• Africa,  Malawi

    The biggest sun rises above Malawi

    Sunrise, I have been fortunate to witness it in almost every country I have been to. And all sunrises have this one thing in common: hope. It is the light after the darkness, the promise of another chance at life, the reminder that there is still hope. And yet, to me, Malawi holds the prize for the ‘most beautiful sunrise’ I have ever seen! Well, the sun was the biggest and the hope found in every Malawian smile was the brightest! My time in Malawi was rather short: we spent 2 nights in a campsite by the beach in Chitimba and 2 nights in Kande before we headed to Zambia.…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    Paje, Zanzibar – not an ordinary beach!

    I had been walking into the sea for 15 minutes, and the water level was still just under my knees! The tide of Paje’s beach, in the east coast of Zanzibar island, was at it’s lowest. The flowing water goes back so far away, I wondered where did it go?! It looked like a children’s infinite pool within the actual sea. But my walk so far had not been short on interesting discoveries. It was like a theatrical play. The characters: the locals, the sea life revealed by the shallow water, the tide, the wind, the sun and me. All brought together to unravel a story, the story of Paje’s…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    Datoga Tribe – Beliefs about Marriage

    “If I like you, I will wait for you to be alone, maybe when you are herding the cattle. I will come for you, I will pick you up on my shoulders and take you with me, so you will marry me!” This was the answer from our Datoga guide to my question on how do the Datoga arrange a marriage. I think I must have frozen for a few seconds, terrified with the idea! It sounds like… well like kidnapping to me! However, it is a normal practice among this tribe in the north of Tanzania. Once I picked up my chin from the floor, I continue with my…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    Culture Shock – Driving in Africa Advice

    CULTURE SHOCK I never knew exactly what was it. I thought it would only happen to people who aren’t open-minded or don’t like travelling to remote areas. When I travel, it is the different ways of thinking and the unusual ways of living that excites me. But this one late evening, 3 weeks into my time in Tanzania, I found myself speechless, with my stomach turning when I found out that our other guide and driver hit a pedestrian and ran away. Our guide said he had to do it, “everybody does it”. I knew he wasn’t a bad guy but at first I couldn’t understand why this crimewas okay…

  • Old Man Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, África
    Africa,  Tanzania

    Watching the World go by…

    In the early warm hours of the day, the call-to-prayer wakes up the whole town. Once the so said prayers are over, the population of Stone Town occupy the labyrinth alleyways and carry on with their daily tasks: to sell, to buy, to sit chatting with the neighbours, to stand on the streets greeting tourists, to stand on the streets watching the world go by… A few times I wondered what these last ones were thinking. On one of my wandering hours, I noticed this old man was doing just that. Seated barefoot on

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    A Dance with a Maasai Tribe

    The Dance They knew we were coming. On our arrival, they rushed to make us feel welcomed by placing a Shuka cloth over our shoulders and a flat large beaded necklace on our necks. They live waiting, existing underneath a tree or in the shadow of their mud house. If we didn’t come, probably someone else would, if not today, tomorrow or after. This is what the Maasai tribe in this village does; they open themselves to the tourism, allowing visitors to enter their houses and share their way of living in exchange, of course, for money. It is their business after all. The men were the first stepping out…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    SAFARI, IS IT SAFE? – Part 2

    1 – How safe is it to camp without fence protection on a Safari? I am not going to lie, I was nervous. In a I’m-about-to-sleep-in-the-middle-of-lions kind of nervous. You know? As it turns out, I slept like a rock. In fact on my first night camping, I fell asleep to the sound of giggling hyenas, happily scrutinizing through our dinner’s left overs. I entered dreamland completely oblivious that about an hour later, lion’s roars were heard nearby the campsite. Probably trying to shush the hyenas away and claim back territory. But, no seriously, it is VERY SAFE! On my first day I bombed my guide with questions, questions, questions.…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    A Banana Beer Nip, A Coffee Sip and a Waterfall Dip

    A Coffe Tour in Tanzania This is probably the strangest title I have ever used on a travel article. The strangest combination and yet, this trio made for a perfect day out exploring the countryside in the southern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, a village called Materuni, where banana and coffee beans grow as neighbors to each other. I was on a coffee tour in Tanzania. BANANA BEER NIP Banana beer? Our guide asked, outstretching his arm to me with a 1 liter plastic green cup in his hand, shared by everyone. I don’t like beer but I like banana. Though I don’t need to please my taste buds to try…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    Why did I visit a Tanzanian Prison?

    “Your passport”. We looked at each other – we didn’t know we were supposed to bring it. We left it in our bags back at the school, together with our phones and cameras. None of it was allowed on a visit to a prison in Tanzania. I was volunteering at Magereza Nursery School, in Moshi. The school is located inside the Magereza prison quarters and it offers free classes to the children of guards and prisoners, as well as to the children that live in the village in front of the prison. One of the boys in my class, Joshua, lives with his jailed mum since he was born. In…

  • Africa,  Tanzania

    A Tanzanian Town and the Tanzanian People – from a Mzungo’s perspective

    “Mambo” “Poa” “Hujambo” “Sijambo” “Habari” “Mzuri” “Karibu” “Asante” This was the daily introduction conversation exchanged with strangers on the streets of Tanzania. For the first two weeks living here, my brain couldn’t think quick enough and countless times I ended up answering the wrong thing. The locals would laugh at my clumsiness trying to correct myself with another wrong answer! At times it felt like the locals were testing how much Swahili did I speak, which was pretty much just about it. Tanzanian people are super friendly, curious and always happy to