Home/2008 photos/Africa/Tanzania

After our safari adventure we made our way North for a few days of relaxation We were always a little undecided about whether we should head up to East Africa or not. The reason to go was to visit Rwanda and the Mountain Gorillas. After hearing Mandy talk about how special the experience was and not being sure whether we’d make it back to Africa anytime soon, we tried hard to keep it in our itinerary. It was the typical case of “while you’re there...” and we got suckered into the allure. So, with the decision to head up to Rwanda made, we decided on a few days of rest on the way there. Zanzibar seemed like the perfect place. We wanted someplace where we could just hang out and the white sand beaches and laid back attitude sounded perfect. Besides, everyone says “you’ll love Zanzibar.” Unfortunately, we didn’t. Which is not to say that it’s a bad place. Really, it is probably fine. But, we arrived after more than 24 hours of traveling, my luggage was lost along the way, and they had no electricity when we arrived. The whole island had been without power for a week (and would remain without electricity for over a month because of a fault in an under-sea power cable). Our hotel ran a generator for a few hours a day, but being just prior to the high season, the hotel was rather empty (we were actually the only guests) so they were hesitant to spend too much money on our needs.. We stayed in the Northern part of the island, in the town of Nungwi, listed as the second-largest town outside of Zanzibar town, but was little more than a small village. The beach was OK but many of the locals were desperate for sales so took to continually offering us their wares and services. We weren’t interested in crafts or sailing excursions or snacks. We just wanted to relax. My baggage did arrive so we took a day to retrieve it and explore Zanzibar town which was interesting but we found it to be in quite a state of disrepair. We were amazed by the dilapidated state of the Sultan’s Palace and other attractions and wondered whether the region was being negatively impacted by the heightened unrest (terrorist activities, political unrest, etc.,). All-in-all we were not thrilled with our stay but it did provide the desired respite from the rigorous (not!) travels we had been having to date. We finished our trip with a couple of days in Dar Es Salaam (an extended stay thanks to Kenya Airways..). We found Dar Es Salaam to be an interesting city that was interesting to walk around but we didn’t invest too much time in getting to know it as we already had our thoughts on the next leg of our journey.