A Travellerspoint blog

In Malawi

Just came back from a bit or R & R on lake Malawi!

sunny 29 °C

I just came back from Kande Beach which is on Lake Malawi. The water was warm, clean and clear. I was able to go scuba diving and horse riding. While scuba diving I saw thousands of Cichlids. This is the popular fish in Lake Malawi and in my fishtank! After riding through forests and villages, the horses took us into the lake. I was wearing only my bikini on the horse bare back. That was an experience. I am in Lilongwe and on my way to Mozambique.

Posted by OhnoBonobo 11:48 Archived in Malawi Comments (0)

In Dar Es Salaam

Having fun in the sun!

31 °C

The spice tour was interesting. Many of the spices are better dried, I spat out most of them. Apparently, cardamon is used for sex. I do not know how, apparently it makes you horny, I spat it out, it made my tongue numb!!
I saw and tasted raw coffee beans, both ripe and unripe.
(Better when roasted!!!)
We had a nice lunch that incorporated Huge chunks of many of the spices that we saw during our tour. After lunch, we were off to the 'slave caves' which consisted of a huge cave.... then we went swimming at a beach for a while. It was fun, deep water, no sea urchins, nice!

The next day I hired a boat to take me to Prison Island to see the "Prison" that was never actually used, (it was used as a quarantine hospital) more importantly I spent hours with GIANT tortoises. That was really exciting except when a bunch of them surrounded me and bit off my thong, (sandal). Later, after lunch, I went snorkeling again off 2 different reefs. The first was really nice, colourful coral, lots of big fish. The second was really beautiful although I kept getting stung by little jellyfish. I would stay in the water for only a few minutes, jump back on the boat, wait until I had enough courage to go back out and get stung a MILLION more times. After a few dives I gave up, ouch, I had seen enough!!!

The following day I jumped on a dalla-dalla, (local form of transport which consists of a regular Toyota truck with an eight foot box with one wrap around bench. These trucks can hold many people, on the way to the village the most we held in the back was, 29!!! Their we 8 people on each side of the truck, 5 people against the back of the cab, 3 people sitting in between the aisle on everybody's feet and 5 hanging off the back bumper. Everyone was basically sitting on one another.
((not everyone was thin)) luckily most roads are sealed and not completely full of potholes!!)(Unlike some of the other countries I've been to, in Tanzania they give tickets out for having too many people in the vehicle, going too fast and when the driver and front passengers do not wear thier seat belts. A few of the dalla-dalla's I rode in got pulled over for having too many people. I'm not sure if the police give tickets out for safety reasons though, a couple friends I met on the island said that they give out a ticket so the driver gives them a bit of cash later on and then they rip up the ticket)

The dalla-dalla took me to the southern tip of Zanzibar to the village of Kizimkazi where I hired a boat to take me to see the bottle-nosed dolphins. The boat was more of a row boat with an attached motor. It was quite windy out. The boat would ride up the waves, nothing could be seen except the dark sky, then thud, we would crash back down onto the water, again and again, etc. Who needs to go to an amusement park after a ride like that. It was fun though!
Because I went out really early I was able to swim with the dolphins alone for a little while. It was nice to watch them play around with one another and listen to them talk to each other under the water. This was until huge boats full of 15-20 Italians and another full of Spanish arrived and their bodies polluted the water and scared away the dolphins.
It became a bit of a circus. I would climb back into the boat, (no ladder) we would drive off, find the dolphins and then after the herds piled back into their boats they would come find us and the dolphins. This happened numerous times until I was too tired to pull myself back up. I did dive back in a couple of times, flippers and all off the edge of the rowboat but I had the captain pull me up. I was able to get a few pictures although while swimming alongside the bottle-nosed dolphins it was difficult enough to keep up let alone get a great shot. I've realized sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy the experience.

Early in the morning I had stopped at Darajani Market, (which I go to daily), that is across form the dalla-dalla station to pick up all of my supplies. I packed a picnic lunch, this time a loaf of fresh bread, cooked chicken, one cucumber, one tomato, one green pepper, two mango's, one green orange and some cashews. I made a huge messy sandwich that was really good!

After relaxing on the beach for a while I hopped back on a dalla-dalla to go to Jozani forest. This ride was not as full as the last, it was FULL of women in their colourful Zanzibar style KANGA'S (skirts and headscarves), and a few small children. This time I was the one sitting in the aisle on top of everyone's feet. The women were very friendly and let me hold one of their babies. Unfortunately I did not take a photo because I was afraid that it would ruin the moment/atmosphere.

