A Travellerspoint blog

Stone town

Zanzibar island


Only when abroad to you find yourself on a tuk tuk aboard a ferry racing to catch another ferry......... Incidentally our tuk tuk driver hiked up the price once we already abroad. I would of refused to pay it given a chance since in my opinion if you make a deal you make a deal and by giving in to that kind of pressure you only encourage dishonest individuals to try and rip off your fellow travellers the next time. Sadly I'm not in charge here and the rest of the group don't look keen to make a stand so I'm not comfortable making a scene on my own.

We board the ferry to Zanzibar a short crossing time of around an hour will see us in stone town, the famous ex slave trading capitol of Zanzibar island. These days Zanzibar is famous for its spice production and of course its beautiful white sandy beaches and the indian ocean. I had heard good things about the diving here and I was looking forward to it. But first things first stone town. I spent the morning and most of the afternoon exploring the winding narrow streets of Zanzibar, poking my nose into its shops and fending off the touts and more persistent shop owners. There is every thing for sale here all mingled and jumbled up into a kind of chaotic mix and crammed into narrow stoney streets. In turn I was offered drugs and women along with carpets and wedding dresses. Along the seafront things are a little less compact and the ice cream is just what the doctor ordered to cool you down. I turned to a cocktail bar for the sunset and took a few snaps of the sun as it set into the crystal clear indian ocean before visiting the night market with our group. Well known for its fresh fish and cook before your eyes snacks the Stone town night market simply didn't appeal to me. I had seen that self same food laid out a lot earlier in the day, into the blistering african sun shine, part baked and covered in flies. To put this into context I'm not a fussy eater. Indead I have eaten raw horse, numerous insects and just about anything cooked and put in front of me but I do have a healthy respect for food hygiene and it was totally lacking here. Id also heard on the grapevine that some of the less successful stall owner will put out yesterdays catch again if it doesn't sell, spray it with cold water to make it look fresh and happily charge you for the privilege of poisoning you. Whether it was the food or not I feel I made the correct choice as many of our group came down with bad stomachs barely 48 hours later. I can't for sure say it was the market but Id advise against eating there or at the very least pick stalls that are doing a lively trade with LOCALS! as these are far less likely to be the dodgy guys selling yesterdays fish.....

I did buy a vegetarian somosa as a snack on the way back to my room and after eating one (i purchased two) some one in the crowd roughly jostled me, I heard a hawking noise as he did so but didn't at that second think to act on it. A few seconds later after this individual had disappeared into the thriving crowd i returned to my somosa to find it covered in phlegm. Fucking charming if I do say so myself! As the night drew on more and more touts turned up many of which looked drunk and a few of which were starting to become almost aggressively persistent. I decided id had enough of that particular environment and returned to my room.

Tommorow the north beaches at Nungwi......

Posted by cd108 04:32 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

A long drive day

In the sweltering heat


We have left the rains behind and as we get closer to the Indian ocean the heat is really starting to build and with the insane humidity. Driving along with the top of the truck open and all windows wide is a blowy experience (so much so I lost my towel out a window despite tying it to a support). It takes us almost an entire day to reach Dar Es Salaam. A city were told is not safe to walk around in and we have to ensure everything on the truck is double locked......How true this is I have no idea I wasn't given the opportunity to walk around anyway as we didn't reach camp until late and by then we all just wanted to jump into the ocean and cool off. One of the most uncomfortable nights spent in the tent. Humidty at an all time high saw most of us floating in a couple of inches of our own sweat. Not to worry the following morning we are boarding a ferry to stone town in Zanzibar!

Posted by cd108 04:27 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

MA's revenge!

Don't drink and safari

Prior to entering the Serengeti we had spent the night at a place called Snake park in Arusha. Myself and Chris (US) had been drinking pretty heavily until around 3 Am (bouncing out of bed at 530 to do 5 star jumps and take a cold shower). Now to celebrate our return alive a mere 2 nights later we were expected to get on the sauce again and encouraged by our tour leader Derek to try "Ma's revenge. Ma is the owner of snake park and apparently cooked up this little number in order to send off to bed annoying guests without seeming rude! its a shot of 80% local rum with a dash of tequila topped off with tobasco sauce and it tastes about as great as it sounds. It does how ever get you into the party mood....I can barely remember the evening but I do know we drank more than our fair share of shots, largers and silly party shooters. We broke camp at 6 Am the next day and to my amazement I was not hung over.....Must be the African Air?

Posted by cd108 04:21 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

Into Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti


As we cross the border into Tanzania everyone has high hopes for the next few days, one of the premier Safari's in the world the Serengeti is of course one of the famous National Parks in the world. We also just had news that he Great Migration is delayed by the rains and we will be lucky enough to witness it (at least in part). Almost as soon as we enter Ngorongoro it starts to hammer it down with rain again obscuring any hope of a decent land scape from above the crater at the view point. our spirits not dampened we head into the park eager to view the game. Elephants, Zebra, Antelope, Lions et all are on display and I'm busily snapping away as many pictures as I can. This is before we even arrive at the Serengeti itself!

Driving between Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti sees us on some of the steepest wildest mountain roads I've ever experienced. Good job were in the centre of a tropical storm! Not for the faint of hear if your on the side of the vehicle facing the drop. As we head lower down to the plains and the Serengeti itself we begin to encounter the first herds of Antelope and Wilderbeest of the great migration. Before long the herds have become one giant super herd. We drove for over an hour at 40 KM / HR though these magnificent beats and they were wall to wall as far as the eye could see. A staggering amout of life in one place. Pictures simply couldn't do it justice. There must be tens of millions of the animals in view. We also saw Cheetah almost as soon as we entered the park, A second pride of lions posed for us by the road side and Hippo's paddling in the watering holes. That night we set up our tents inside the park and were summoned by our ranged for a safety briefing. We were told.....If you leave your tent after dark for a toilet break please ensure you take a torch (nothing abnormal here), please be aware that wild animals are free to enter the camp (ok yikes), If you see a wild animal don't panic, don't shout and don't turn your back on it (christ really?) Back away from the animal calmly and return to your tent (and presumably if you make it pray that lions can't work zips). So with our minds set at ease we settled in to watch one of the most fantastic 360 degree lightning displays on earth before driving off to our respective sleeping bags with a cup of hot coco. What a fantastic setting for a nights rest.......

Posted by cd108 04:08 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)

Kenya returned

Pick up and drop off

We head back into Nairobi to drop off those of the group who aren't carrying on and pick up some newbies!

Joining the group are Chris (US) Mike (NZ) and his Partner Keely (NZ) also Kat (UK) and Hussain (UK), we say good bye to John and Kate. Effectivley gaining 4 and loosing 2. A final night out in Karen for a meal and a good bye beer. Next leg of the journey sees us going south with our new friends!

Posted by cd108 04:05 Archived in Kenya Comments (0)

(Entries 26 - 30 of 39) « Page 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 »