Category: Zanzibar


african-oscars

Well now that we leave Africa soon (Boo Hoo!) Muni & Molly’s African Oscars are now published.

The categories are : (drum roll please)

1. Best Accommadation / Hotel : Green Turtle Lodge, Dixcove, Ghana
2. Worst Accommadation / Hotel : Pensão Leeta, Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique

3. Best Meal : La Colombe, Constainia, Cape Town, South Africa
4. Worst Meal : Cafe No Name, Arsi Negele, Ethiopia

5. Best Transport : CTM, Morocco
6. Worst Transport : Burundi

7. Friendliest People : Tied at Burkina Faso and Malawi
8. Unfriendliest People : White Namibians

9. Best Value : Ghana
10. Worst Value : Rwanda

And last but by no means least…

11. Best Beer : Primus 720ml, Burundi
12. Worst Beer : Laurentina Stout, Mozambique

And the most coveted award for biggest tosser in Africa goes to….

The fat, Afrikaner, make-up put on with a cement mixer, hair-do like a bulldog’s arse, manager of the Cat Nap Guest House in Springbok for her inability to take a booking 3 whole weeks in advance. Moan about the check in time, lie about her presence prior to us checking in and then only say that we had booked one night when two were requested. I hope you catch the clap from a toilet seat and you choke on some worm infested biltong again. Congratulations, your golden Oscar is in the post.

We’ve also added some additional categories for those that were worthy of such an acolade.

They are:

Toughest Day : 8th April 2009, Butare, Rwanda after visiting a genocide memorial. (I talk about it HERE)

Most adventerous moment: Boarding a tug boat to travel down Lake Tanganyika en-route to Kigoma, Tanzania

The 5 best highlights (in no particular order):

1. Getting up close and personal with 5 Silverbacks in Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda
2. Being pamered in Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa
3. Juming out of a dhow, after spotting Dolphins, onto the best beach in Africa. Praia de Chocas, Mozambique
4. Standing on the precipace of the plateau in Dogon Country, Mali
5. Giggling at the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean’s at the southern most tip of Africa

Muni & Molly

Well now that we leave East Africa tomorrow Muni & Molly’s East African Oscars are now published.

The categories are : (drum roll please)…

1. Best Hotel : Hottel Panari, Nairobi, Kenya
2. Worst Hotel : Hotel No Name Arsi Negele, Ethiopia

3. Best Meal : All of the meals in Masala Chatt, Kampala, Uganda
4. Worst Meal : Cafe No Name, Arsi Negele, Ethiopia

5. Best Transport : Rwanda
6. Worst Transport : Burundi & the worst road in Africa from Dar es Salaam to Kilwa Masoko

7. Friendliest People : Kenyans
8. Not so Friendly People : None really in East Africa : Well done !

9. Best Value : Uganda
10. Worst Value : Rwanda

And last but by no means least…

11. Best Beer : Primus 720ml, Burundi.
12. Worst Beer : Not one – just warm beer !

And the most coveted award for biggest tosser goes to….

Mr. Matatu Driver in Kampala for laughing at the customers and ignoring their pleas to stop. To the point were this humble writer had to grab the driver of a moving vehicle in a very agressive way causing many screams and general mayhem in the process!!! I hope you are plagued by punctures the rest of your days.

muni

The Spice Islands

At 11 A.M.we looked out the fast ferry window as we docked in Stonetown. What I saw wasn’t the image of Zanzibar that springs to mind. Heavy rain pouring down outside. Dark, windy and wet. This is, after all, THE Spice Island. Steeped in Swahili history and we couldn’t wait to explore. Unguja is the Swahili name for the main island in the Zanzibar Archipelago to differentiate it from the other 50 or so islands. The island itself is largely known as Zanzibar.

