The 5 reasons you should zip line in Zambia

A good amount of adrenaline is good for the soul. It can help part of your body to function more effectively. The heart will beat faster and the lungs will breathe better. Some activities do guarantee a good dose of adrenaline. How many of us are willing to have that ‘rush’?

I have heard of experienced travelers who still get chills before a flight. Does this mean you can never get used to some dangerous activities? I do feel a rush of adrenaline before a flight too. Some people struggle with vivid imaginations taking away the fun from certain activities.

Thinking about the zip line itself gives me some chills. The feeling is worse when you read about personalities like Robert Cadman. He met his death when his rope snapped. History says that this happened when he was descending from Shrewsbury’s St Mary’s church. Thanks, Cadman, for making things worse for scared kitties like us.

I acknowledge the fear attached to such thrilling activities like zip lining. I recently found some good reasons you should try this in Zambia. Try this because:

It is ideal for beginners: I want to progress to the intermediate level. This will give me proper reasons to do the zip line in places like South Africa. The Oribi Gorge zipline for example happens to be the longest in South Africa! Plus, it ranked one of the highest in the world! That’s a full dose of adrenaline right there.

Doing the zip line in Zambia will give beginners or “scared kitties ” a quick opportunity to experience this activity. I tried it using a company called Abseil Zambia. They were the perfect company to help adventurers who fall in my category.

The Oribi Gorge zip line is said to be about 400 meters deep and 5 kilometers wide. No beginner even wants to think along those lines. That is way outside my league! It sounds like an impossibility.

Doing the zip line in Zambia will give confidence to beginners. There are points to do the zip line from. I was lucky to find a spot that was 135 meters across the canyon and about 75 meters over the ground. Beginners in these thrill games should consider zip lining in Zambia.

Affordable: Some tourists say South Africa has cheaper rates for zip-lining activities than Zambia. The standard tourist rate for this activity is around 50 dollars. This is one of the few activities with a lower price given to local tourists.

Activities like bungee jumping are the same for both locals and international visitors. I had 25 dollars on me. The hostel I was at connected me to Abseil Zambia for the zip-lining activity. This is for local tourists and am sure it sounds unfair. I was happy to enjoy the low price.

Doing the same activity on the Zimbabwean side with Falcon Safaris would be about 87 dollars. The measurements of the gorge on this side are 425 meters in length and 120 meters above the river Zambezi. It looks like the longer and deeper the gorge is, the more expensive the zip line activities.

Safe: Safety before the adventure is important. There is no need to put spontaneity before our five senses. I had been researching thrilling activities. Bungee jumping appears to be at a higher level of risk. If the rope snaps in both activities, that would be terrible. It appears there have been more accidents while bungee jumping than zip lining.

https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-01-17-teen-relives-two-hour-ordeal-dangling-165m-above-oribi-gorge/

https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/Africa-Monitor/2012/0109/Oh-snap!-Bungee-jumper-plunges-into-Zambezi-River-at-Victoria-Falls

I tried monitoring the equipment with an eagle’s eye. Everything appeared safe to me. I noticed there was a concrete slab next to the part of the gorge you take off.

I didn’t want others to get the impression that I freaked out. I asked if I could inspect the pulleys and harness for my peace of mind. They appeared safe but then again one can never be too sure. Things looked good but I still must have sent the message I was still scared.

One of the staff members there suggested doing a duo. This would help get the chills off my case. Long story short, I felt confident. No one wants to die alone and that is if death is ever scheduled.

When you drive to the place where you zip line, you will notice that they place safety first. I saw some signposts that promote the safety of others. looking around before my activity gave me confidence. Their equipment looked on point and safe. Plus, death has this bad habit of not knocking on your door first. I must say the safe instruments here would not be to blame for anything.

Free transport: We love freebies. Transport costs can be low but sometimes high depending on how far you are going. The distance to the gorge is dependent on where you are staying. Some hotels and hostels could be too far from the gorge. This would attract a larger fee for transport. It’s worse when you are in a larger group that needs a larger vehicle or more than one to get you there.

I thought because I was the only one who signed up for the activity, I would have to find my way. but that wasn’t the case. I got picked up. Since it appeared funny to sit alone behind a safari van, I sat in front.

Supportive staff: This adventure was worthwhile because of the supportive staff. The driver was flexible. He did not show signs I inconvenienced him. There are places on the way to the gorge which were beautiful.

I asked to view these these places. I didn’t take up too much of his time. We saw a group of elephants cooling off at the Maramba River. I was also wowed by the Zambezi River and refreshed there. I thanked the driver for this.

The other staff member who was supportive was the one helping with the zip-lining. He boosted my confidence by trying it out with me. He did this because he noticed I had feared.

Do try out all these thrilling activities in Zambia.

