Blogs from Tanzania, Africa - page 390


Africa » Tanzania » North » Arusha December 2nd 2000

Reluctantly leaving isolation, we ferried, bussed and matatu-ed our way to Bukoba. When we arrived, Mike threw his arms in the air and announced to the waiting crowd, "Yes! Mzungus are here!!" Everybody looked so confused, I fell out laughing. It's a nice small town where the cheapest accommodation rents dorm rooms to men and women separately. They roll up the sidewalks at dusk. We bought our ferry tickets and went to a little restaurant where they kept us captive for 3 hours by lying to us and saying they had food while they slyly snuck out to the market. A few beers later, waiting in line to board the boat, I was shocked to find someone trying to charge me to use the ladies room. "I don't have it. I'll go around back where half ... read more
Stone Town, Zanzibar
Our hotel room with a restaurant above
Postcard from Stone Town

Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam December 18th 1998

So, one month has passed. And a maiden trip overseas in almost over. Bought many souvernirs. I bought a wooden elephant, Adi bought a huge lion. Last evening we tried lobster in our familiar open-market restaurant. Coming back to Dar was a bit of shock... after peace of Zanzibar we came to hustle and bustle of Dar. Our bargaing tactics improved and were excellent and soon we got a taxi to airport. Actually, we came to the airport some 4 hours before the flight. But that didn't puzzle us. We had some food on us, and therefore it was time for a picnic just outside the airport... not that was the best looking place to have picnic, but it was certainly the most convenient :) we even bought some fresh fruit for the trip... As I ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City December 17th 1998

In the last "Stonetown" entry I almost didn't mention anything about the town itself. Stone town is regarded as Zanzibar's capital. The town was named after the coral stone buildings, largely built during the 19th century. The town is known for it's narrow alleyways, large carved wooden doors and covered balconies. The doors are part of the Swahili culture and were largely influenced by Arab and especially Indian motifs. The large brass studs on the doors became decoration after having served as spike covers to protect the inhabitants from elephant raids during the Indian wars. The town currently house over 16,000 people and is home to 51 mosques, 6 Hindu temples and 2 Christian churches. The people are extremely diverse and fascinating. What is annoying in Stonetown, are the touts... they see you from a far, ... read more
Sunset from Tembo hotel
Palace in Stonetown
Self portrait

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City December 15th 1998

After a few days of doing nothing every paradise gets boring... so, we decided to head for a few days to a east cost beaches... but there was one problem... at that time it was impossible to do that trip in one day... so, we had to stay another night in Stonetown... again... :) We hit the market... again :) (i already bought extremly useful sandals there). We wanted some fruit, and bananas were the name of the game... different sizes, colours... so, let's get the biggest one... a red one... well... seller was noding a bit, but she clearly didn't speak english, neither did we speak swahili... so... only when we tried banana was clear what she wanted to say. That was clearly not a banana to eat raw, but to cook... it tasted, well, ... read more
Cycling on a peer
Sunbathing on Paje beach

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Nungwi December 8th 1998

Its time to hit some beaches... The fishing village of Nungwi straddles the Northern tip of Zanzibar and its shade is a welcome relief after the barren stretch of road that leads there. There are a number of local guest houses in the village and on the West side of the cape there is a number of guesthouses and a couple of loud bars. There are fine sandy beaches around the cape and excellent diving and game fishing off the coast. I would say this is one of the best beaches on Zanzibar, as there is no seaweed and the tide doesn't go out for miles... We stayed at Amaan Bungalows, close to the beach and nearest bars... so we were really using the next days to relax and relax... Snorkel gear was readily available (though, ... read more
Boat #2
Boat #3

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar December 3rd 1998

So, our third "pre-planned" trip was to see some dolphins. Dolphin tours run from Kizimkazi in the south of the island. We passed Jozani forest, but we decided not to stop to see the Columbus monkeys, as we saw them near Arusha (though, those monkeys on Zanzibar are very rare red Columbus monkeys - oh well, next time). After a long and dusty drive we finally arrived to Kizimkazi. The village seemed to have no tourist infrastructure and wasn't overrun by tourist. We embarked on a small boat and got our flippers, goggles and snorkels. Oh, did I mention that we were the only two people on a tour. Great... Some 30 minutes later we came to the spot where the dolphins are usually lurking around. Yep, we saw some, but it wasn't really like "swimming" ... read more
Fast boat in search of dolphins

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar December 1st 1998

Over the centuries, Zanzibar’s cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and many other spices brought the sultans of Oman across the Indian Ocean by dhow on the seasonal trade winds. For 15 US$ dollars, a full-day Spice Tour was available. It was said that will introduce us to most of Zanzibar's spices and fruits, and not only that, we'll see a few historical sites - old slave market and cave, ruined sultan's palace, baths and if you are lucky, a few historical sites too - such as the old slave market or a ruined sultan’s palace. Our tour was by dala-dala (pick-up trucks converted into buses) and included good lunch of traditional Zanzibar food. On a way towards the “core” fields of Spice tours we went past the Livingstone house. This was used by Europeans whilst starting their ... read more
Slave cave
Weaving a basket

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 30th 1998

Prison Island (Changuu) is the most popular island to visit from Stone Town as it is only a short boat ride (about 10 minutes) away from town. Actually, everybody seems to visit this island... The island was in the 19th century owned by an Arab who used it, as the sign says, for housing "recalcitrant slaves". Basically, unruly slaves were to the island for discipline. Later it was owned by a British General who actually built a prison and it was used it as a quarantine station. The island offers the largest tortoises we have ever seen, and visitors can take a walk around the island sightseeing the old prisons and various other historical artifacts. That is it... I must say i was a bit disappointed. OK, giant turtles were quite intriguing (they were brought to ... read more
Departing from the harbour #2
Fast boat
Approaching the prison island

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 29th 1998

Let's go to Zanzibar... All I ever knew before is, that is an island faaaaar away with sexy name... Oh, and beside that, Freddie Mercury (Queen) was born there... So, the our boat was already waiting for us... At first, I was thinking to go with a dhow, but as this is supposedly illegal and as it takes too long (just a few weeks before i saw Michael Palin travelling from Dubai to Mumbai on a dhow), we kinda agreed on something a bit faster... actually, we bought tickets a fast boat, Flying Horse, for 30US$... (two ways). Actually, this was quite expensive, especially compared to what the locals pay... but ok, i will earn (someday in the future - hopefully) much more money than them... 2 and a half hour trip is quite uneventful. Ok, ... read more
Deluxe suite
Narrow street
Foradhani Gardens

Africa » Tanzania » East » Dar es Salaam November 28th 1998

Last night it was raining, so Arusha transformed into Finland - a land of thousand lakes (well, all the potholes were full of water). It was an early start, as this time we decided not to make again a mistake of starting late - so, departure was around 6:30 :) This time we got an extra baggage... a guy, presumably one of the owners of the safari agency that we went with, is also going with us to Zanzibar... some "business" to do... lets call him John (or was he David??). Thats OK, as he arranged us a bus tickets, and they were of quite lower price than the other way around... OK, bus was... well... different from our first Coach. First of all, there were much more sits in the bus (5 seats in a ... read more
After rain...

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