30 we quickly ate something and then started hiking up to the summit. I had on every single layer I brought with me (and slept in them as well), and not much more than my poles, 2 liters of water in bladder, and 1 liter in a nalgene in my pack (for when the water in bladder tube freezes). The hike started out amazing under a full moon that lit up a big portion of the route up. As we started getting higher, the cold really set in and made everything harder. Our rest stops were ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » North » Mount Kilimanjaro October 3rd 2021

Day 6 is sometimes referred to as a mini summit. It's basically the start of the summit push as you get up at 6, and simply straight hike to base camp. This day was cold and rocky as well as very sunny. The terrain is pretty straightforward, as you aim towards the ridge that takes you to the summit. The hike up is a little easier than going to the lava tower because of acclimitization, but still difficult. As you achieve the ridge, you get to the lower base camp, Barafu camp. This is where most people set base camp, and it usually gets very crowded. There are some permanent structures here, but not many. My group kept hiking a little higher, in order to not cross some scrambling terrain at night. There is a little ... read more

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