Appreciating African Artwork

I took my love for art to another level by identifying a student of mine who is so gifted I couldn’t ignore this. I recently got rid of old art (gave them out) I had and started a new collection. I hired my student to do some art pieces for me because she was not that expensive. Her prices are affordable compared to those from a fancy shopping mall. Unlike the previous paintings I usually request, these had one theme, Africa. These lovely paintings my student did scream Africa and I love them.

Art is fluid. I am not quite sure I have met anyone that looks like the women in these pictures. This is what someone thought of so it’s good enough for me. This was a set and my student charged me about 24 dollars for these. That is not the price you will find them,especially as a tourist.

I found myself at it again. I was travelling and this time not so far off. I went to the southern parts of the country. It’s amazing what kind of art was there!

Artists use their emotions, beliefs, and senses to come up with fine art. Some have defined art as something that the imagination and skill have come up with. This imagination and skill express ideas or feelings. I was willing to take a tour and appreciate what runs through some African artists’ heads.

It is out there that there are many types of art the main types being visual, literary, and performing arts. This tour I took showcases the first mentioned type of art and that is visual. The other type was instruments used in performing arts.

Where to find these art stands I went south of Zambia and decided a tour to and around these markets was in order. I have seen some locals and tourists admire these pieces. The reason some tourists can’t buy loads of art from these stands is because they have to travel light. Some have to move from country to country. You will find this art in some hotels and one place that has a variety of art is Mukuni Park Curio Market. So let’s see what I found and that you and I must appreciate as it was someone’s well-thought-out idea.

The art you are likely to find is:

1) Art you can wear

Fashion is subjective, sometimes. As we travel and also depending on countries’ rules and laws about fashion, we can wear what we want. It is important to study your environment beforehand so you don’t offend anybody there.

Speaking of my homeland, Zambia, you could wear what is a thing and we love to see you dress like us. On this trip, I happened to meet an American who has some work to do here. They wore an African-themed shirt and it made me ask about where they got it. They said they got the material and made it themselves!! If you can’t beat us, do join us.

Our materials known as Chitenge can sometimes have way too many colours on one piece. When picking mine, I am usually mindful of my skin tone so I don’t have to look like a psychedelic disco ball!

My suggestion is you try getting pieces of material with only two colors. You could get these for about 10 to 13 dollars for 6 meters. Find a good tailor whilst you are at it. Tailors would charge you about 7 to 10 dollars or more. You could pay more depending on how complicated the pattern of your outfit is. You could also use the fabric as a wrapper, the way African ladies would do it.

You will find plain material or already-made products from materials like side bags, aprons, men’s shirts, bottoms, baby bags and to add a bit of attitude, there is nothing wrong with adding some Jewelry to go with your outfit. Again, these come in many colors and you don’t want to be twinning with the rainbow so pick wisely and rock that African outfit like a local!

You may ask yourself what to wear on your feet. Men could wear smart kinds of shoes. Try ditching the sneakers and hiking boots. Another look for a guy would be to wear black or brown trousers. Wear your chitenge shirt, smart trousers and one of these slippers. For the ladies, these slippers are a biggie. The slippers make any African outfit look good.

2) Art to display in homes, offices or hotels

There is no need to buy big displays as a tourist. You can get miniature versions of some of the cool stuff I found.

I have seen some five-star franchise hotels here with African themes. They have displayed tasteful items like handwoven grass basket plates and mats. Some decorative storage containers are made from wood and coated with varnish. This is also true for what I found out were chairs carved in the form of different animals.

Your hotel or temporary apartment in Zambia could use a facelift. Slap the walls with some African-themed paintings. Some artists transformed wire into a baobab tree. Cute.

3) Art for other uses

There was art of all sorts. Two major ones are already mentioned. Some belonged to a different category. We all know that when the weather is so cold, we get cracked feet. To help stop or reduce that, some use these stones when showering. The stones help so that cracks don’t look dirty. After that, It is necessary to add lotion to stop that.

I also noticed that the elderly were also catered for. If you can’t afford a walker for the old, why not try our walking sticks which come with different designs.

Walking sticks

I even saw some art that fell in the category of entertainment. This is a headgear worn by the Ngoni tribe of Zambia. You place it on your head as a crown and it can be used at dance events. I doubt it’s a big deal if you wore it to feel like a part of this tribe. I have worn it before at a hotel I watched the Ngoni dancers’ boogie.

Crowns

The two other pieces of artwork fell in the entertainment category. These were African drums and the chess board. I play the drums at the intermediate level because I am low-key musical, lol! I had to leave this market.

Before I left, I realized the chess board had pieces that looked far from the king, queen, bishop, knight, pawn, and rook. Believe me, I didn’t have enough time to ask what these African pieces were. I wondered if there were other African rules in this game, lol!

