Part 2 of my African Odyssey
  • Day16

    Arrived Lagos

    February 15, 2018 in Nigeria ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Bought a dress from the Kigali airport gift shop for Mama with my last Rwf and then ordered club sandwich and hot chocolate for breakfast paying with my GTB mastercard. Take off was smooth and on time finally arriving Nigeria at 12:30 pm.

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  • Day16

    Back to PH

    February 15, 2018 in Nigeria ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

    Immigration process was fast and the bags came out quickly. By 1:00pm I was alread out of the airport. I hailed an Uber which picked me up at the entrance to the new parking complex and took me to the Arik terminal at the old domestic airport, where I changed my 5:00pm flight to the 3:00pm flight for N8,210. Finally got home at 4:50pm.Read more

  • Day16

    Going home at last

    February 15, 2018 in Rwanda ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Alarm went off at 1:00am as planned, had a shower, packed all my stuff and ensured nothing was left behind. At 2:00am went down to the lobby to request for the airport drop off I had booked only to be told that the hotel vehicle has already gone to the airport but they would get me one of the car hires packed by the reception. The car hire expected me to pay the $30 I had agreed with the hotel but I refused and told him I can get Uber for Tsh 11,000 as such if he agrees $20 we can go. He said he had to check with the receptionist and went off to talk to him. I hailed an uber instead and got down from the car and when he came back I told him an Uber was coming for me but if he agrees to my $20 which I would pay in local currency I can cancel the Uber. The sharp guy agreed so I cancelled Uber and he took me to the airport where I paid Tsh 40,000.

    Check in was quick, flight left on schedule arriving Kigali earlier than expected.
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  • Day15

    Last Day

    February 14, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Valentine’s day. Negotiated with Ismail (Tsz 40,000) a nice Uber driver to take me on a drive around Dar-es-salaam for 3 to 4 hrs. The objective being to get a better view of the city, the good and the bad. It drizzled that morning. Our drive around started shortly after 10:00am, passed beside Uhuru monuments, went down town to where the city started from, viewing old Arab buildings, we also visited the Nyerere International Conference centre, the old parliament building, the Askari monuments, stopped at coco beach for a photoshoot, stopped over at airtel head quarters to enquire about One-Network voucher for recharging foreign airtel lines, was told this has been discontinued instead I should call for the voucher to be sent from the home country. Finally, we drove to the University of Dar-es-salaam, which is an old university established in the 60’s. University ground is very large with colleges far apart. On the way back to drop me off I suggested we have lunch in a traditional restaurant which turned out to be at Chef’s pride where I ordered Ughali with vegetable and beef in tomato source. This was the closest I had to naija swallow and was a welcome meal.

    After lunch I dispatched the Uber driver and walked 15mins to Kariakoo market to buy a traditional dress for Mama, after walking round for about an hour and not being able to locate anything unique to Tanzania, I gave up and walked to the supermarket at City Mall to buy Tanzanian candies, after which I walked back to the hotel.

    Had a quiet valentine’s dinner by the pool in the hotel, then went down to the reception to settle any outstanding bill (there was none) and reconfirm my airport drop off for 2 am the following morning.
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  • Day14

    Shopping

    February 13, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    The day didn’t start off as planned. The first Uber driver who accepted the tripped cancelled after wasting almost 30 minutes claiming traffic was too much en route to my hotel. I asked him to cancel the trip so I wouldn’t be charged Tsh 3,000 but he refused and ignored me, so I cancelled and immediately sent a message to Uber who responded quickly apologizing for the driver and ensuring I wasn’t unfairly charged. The second Uber driver called back after a short while claiming he had been held up by the police for not paying for something, he asked me to cancel the trip as it was within the 5min limit but when I checked it was 7 minutes so I asked him to reject it so I wouldn’t be charged which he did. The 3rd Uber driver came unfailing but alas I had already wasted 1hr+.

    My destination was Kariakoo Market, haven read a lot about the market being crowded and a heaven for pick pockets, I moved my wallet to my jeans front pocket and increased sensors on that region and frequently tapped my pocket or held it to ensure no hanky panky. Kariakoo market is very big with different sections. I started with the main building before going through the surrounding streets. Couldn’t really locate any cloth unique to Tanzania, tried negotiating a few materials but the language barrier was an issue so we resulted in pointing and pressing calculators.

