Tanzania has turned out to be both the most chaotic and most relaxing part of this RTW adventure to date! I won’t go too much into the details of my safari, as you can read about that HERE on my Bucket List, but wow, what an adventure the past two weeks have been!
Transit (or lack thereof)
First off, for lack of a better term, Tanzania is a shit show in terms of transit; like nothing I have ever seen before. From our arrival in Dar Es Salaam, to the trip to our couchsurfing hosts house, and to the “bus terminal” (I use that term lightly) in Dar… all pure chaos. Thankfully our Safari company, Hekima Safaris, had everything prearranged for us, from picking us up at the airport, sorting our accommodations for the first evening, accompanying us to the Dar bus terminal as well as on the bus to Arusha. In every country I have ever been to (20+ countries and counting), I have been able to find my way from the airport to where I am staying with little to no issues whatsoever. Had I been alone in Dar though, I am 100% confident in saying I would have had no idea what to do. For anyone planning a trip to Tanzania, I strongly recommend you negotiate in airport pickup and any transfer you may need. Even if you find your way out and make your way to the bus terminal, all hell breaks loose there. There’s about 1,000 buses, with no apparent order or logic as to where they’re sitting or even HOW they’re sitting. They’re facing north, facing south, facing east, facing west, facing anyway they want, completely gridlocking themselves in because no one can move until one random bus that’s not schedule to depart for another hour decides it feels like getting out of the way. No parking spots, no painting lines, just a dirt surface on which buses show up. Suffice to say – you need a local to navigate you through the crazy!
Again, to read more about our safari, which took us through the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, the town of Karatu and to a Maasai village, click here.
While we hadn’t planned anything in advance, we knew we wanted to check out Zanzibar while in Tanzania. On our last night in Arusha after our safari, our hosts roommate, Greg from Greg Adventures, helped us plan an impromptu trip to the island of Zanzibar. After a quick one hour flight, we landed in Zanzibar with a relaxing few days ahead of us. We spent our first and last evening at the Jambo Guest House, a lovely hotel which worked out cheaper for us than each individually paying for a hostel room. Muhammed, owner of Jambo Guest house, planned our excursions: Prison Island – known now for its turtles, and an incredible spice tour. The spice tour is definitely a must-do for anyone making their way to Zanzibar, it was far greater than I had expected. He also arranged our transportation to and from the north of the island, where we spent three days relaxing at the Amaan Bungalows, which were reminiscent of a resort in Cuba or the Dominican. With a stunning ocean view room, I did nothing but relax, read, and calm my mind (ie. drink wine), regrouping as I have now been on the road for three months. It was exactly the mini vacation within a vacation that I needed. I would recommend both of these places to anyone traveling, as they were very budget friendly while offering incredible service as the same time.
The contrast between the hectic go-go-go of our safari to the relaxing island of Zanzibar made for a perfect two week venture through Tanzania. While only in the country for a short period of time, we were able to meet incredible people, see nature at its finest, watch animals live in their natural habitat, and learn so much about cultures so different from our own. It was definitely two weeks unlike anywhere else I have been.