Dar Es salaam, Tanzania
I squeezed myself into the economy seat of Kenya Airways with relief and ready to set the ball rolling to Dar es salaam.
The flight was rather short not what i expected for my first flight, nevertheless it was a nice first experience. I knew Dar es salaam is hot but i had not anticipated the intensity of the warmth, it was so hot that i sweat from my first to the last day in Dar which was three months in case you were wondering!
Got a cab at a the airport to drive me to UVIKIUTA in chamanzi where i was going to stay for three months. The first thing i noted was how friendly and calm the driver was not what am used to in Nairobi! He was asking for permission to do everything even changing the radio station, ‘naomba nikuwekee stationi nyingene dada’ from where i am from you are seldom asked. After a long drive and evading traffic jam we finally got to UVIKIUTA.
The place had an awe-inspiring natural scenery ever, a remote area with green fields, monkeys jumping and running and the blue sky made a combination that i felt something out of these world, i actually forgot about the hot weather for a moment!
As if the magical and enchanting beauty of the place was not enough, the welcoming cultural songs and dances left me in nostalgia. I am yet to explore beautiful places with beautiful people and so far in my small experience this was the most beautiful scenery.
I was among the first group to arrive as i was to join a group of 18 youths from four different nations i.e. Kenya, Tanzania,Mozambique and South Africa. The south Africans were the last group to arrive and my escapades begun at that point.
I visited several beaches but i was specially captivated by Bagamoyo Beach with narrow, unpaved streets, and sitting at the port watching dhows (ancient Arabic sailing vessels) get loaded. In the 19th century this is when the town was one of the most important settlements along the East African coast and the terminus of the trade caravan route linking Lake Tanganyika with the sea. Slaves, ivory, salt and copra were unloaded before being shipped.
Shopping at Msasani City Mall was my best place to shop, it made me feel home far away from home but with noticeable difference in almost everything, the service the shops the people and ooh they sell Tanzanite diamonds/jewelry at the mall!
Visit to Mikumi National Park
Well, if you are like me adrenaline filled adventure makes you tinkle pink with excitement!
Mikumi national park is a 3-4 hours drive from Dar es Salaam and it’s the 4rth largest national park in Tanzania with 32305 sq km. It’s set between Ulugura Mountains to the north and Rubeho mountains. Mikumi has an abundance of wildlife and richness in game.
My most vivid experience at Mikumi was watching hippos wallowing and snorting at a close range in a hippo pool, if one could freeze moments and unfreeze them as they may then this experience would be in the list!
Did you know lions could climb a tree? well they do at Mikumi shocking right? This was another ‘it’ moment for me especially because i was once advised to climb a tree if i got an encounter with a Lion because “lions can not climb a tree”!
To my fellow bird lover, Mikumi has over 400 spicies of birds and if you are lucky enough to visit between October-April you’ll be able to spot the Eurasian migrants like Red billed oxpeker and Lilac breasted roller!
Make a point of stopping by Mikumi National Park the next time you’ll be in Dar Es Salaam trust me, the visit will be worth your while.