Now that we saw the Red Colobus primates we continued our journey towards Dar Es Salaam. To get there we decided to have two more stopovers. One in Mikumi at a campsite with a lovely pool and the other one near the city of Morogoro. We had to fix one of our tires first since we drove over this enormous screw on the highway. The campsite in Morogoro called Simbamwenni was unique. It was the first time that we camped under palm trees! This way we could get used to the tropical vibe that we hoped to experience on the island of Zanzibar.
The ferry to paradise
Leaving Morogoro it was still about 300 kilometers to Dar Es Salaam. Due to the high amount of villages along the road and trucks driving on the road the average speed in Tanzania is 50 kilometer per hour if you’re lucky. It took us about six hours to get to the FPCT a place where we stored our car. We took a taxi to the ferry terminal and once we were there the ‘regular’ tickets were sold out and we could only get a VIP ticket. After all the hours in the car this was actually quite nice!
After two hours on the boat we arrived in the little harbor of Stone Town. The special thing about Stone Town is all these little alleys that make you feel like your going back in time. This used to be an important trading post for the Portuguese, Arabs and England amongst others and that’s what you’ll see once your here. There are lots of cultures and the fact that you can easily walk through this city is what makes it unique in Africa. We were also really happy that we were not in a car and that there were lots of restaurants and bars to choose from.
Happy hour on the beach
After we checked in to our Al Minar hotel we walked to the beach. On this Friday night both locals and tourists enjoyed the sand and warm water of the sea. We picked a great spot on the beach at a restaurant called Livingstone. With a Caipirinha and a Dawa in our hands we saw a lovely sunset. What a start! After we finished another cocktail we headed to the Hilton hotel and ate at their rooftop restaurant with a lovely view on Stone Town.
A proper city trip
The next morning we were ready for a pretty walk in the city. It’s just a matter of roaming these little alleys and check the direction every now and then. After a little while, we got to the former slave market. Our guide at the market told us the most horrendous stories about the time this was still a slave market. Here it were the Arabs who were ‘trading’ in slaves and the things they did to them was bizarre.
We then moved on to an African open-air market, drank a superb coffee at the Zanzibar Coffee House (same coffee farm as the one we visited), walked along the former sultans’ palace and the ‘house of wonders’. The coolest thing however was just to walk these little streets and be surprised by the things we would see around yet another corner.
In a decent way to our beach lodge
In the afternoon we even found a ‘normal’ hairdresser! After 3 months for me and 5 months for Jolene it was a time for a good old haircut. This Lebanese hair stylist knew what to do with all that hair and made sure that we would be welcome at our next destination on Zanzibar. We wrapped up the day with one more awesome cocktail on the beach. The next morning a taxi brought us to the Zanzibar House in Matemwe in the Eastern side of the island.