By the time our truck slowly made its way through the Dar es Salaam traffic to take us out of the city I think it would be fair to say that I wasn’t particularly enjoying my time in Tanzania. Whilst there were a few highlights I didn’t always feel safe, I was growing tired of long days stuck in traffic or road construction, I was disgusted at the openly corrupt police that kept pulling us over to bribe our driver and along with some of my tripmates I hadn’t been in great health; not enough to leave me bedridden but enough to distract me from having a good time. All of that was about to change when the next few days in Northern Tanzania becoming one of the great highlights of my 6-week African journey and one of the best experiences of my entire traveling life. But it wasn’t all plain sailing.
Ever since I first heard that there was a place called Zanzibar I have wanted to go there simply because the very name conjures up an exotic and exciting far-flung land. Despite it being on my bucket list I never really learned much about it apart from how to find it on a map. Several years ago I quizzed a good friend about it after she spent her honeymoon there but all I really got from her was that it was very hot and that she loved it. In any case I was happy to see that it was an optional 3-night excursion included within my Africa Overland itinerary but I have to admit I still didn’t bother to do a whole heap of research until just before I got there when I found that it has a fascinating history. Continue reading “Zanzibar”
In most countries people use bumper stickers to express things about themselves from their cars. In Tanzania, particularly in the financial capital of Dar es Salaam, people sometimes like to decorate their entire car especially if it is a taxi. Whereas in the UK you might see a Manchester United sticker on the rear window in Dar you’ll see entire vans covered in Manchester United livery. In America I saw a lot of Obama/Biden stickers still present following the Obama campaigns but in Dar an entire vehicle will be decked out in the colors of their favorite party complete with a portrait of the leader. I found this endearing especially when I noticed a lot of Bob Marley and President Obama portraits on the backs of taxi vans. But I distinctly remember a sobering chill spreading through me when I noticed the first Osama bin Laden image shortly followed by one of Colonel Gaddafi. It suddenly seemed plausable that the Obama ones were a kind of protest at the presence of terrorist and terrorist dictator portraits.