We arranged a trip out to a spice farm for a morning. Fresh Nutmeg, Mace, Ginger, Pepper, Lemon Grass, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Vanilla and a variety of citrus all in abundance. Our guide took us on a walk that was an assault on the nostrils and taste buds. It was amazing to see how the various spices were grown and prepared. Cinnamon by far being the most delicious. A bloody good reason to lick a tree! Naturally, we purchased a selection of Zanzibar spices for shipment home.

After a few days we headed out to the east coast to Pongwe. Isolated, remote and very quiet. We were the only people staying at the Queen of Sheba Hotel. The manager, who had an uncanny resemblance to a chipmunk, liked to sing “Hakuna Matata” every twenty minutes. We christened him “Squirreller”. It was really nice to be on our OWN beach in Zanzibar. Just us and our singing Squirrel!!! This was where we met Luca.

1 Pongwe2 Pongwe3 Pongwe

A few days later we headed up north to Kendwa Beach. A good bit more touristy but increased bars and a good chance of a decent meal. This place is about as close to the quintessential white sands, turquoise water, tropical paradise you can get. We drank frosty ones, ate and slumbered well. Every day out on the beach roasting ourselves pink, floating to cool off and watching the most amazing colour intense sunsets. This is our seventh island to stay on before heading for Mozambique. They have islands too, many of them… I wonder how they’ll measure up.

1 Kendwa Beach2 Kendwa Beach3 Kendwa Beach

We also managed to head out to Prison Island. Just thirty minutes by small boat from Stonetown. In the very early 1900’s some English chappie built a prison and, for reasons I cannot remember, was never actually utilised as so. Instead it was used as a standby quarantine hospital for sea going folk on their way to the archipelago as bubonic plague was rife at the time. The main reason for going was the Giant Tortoises. Akin to those on the Galapagos Islands. Originally a gift from the Seychelles they are now protected. No longer stolen or eaten. Over 100 in all and the oldest at a staggering 185 years. It was truly a wonderful experience to sit with these, somewhat smelly and flatulent, tank-like behemoths.

1 Prison Island2 Prison Island4 Prison Island

muni

Luca Ole Kimaki

On a beach in Zanzibar I met a Masai Warrior called Luca. He is an Askari (security guard) in the hotel next door. I was exploring the palm lined beach and he stopped me to say hi. Him with the broadest brightest smile of all time. I liked him immediately.

We shook hands. Him clicking his index and thumb around my thumb. Africa is the land of a thousand different handshakes and this was a new one to me! We looked each other up and down. He was dressed in everything that you would expect. Me the epitome of a travelling beach bum. He had a great sense of humour and we talked about his 14 cows, wife and son and “Mzungu Music”. “I like Mzungu music” he says. Instantly pulling out his fake iPod phone and blasting out Elton John. Jaysus! We needed to have a conversation about this sad state of affairs and explained that auld Elton played for the other team.

Over the next two days Molly and I would go for a swim and inevitably I’d sneak off to hang out with Luca. Years ago I developed a fascination with tribes people thanks to my mate Fido as well as a healthy love of wildlife instilled by my father from a young age. So, meeting a Tuareg or a Masai are childhood dreams come true.

Red from head to toe draped in that typical Masai weave. Long braided waist length hair partly shaved on the side and back. Adorned with various beads and hand made jewellery. Holes in his ear lobes you could put your thumb through. A hand crafted weapon akin to a shillele on his leather belt along with his iPod phone and sandals made, expertly, from a motorbike “knobblie” tyre. Molly wanted to marry him. I wanted to bring him home to show him off. Just imagine him sitting there having a coke in the Grange ?!

2 Luca

One night I was telling him about Polar Bears. He’d never heard of them. He just couldn’t imagine one. So, geek that I am, I downloaded a picture of one to his phone. He was utterly amazed and couldn’t believe that it could be three times bigger than a Lion and twice as fierce. He had killed a Lion but was unsure of an adversary as formidable as a Polar Bear. I was completely enamoured by him and really enjoyed his company.

1 Luca

So, Lala Salama, Luca. Take care. I hope we meet again.

muni