I arrived at the forest, paid my admission fee and had a guide point out the direction that the endangered Red Colobus Monkey's were last spotted. (This species is endangered and is one of the rarest subspecies in the world) Unfortunately I only have still photo's because I was worried about the boat turning over and I could not risk losing both cameras. The monkeys were nice, they were fun to watch and I was able to touch a few. One mother monkey even let her baby grab onto my hand for almost 1 minute! That was exciting!

The day after I took a dalla-dalla to a remote, nice, clean, beach boy free beach. I packed two cooked lobsters, some chapati, a spiky fruit called DORIAN and a bouquet of CHOKICHOKI, (looks like lychee's). It was relaxing. There was a local child who climbed a coconut tree to get a coconut which he even sliced open for me. I returned to Stone Town just as darkness was approaching.

A couple of days ago I hired a boat to take me to one of the sandbanks off Zanzibar island. It was nice, clean and the water was so clear! I was the only person on the sandbank for nearly two hours, (the captain of my boat was off the sandbank in the boat). Two small boats arrived, each with only two tourists. Both boats only stayed a couple of hours and than I had the entire sandbank to myself for the rest of the day! Actually I had to share the sandbank with about 30 medium sized crabs that kept getting REALLY close to me!

Last night I attended a Muslim wedding party for women only. The only men there were the performers and the cameramen. The men and young boys were all dressed in their white robes and wearing skullcaps. The women wore their fancy Kanga's and were decorated in celebration henna designs, (different designs are for differernt occasions, some "secret" henna is only for the husbands to see). It was nice to have been invited to this celebration. I was the only Mzungu in attendance of atleast 300 women crammed in the event hall.

I was in Stone Town so long that I fell into having a routine. I would wake up, have my breakfast, go for a walk along the beach, settle into one of my two favorite reading spots, read until the second call to prayers, walk around the hundreds of winding alleyways of Stone Town and always end up at the market. I would buy some fresh fruit, vegetables and bread, etc. I was there so long that I was even buying some items such as water in bulk. Anyway I would return to the hotel eat my lunch, rest, change to my evening outfit and go out. I would spend some time on the Internet, meet up with some friends for dinner and/or drinks and retire for the evening.

I have just arrived in Dar Es Salaam. I do not plan to spend more then 2 nights here. It is just a big city, not too exciting! I am actually leaving in half an hour, I've gotta go!! Off to Malawi!

Posted by OhnoBonobo 09:33 Archived in Tanzania Comments (0)



sunny 29 °C

I have been busy enjoying ZIFF, (Zanzibar International Film Festival). Between the day and night screenings, there is live music in the Fort. The day screenings are held in Beit al Ajaib, more famously known as the House of Wonders seeing as it was the first building in East Africa to have electricty and a lift. Right next to the Palace is the Fort which is split into two. One side is an outdoor ampatheatre where the evening programs are shown on the big screen. The other side is where the live music is preformed, during the daytime intermission as well as after the evening screenings.

I have seen many films and documentries. I think the Danes have something going on here because there were LOTS of Danish films shown. Mind you they had some of the best films in the festival. Many of the African films were based on social issues, especially focused on a women's place in society. Watching these programs in the outdoor ampathertre was really something. The locals, (especially the men), would shout out and cheer for the womens rights. They were especially loud during a film about women footballers in Zanzibar. Watching these films really gave me a deeper understanding of East African, especially Zanzibarian culture.

I am still here in Stone Town. I do not know when I will leave. I have booked a spice tour for tomorrow which includes a stop at the 'slave caves'.

Posted by OhnoBonobo 03:21 Archived in Tanzania Tagged backpacking Comments (0)


Mombo Poa Cheezy Common Dizi!!!

sunny 28 °C

Michael and I just came back from a few days of R & R at a beach villa. I ship him off to Canada tomorrow!!! The weather is really nice here, it is hot and sunny. Food is great. I had lobster for $2.25 CDN last night. Hopefully this download works, I'm trying to send photo's again!!!

OK, CHECK OUT THE PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S.>> Michael says, "What's up, EH!!!"

Posted by OhnoBonobo 07:56 Archived in Tanzania Comments (1)

In Moshi

Climbing Kili

Michael and I have just arrived back in Arusha from Moshi. We made it to the top of Kilimanjaro and we camped the entire way up. Many stories to tell. Internet is slow. We RAN up the mountain, really, you are supposed to go slow but our guides thought Michael and I were fit or something!!! We were a young group of 6, the other four were too slow so Michael and I had our own guides to take us up on the last day. We beat the other group by 2 1/2 hours!!
Off to Zanzibar in the am, have to pack.

Posted by OhnoBonobo 11:11 Comments (0)