"Day 3 in the Serengeti was much like day 2 – long bumpy roads, property to property...all mixed in with the masses of the migration. Literally thousands, and while they weren’t all heading in one single direction, en masse, they dotted the plains, hills and valleys. You see it in books and movies, expect the numbers, but you just can’t quite get your head around how many there actually are when you see them. Of course all the while grunting and snorting in the Serengeti tune!
The only drawback is the amount of flies accompanying the wildebeest. Your regular standard issue house flies, but also the tsetse fly which has got to be THE single most annoying and tough fly around. Smack them hard, try and squash them underfoot... but noooo, they just shake themselves off and fly away!! No respect for you either – they will bite you through your clothes! Thankfully they don’t carry the “sleeping sickness”, but still they’re best avoided. We closed the car windows to keep them out, but then they cling to the glass trying to get in, a bit like a horror movie where you’re trapped inside and they’re just waiting for you to come out!
Dramatic, I know. I had a lot of time to...reflect...lol
On our last day we headed off early to the Lobo airstrip, in time for the quick flight over to Seronera to collect more guests. Then off to Arusha, where I changed and got my flight over to Zanzibar...
The flight was generally uneventful – and upon landing in Zanzibar, “customs” was somewhat of a breeze. We waited for our luggage which took a bit longer than you’d think for a 12 seater flight, but hey ho... Africa time and all that!
Breezes was beautiful, but having dinner on my own in a fairly large restaurant isn’t really my idea of fun. I’m sure a lot of people were wondering whether maybe I got left at the altar and am on my honeymoon alone! Ah well. I beat a hasty retreat, and chilled out in a corner somewhere else...
Day 1 of Zanzibar site inspections was good. Probably the most polite driver in the world, called Machano, who was very informative and pointed out many things I would otherwise have missed, largely about local life. As in Tanzania, it’s all very colourful but rural. And did you know they practice polygamy?? Men are allowed up to 4 wives here... Machano though reckoned one is trouble enough! The roads here are full of kids, goats and cows, and not always in the best condition so it was quite slow going at times. A long day of driving around, but finally got back to my next hotel for the night. Palms... Wow! A step up from Breezes, I can’t even quite comprehend what Baraza will be like *squeal* !
Ah island life... For the first time on this trip I’ve finally had a chance to have some proper downtime, even if only a few hours. Bit of plunge pool action at my villa, before heading down to my private beach hut that comes with my room. Yes really!! Had a cup of tea accompanied by a raven who seemed to be after my cookie. But, this one seemed to speak!! I swear it said actual words to me! And completely freaked me out.
My one day off was, well... rainy :( Typical! Moved over to my next property and then mostly had the rest of the day to chill out. I rattled about in my villa which was literally bigger than most flats back in London... Beautiful beach, turquoise water mixed with emerald green and royal blue. Incredible colours! The “trade winds” picked up though which brought over some cloud cover. That coupled with the odd bouts of rain didn’t really lend itself to time on the beach. But I did relax, and eventually got borderline bored, with suddenly having so much time. Fab day though all round...
Final day on Zanzibar with more site inspections. Machano came to get me right after breakfast, and off we went... The island really is beautiful. Greenery everywhere, with palm trees, mango trees, rice and mangroves all over the place. The road is either littered with children or chickens, sometimes a few goats or cows and we even had a duck and a donkey. It’s mad. And they’re all in the streets! Villages are everywhere, markets at the road front and always a friendly face or three peering out. You couldn’t find a cheerier piece of land if you tried, despite the poverty and hardship that is evident everywhere.
Stone Town is insane! More so even than Arusha, with narrow roads and crumbling buildings, a mixture of Indian, Omani, Persian and Bantu influence, and of course the Brits had a hand in it all too. It’s a poor town, but bustling with colour and action everywhere, and then you happen upon a hugely opulent new door that leads to a posh hotel or restaurant. Curiosity’s dream if it’s your thing... I would highly recommend at least one night here, with some time to explore all the nooks and crazy crannies of this town.
I’m sitting on the rooftop terrace of The Africa House as I write this. Lunch /dinner consumed, the sun is setting over the ocean. It’s beautiful, dhows sailing in the distance, kids playing on the beach, and the colours of the sky changing every second. Tomorrow I head back home…
Play time is over..."
By Anneli Rudiger
Find out more about our Tailormade trips to Tanzania.