    After about an hour I got a taxi to take me to Quality Centre, a shopping mall where I had launch first, ordering a banana porridge with mean. I was expecting our type of porridge but lo and behold what I was given was a starter like soup made from banana with pieces of meat inside. It tasted very nice but wasn’t going to hold my stomach walls apart, so I called the Indian supervisor who took my order and placed order for chips and chicken. The chicken was very deliciously grilled. After lunch I walked round the mall, found a souvenir shop where I bought an African print shirt for Tsh 35,000, with nothing else worth buying for the kids and folks at home I called for an Uber and proceeded to Mlimani mall which I had visited on the first day I arrived in Dar-es-salaam, there I was able to buy a couple of clothes at Splash for the kids spending a total of Tsh 340,000. After which I bought 3 pieces of chicken from KFC at Tsh 11,000 before calling for an uber to take me home.
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  • Day13

    Tour Of Dar-es-salaam

    February 12, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Got an Uber to pick me up at 10:00 am after breakfast. Destination was the National Museum & cultural house. The best part of the museum was the section that highlighted the discovery of skeletons of early man and chronicled the evolution of homosapien. A section of the museum also displayed the various cars used by the first president of the republic. In all it was an educative visit.

    Next I strolled down to the botanical garden which was next door, place looked very run down and not appealing from the main road so I didn’t bother to go in. After locating a supermarket and buying a refreshing soft drink I approached some local taxis to take me to the Village museum, but alas communication was a problem again, the drivers didn’t understand English, so I hailed Uber and was taken to the wrong village museum highlighted on the Uber map. After alighting and walking around and not being able to locate the museum, I eventually googled it and discovered its actual location and hailed another Uber driver.

    The village museum had several traditional houses from the different tribes in Tanzania, it was interesting to see how the various tribes built and arranged their houses, ranging from those built with mud to those built with sticks and twigs.

    From the village museum I proceeded to City mall (another Uber ride) to have lunch and then to the hotel to rest.

    At 8:00 pm I called an Uber to take me to Elements at Oyster bay for dinner. Elements was deserted so instead I asked the driver to drop me off at Mamboz Masaki. Had mashed potatoes which looked like strips from an ice cream machine with steak. Lovely dinner. Returned back to the hotel shortly after 11:00 pm.
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  • Day12

    Off to Dar-es-salaam

    February 11, 2018 in Tanzania ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Woke up shortly before 6:00 am which was my alarm setting, took a shower, packed my suitcase and checked round to ensure nothing was left behind. Had the tomatoes sandwich which was prepared for me the evening before with a can of zero sugar coke I had bought in Stone Town. Walked to the reception at 7:00 am prompt to meet the taxi man in his bus already waiting for me. Off we went to the airport close to stone town. The journey took about 1 hr 10 mins.

    Check in at Best Western CBD Dar-es-salaam was smooth, I requested for a room with a good view on the upper flour and was given 411. After 2 hrs I decided to go exploring,
    first port of call was City Mall. About 15 mins walk from my hotel, although I used an Uber. Mall is similar to Genesis Centre in Port Harcourt with small independent stores. Went up to the food court and had a meal of Mutton Briyani (beef and rice in a native port) with fresh mango juice.

    Thereafter I went off to Mlimani Mall which is on the outskirt of Dar-es-salaam. Mall is bigger than City Mall and more in line with The Palms in Lekki. After an extensive walk around, I decided to go watch a movie “Den of Thieves”, after the movie called for an Uber back to the hotel
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  • Day11

    Cycling Tour of Nungwi

    February 10, 2018 in Tanzania

    Woke up early to have breakfast and get ready for my Cycling adventure. At 8:45 am prompt, a representative from the cycling company was already waiting for me with a bike. We rode off into the morning breeze to his office located in Nungwi village, passing beside boat makers. The seat was a bit hard so I chose another bike with a padded seat. The fee for the cycling adventure was $30 but I negotiated a discount since it was going to be a large group of 19. I waited about 20 mins before a group of Denmark students joined and we then set off on a 12km ride.

    First stop was at a village with a cave. We explored the cave network looking at the stalagmite formations with the tour guide trying to show us animal shapes within it. There after we proceeded to a village to watch blacksmiths making nails after which we proceeded to a Portuguese ruin and then an underground freshwater pond which other group members dived into for a quick swim. I didn’t join the swimmers instead I stayed back with the tour guides who were washing and preparing various fruits for refreshment of the group. I drank coconut water and ate the soft coconut inside using a spoon fashioned from the coconut husk, thereafter I ate one of the giant mangoes.

