On Day 2 I planned to do the Palace Museum, the old Dispensary, get some fabric for my mother and to explore the island on my way to Kuza Cave. I unfortunately had to spend an hour at Zanzibar airport as my flight to Arusha was somehow cancelled after I booked and paid online. This was rather frustrating but guy at the airport sorted it out and gave me a pen to apologise. I did manage to see a few places around Stone Town like the Palace Museum and the Old Dispensary which were quick tours that were not that interesting to be honest. I then headed out onto the road. SIDE NOTE: There are so many interesting doors in Zanzibar and you can actually do a door tour. I took so many door pictures but yet to do anything with them :-).
Driving in Zanzibar was interesting there are so many motorbikes that you have to watch out for and they do not paint their speed bumps so always be on the lookout for speed bumps or be ready for a thump every now and then. The traffic leaving Stone Town was rather hectic and going over 50km/hr was not possible. The road conditions were OK with a few potholes here and there. Better than what I experienced in Dar. I got to Kuza Cave at around 3pm and pretty much immediately went down to the Cave to have a swim. The Cave is pretty awesome and the pool is 6m deep at the deepest point. With a diving mask you can do a swim in a short tunnel which is pretty cool. There are little white insects in the one part of the pool that do bite which gives a little sting but nothing too dramatic. At the bottom of the pool there is a fossilised human femur which is evidence of early human life. The Kuza Cave is a great place to visit and Natalie who runs the Non Profit is awesome. I highly recommend a visit if you are going to Zanzibar.
For dinner I went down the coast to Blue Moon resort for dinner with Amy and Sigmund. The resort was amazing and the staff so friendly. The resort is built right on the beach and the dinner was very good. We ate and drank and spoke and spoke and then spoke some more. I ended up only leaving at around 1am.
The next morning Natalie arranged for me to go out on a traditional dow with an old fisherman and her young son. We went out to the reef to do some snorkelling and then some fishing. The experience was awesome. Natalie’s 11 year old son had a homemade spear gun that he used to catch fish while he was snorkelling. Unfortunately the tide was quite high and so the snorkelling was not as good as it could have been and you had to dive down quite deep in order to see things close up. Once we finished snorkelling we did some fishing with hand line. I caught one fish and we caught 13 in total. We were out at sea for about 6hrs and I added to the sunburn but it was worth it. #SunscreenInnovationRequired
I got back to the Cave and pretty much immediately left for my last night in Zanzibar which I spent at La Madrugada Beach Hotel & Resort. I found a 70% off special which I booked 2 days before visiting. The resort was a little dated but was very comfortable and the pool was very inviting. I put my bags in the room and headed straight to the pool for a sunset swim. I had an early dinner, a vegetarian pizza which was great. The staff at the resort were awesome and I had many interesting conversations. I jumped into bed early as I had to leave just before 5am in order to catch the ferry to Dar. Oh just a word of warning the resort accepted a credit card but they added 5% to the amount paid and so you should factor this in. This was quite common on the trip.
The next morning I got up really early and took the drive to Stone Town. About 20min into the drive while it was still dark I saw torch lights in the distance and it turned out to be a bunch of people singing and jogging down the road. Seemed like a protest. They asked me to turn off my lights and drive with my emergency lights only as they ran past. There must have been about 100 people. #Strange
I arrived in Stone Town and dropped off my rental car and waited at the gate for the ferry to open. The ferry left on time at 7am and we were off to Dar. Check out the next instalment to hear about my interesting drive to the airport and my safari…
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.