So the trip to Zanzibar started with a 4pm Ferry from Dar es Salaam. Myself and my new Norwegian friends Amy and Sigmund arrived at the Ferry terminal at about 14:30 and were promptly given many offers for assistance. I would not say that this is required but it did help that our bags were carried for us and the porters explained everything that was required. I would recommend finding out what they expect to be paid before letting them carry your luggage to avoid an argument after the fact. We travelled business class which I would recommend as it does make things simpler. The seating is free seating and therefore if you want a good seat you need to be quick on the draw when they start boarding. The ferry trip is 2 hours and was pretty smooth. During the trip we went and stood outside and saw a whale.
When we arrived we found the guys from Kibuki car rentals. I arranged my car before leaving for the trip and then arranged for Amy and Sigmund via WhatsApp while we were in Dar. The guys, who were called Ismail and Ismail, took us to our cars in a parking lot a short walk from the ferry terminal. The cars were old Rav4’s but in pretty good shape. They asked us to take any pictures of dents or scratches. Let us know the tank was empty and we could bring it back that way. They also organised our Zanzibar Drivers Permits. If you are going to Zanzibar I highly recommend them for an affordable car and great service.
I then drove to the Forodhani Gardens Market to meet my Couchsurfing Host, Kelvin. I drove the wrong way down the one way road but no one seemed to get too worried and luckily there were no cops. I found a parking and went to the night Market to get something to eat and to meet Kelvin. I had the famous Zanzibar Pizza with Vegetables. Kelvin took me to his place which was just behind the House of Wonder in Stone Town. I was on the third floor and had loads of space and a double bed which was much more than expected. We then went out for a drink to Taperia where there was live music and dancing. I got home just after 12 as I ate some Cashews on the Ferry that did not agree with me, so left the bar. #overshare
For my first full day in Stone Town I went out to get iced coffee and got convinced by Captain B to go to prison island to see the tortoises and to go snorkeling. This is something that I did after a bit of negotiating.
Prison island was awesome. The trip out there was on a motor boat and took about 30 minutes. On our boat we had about 10 people. There was a group from Bosnia and Serbia; a French couple; an Italian guy (Luca) and myself. We first went to the tortoises. This costs $5 or the equivalent in Shillings. Perhaps it was a little more 🤦🏻♂️. The tortoises were incredible with the oldest one being 194 years old. Luca and I got chatting on the boat and so we explored the island together plus we were the only who on the boat that were snorkelling. After an hour of exploring we found our Gladiator (this was the name on the boat roof) boat and went out to the reef to snorkel. The snorkelling was really great. The reef was close to the surface and therefore you could see most of the sea life without having to dive too deep. There were so many different types of coral and tropical fish I wish I just had gopro.
After the trip to prison island we returned to Stone Town and Luca and I had lunch and then we went for a walking tour of Stone Town. We started in the Forodhani Garden where our guide explained about Zanzibar’s history and the fact that the park was reclaimed and used to be the harbour. We then went on to the old Fort and to the slave Chambers and past the Market.
The Slave Chambers were quite chilling and I cannot understand how people allowed other people to be treated in the manner that they were.
I then went home to freshen up and I went to have dinner at Radha Food House, a vegetarian Indian restaurant, and had amazing cauliflower tikka masala. I bumped into Luca on the way to Forodhani Night Market where I went to have a sweet Zanzibar Pizza with Nutella and peanut butter. Not sure why I never took any pictures at the food market but there are enough online for you to see what it looks like :-).
I then went home and off to sleep in order to have a great day of exploring the next day
Dinner at the Slipway Hotel was great, Rotem and Rui had been in Tanzania for a few days and had already visited Zanzibar so we spoke about that and I spoke a great deal too in true Kevin style.
On the morning of the 12th I made my way to the Double Tree hotel where I met Rotem, Rui and Amy (Rotem’s Research fellow) for our trip to the university campus. We met the dean of the business school, Dr. Hawa Tundui, and the conference started with papers being presented and ended with Rotem presenting on Crowdfunding. For dinner the organisers took us to a restaurant in Dar and I got to taste Konyagi for the first time. Konyaji is amazing, it is a gin like spirit and with more premium branding I believe it could take on some gin giants!!!
The next day we had the conference for the full day where I spoke on a panel about crowdfunding.
We left a little early to go to the ferry terminal to buy tickets to Zanzibar. The terminal was very busy and every person wanted to help us to buy our tickets. They ask for your passport in order to book a ticket although it is not really needed as Amy did not have hers or her husbands passports and they allowed us to still buy them. We all got into a taxi to get back to the hotel and got stuck in a massive traffic jam. Our taxi driver was very creative in his driving to try avoiding the traffic even going off road onto the beach.
That afternoon we relaxed and chatted around the pool at the hotel and then went for dinner at the Slipway.
The next morning I woke up and went for a run, got a little lost and ended up running 12km. I got home, took a shower and packed up, I headed to the Double Tree for a meeting with the Vice Chancellor of Mzumbe University, Prof Lughano Kusiluka, where we spoke about crowdfunding and the move of university education into the 21st Century. Amy, Sigmund (Amy’s Husband) and I then took a taxi to the Ferry Terminal to go to Zanzibar…
My trip to Tanzania was my first trip to East Africa. Being a South African means that I do not need a visa to enter Tanzania which was great although doing research it was recommended that I get a Yellow Fever vaccination as well as take Malaria prophylaxis whilst on my trip and on return. These were fairly simple to arrange prior to leaving. For my trip I traveled on RwandAir. They offered the most cost effective solution although my trip up to Dar es Salaam was a rather lengthy one. The Flight which I thought was Cape Town – Kigali – Dar es Salaam was actually Cape Town – Harare – Kigali – Kilimanjaro – Dar es Salaam. We left Cape Town in the Afternoon and landed in Dar es Salaam at 5am.