    After the group had refreshed we started the ride back to Nungwi, after a few meters, I knew I wasn’t up to the strenuous ride back, fortunately the tour guy on a motor cycle coming behind stopped and asked me to give the back to one of his colleagues and join him on the motor bike, that was how I was saved and whisked back.

    Had fish Pilau lunch as Coco bean and retired to the beach to read and later settled my outstanding bill since I was leaving early. The outstanding bill came up at Tsh 40,000

    At 8:30 pm I called the the taxi man I had negotiated with earlier to come take me to Kendwa Rock for the beach party. Paid Tsh 15,000 as entrance fee and had an expensive buffet dinner of Tsh 25,000 for chicken and rice and Tsh 8,000 for Kilimanjaro beer.
    There were very few mainly Muzungus in the venue so at 10:00 pm I called the taxi man to come pick me and lo and behold the venue came alive as dancers came on stage starting with a Michael Jackson imitator who danced quite well, this was followed by a cultural group dancing to African beats and then a two-lady hip-hop dance team. These acts were rotated until I eventually left at about 10:45 pm when they all came on stage for a final dance. In all it was a good outing. I got back to the hotel shortly after 11:00 pm.
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  • Day10

    Beach Day

    February 9, 2018 in Tanzania

    Had breakfast on my porch. Basic continental breakfast nothing fanciful but ok. Spent the rest of the morning up to 1:00 pm on the beach enjoying the cool breeze, serenading fellow beach guest with quality naija music, while looking out for dolphins and whales through my binoculars. One bad belle muzungu summoned the courage after a few hours to ask me to lower the volume of my naija vibes, being a gentle naija man I obliged him. One muzungu babe came to ask me what I was looking out for with the binoculars and I told her and she wanted to know if I have seen any yet?

    Went for late lunch at coco bar & restaurant down the beach at about 4:00 pm. Had delicious beef pilau with rice

    Slept till about 10:00 pm after, tried going out to Cholo where I am told there is usually a party but everywhere looked dead and deserted so I decided to stay back safely in the hotel
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  • Day9

    Off to the Beach Resort at Nungwi

    February 8, 2018 in Tanzania

    Finally it was time to leave Stone Town and head to the beach resort village of Nungwi. Due to the Swahili challenge I had grabbed my new friend Eddy (my tour guide) to help me negotiate for a taxi to transport me from Stone Town to Nungwi. The hotel was charging $50 (Tsh 111,000) for this which as an experienced Supply Chain Professional was a ripoff. I gave him the mandate and a price threshold of Tsh 50,000 and he delivered.

    After a quick breakfast I headed off to change $200, found a bureau de change which exchanged at Tsh 2,230 to $ 1. Once again I had a wallet full of Tanzanian bank notes.
    At 10 am prompt I checked out, paid an extra bill of $33 to cover lunch on the 1st day, laundry and tourism tax and off we went in a 7 seater bus.

    The journey was smooth, no traffic, road out of stone town had pot holes and was bumpy, we passed a few police check points, policemen wear white and stand by the side of the roads, no barricades on the road like naija police. We weren’t stopped at any point. We had to stop at one point to wait for a big mango tree to be cleared from the road by the authorities before continuing.

    Trip to Nungwi took approximately 1hr 15mins. Flame Tree Cottages where I was staying had an exotic look African look and feel. I was assigned to my private bungalow with a veranda in front where breakfast is served each morning, a small sitting room with no TV but has a table, long chair and a fridge and opens up to a bed room with a big poster bed with mosquito nets draped around it. Furniture were basic to give the traditional African look, had an AC which wasn’t coming on, so I called the maintenance people who fixed it promptly. Bathroom had a mud wall finishing even though it was modern plastering made to look like a mud wall. In all it was a nice room.

    The resort is located just by the beach, I had lunch overlooking the beach and then strolled down before returning to the room.

    In the evening I invoked my good friend Google Maps and we went out looking for Nungwi Supermarket which surprisingly was just a 5 min walk from the cottage. I stocked up on water and some small bites, finally off t the beach strolling past several lodges and hotels. Beach was busy mainly with Muzungus (Oyibos). Finally ordered takeaway BBQ fish, chips & rice. A good 1st day at the resort.
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