The trip was rather interesting. The flight to Kigali was really comfortable and the meals were great. I arranged veg meals and they were all great. We did not get off the plane in Harare and even though we were delayed out of Cape Town I was in time for the flight from Kigali. There was some important person on our plane flying from Kigali and we were told when we boarded the bus to the plane that it was free seating which did result in a bit of a rush to the 70 seater prop plane. There were guys with UN folders walking up and down and a few people were asked to switch seats. When we landed at Kilimanjaro there seemed to be negotiations going on about whether the people would get off the plane or not. We waited on the tarmac about 30min and then took off for Dar.
The customs at 5am at Julius Nyerere International was rather simple. I willed in the arrivals card showed my South African Passport and was shown directly to the customs booths. The entry procedure was very simple, they took my pic and fingerprints and I was in. It was less than 10 minutes but I do think the fact that not many planes were landing and the fact that I did not require a visa were factors. My bag was waiting, I picked it up and asked the security if the Vodacom shop was open. The guy told me that I should go to Vodacom in town. I therefore used the Airport Wifi to order an Uber. As I left the baggage claim area I lost wifi signal but did notice that the Vodacom shop was open. I went to ask about a sim card and the lady told me that they only take cash and that it would be Tsh 60 000 for a 20Gig data bundle (I cannot believe how affordable this was. Less than R20/Gig, in South Africa it is around R50/Gig on special). I had no way of cancelling my Uber so I went to the ATM to draw money and bought a sim. It was activated immediately and weirdly enough my Uber said 3min away. So I went and found him and headed into Dar es Salaam.
I had some breakfast and met a local who showed me the beach at Kigamboni. We took the Kigamboni Ferry to get there, it was very simple (no photos are allowed). I got my feet wet in the ocean but the beach was not that great. I then went to a local Tea Room for some Masala Tea and local eats and made my way to my AirBnB which was in Masaki. My AirBnB was a room on the roof of a French Families house. The room was very simple but served its purpose well. I had a shower and got to some work before the meeting Rotem and Rui for dinner.
I was in Dar es Salaam for the INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF BUSINESS AND
MANAGEMENT IN EMERGING MARKETS (ICBMEM) which took place on the 12th and 13th of September at Mzumbe University.
So it has been 10 days since I have posted anything to my blog and this is because I have been in Tanzania since the 11th of September. My last blog post was actually posted whilst I was staying in Dar es Salaam. I had an amazing time in Tanzania for the last two weeks spending time in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and on Safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. I will be sharing some stories about my trip over the coming weeks so be on the lookout for those. If you want to get a peak of what the trip was like check out my Instagram Feed.
What an interesting year I have had in 2017. Many exciting things that happened a few disappointments but most importantly understanding more about myself and what I am capable of as well as the fact that the world is full of people who want the best for themselves, their families and their community. In 2017 I started my own company with Rikki Jack and left the confines of permanent employment. I worked long hours and looked after my body, well at least for the first 9 months of the year. I was not as creative in terms of visual design work as spare time was at a premium. 2017 saw the birth of two more Nieces and sadly the passing of my Gran, an amazing woman who is such an inspiration.
I was privileged to end the year off with a great deal of travel, something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I visited 10 different countries (France and Switzerland don’t count I guess as I did not leave the airport) on 27 flights going around the world three times, flying for one week.
All the Travel was for work with Wealth Migrate launching global offices and attending blockchain events. The travel was on three separate trips.
- London for a week, flew in through Dubai
- Dubai for 3 Days
- Athens for 3 days where I spoke at a conference on Crowdfunding in Africa
- London for 4 more days, the flight was through Zurich both ways but I did not get to leave the airport.
- Athens for one day before flying back to Cape Town through Dubai
- Atlanta for 2 days
- New York for 3 Days
- Connecticut for 2 days to visit my Aunt, Uncle and cousins there, some for the first time in many years
- Las Vegas for 5 days
- London for 2 days
- Gibraltar for 3 days I actually stayed in the Alcaidesa Marina, La Linea de la Concepción, Spain
- London for 2 days after which I flew home through Paris but unfortunately could not leave the airport.
- Brisbane for 5 days
- Sydney for 18 days with my Brother and Sister and two amazing Nephews
- Tokyo for 5 days
- This trip was with Emirates so went through Dubai on both ends of the trip
This travel was my first international travel so talk about starting off with a bang :-). Travel should be compulsory for people to do in order to get an understanding of the world that we live in, the fact that we are all more similar than we think and that a global viewpoint is so powerful. I would recommend to anyone to travel, the world is so full of opportunity and traveling abroad gives you massive perspective.
I read and listened to some amazing books for the first time in 2017: The Upstarts, Stealing Fire, The hard thing about hard things, Leaders eat last, Whats your moonshot and busy with Finding my virginity. I also reread some of my staple favourites such a Bold, Exponential Organisations, Anything you want, Positive Intelligence, The code of the extraordinary mind and Pitch Anything.
As part of my 2018 goal and vision setting I have made it a point to write more things down whether these are public in the form of this blog or whether it is just in private will remain to be seen.
Have a fantastic 2018!