Awesome Southern African cities you should visit in 2023 (Part 2)

The last time I filled you in on which cities you shouldn’t leave Southern Africa without seeing, I did mention that it’s good I have had to learn about my bucket listed cities via blog posts, TV and the like and that without them, I would not even know about certain parts of the world I desire to travel to. Today I am so geared to share with you the other cities around Southern Africa you should visit in 2023 or later. I was happy to have shared on why you should visit cities like Livingstone, Walvis Bay, Cape Town, Dar es salaam and Swakopmund. If this list didn’t make you start your travel plans, I hope to do a good job making you try out the following towns:

1) Mombasa (Kenya)

I once mentioned how Kenya is like literally the epitome of Africa.Very few humans could actually not have coastal cities as their ideal hide out or hangout place. Both the areas in and near Mombasa have a touristic touch but if not a tourist, you will still love Mombasa anyways. This city is known for its history and you could enjoy going down the history lane whilst admiring the Old Town which was the center for trade between the Africans and the Arabs.

Do stop over at Fort Jesus as well on your history tour and learn more there. It is tradition to take pictures of landmarks, so Pembe Za Ndovu should never be left behind without showing some love because this is like the face of Mombasa!

2) Stone Town (Zanzibar)

It’s good to be old school sometimes and seek the things of old. Stone Town is just perfect for this kind of vibe, l mean the place screams ‘history!’ The town has old structures rich in history. Visit the Old Fort of Zanzibar sometimes called The Arab Fort which is right in the heart of Stone Town close to lots of accomodation choices ranging from hostels to 5 star hotels. You will find some local entertainment going on there to keep your spirits up.

Stone Town is the starting point for the refreshing day trips to Prison Island, Nakupenda Island and indeed many other places I did not see. If you happen to be a food lover (especially one in love with seafood and Indian food), Stone Town will just do it for you! I found lots of restaurants and certainly enjoyed the ones I picked.

3) Lusaka (Zambia)

Not that the town is not that touristic but i have met many a traveller that aren’t that into touristic stuff yet travelling. Some travellers like this could enjoy many places in Lusaka like Trotover Farms for those into horses and enjoy some horse riding .

Lusaka boasts some game reserves and you don’t have to go so far off to have a safari experience and the perfect place for this would be Chaminuka Game Reserve which is close to the main airport and do enjoy watching animals.

Restaurants are also an ideal fun place especially for your taste buds. We have restaurants in the likes of Bombay Lounge, Keg restaurant and bar, Radisson Blu Hotel, The Quorum Hotel, Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, for those who like to keep it fancy. Aside all these activities are others like the night life if that is your thing.

4) Windhoek (Namibia)

Namibia’s capital, Windhoek is a must-go. The city is calm, busy on some days and ideal for a short city getaway. There are historic landmarks like the Christuskirche i found which is the face of Windhoek. So much history attached to this structure! Other structures that captured my attention were the Independence Memorial Museum that focuses on struggle for independence. The museum is very close to the Christuskirche and could be seen in one tour.

I liked Windhoek for its affordable but neat accommodations. There are lots of shopping malls that offer lots of convenience. I loved the drive on the elevated pieces of land in certain parts of the city which was an opportunity to view the city from a better angle.

5) Kasane and Maun (Botswana)

There are many people I have asked about what one could do in Botswana and often times the replies make it appear like there isn’t really much one could do there. Maybe there is a reason some say so but I doubt the two towns Kasane and Maun would agree to that and am thinking so long there is a desert in the country, should be a reason for it to qualify as a place for people like me.

Kasane is a small border town in Botswana that offers the Chobe Safaris. These are famous safaris even on the Zambian side as you will find many Zambian tour companies offering day or more than a day trips to these national parks. This place I must say is elephant territory so you might want to watch out for these big fellows. I saw lots of those and other animals as well like the Impala family.

There are few cheap flights you could find from Kasane to Maun and back and this could give you the opportunity to see the lovely Okavango Delta from above that looks especially incredible!

These are the towns in Southern Africa that you should find a reason to visit.

Trotover Farm’s horse trail tour

I woke up feeling so sophisticated and thought to myself what could enhance this feeling more than a horse ride. I wanted a getaway and be lost in nature so I packed my small bag and off I went to a farm called Trotover Farm which is also known as Trotover Equestrian Center.

There is no harm in going to a horse riding school and after the experience I had, I guess am revisiting my hobbies, wink wink.

The whereabouts of the farm

Planning on visiting Zambia and short of what to keep you refreshed?You could try this activity out just for the fun of it or as a set of lessons. This place is just a 50 minute drive from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (LUN) and it will be cheaper if you got yourself a local sim card and downloaded an app called Yango so you enjoy cheaper taxi services but if that is a hustle, ask a nice person from the airport with this app on their phone to order a taxi for you.

I was not coming from the airport of course and my only challenge was the farm was showing on Google maps but not on the taxi app which made me enter on the app a nearby place to the farm then got on another private taxi which charged me more for such a short distance but anywho, I didn’t care cos it’s horses I was gonna be riding right? I forgot about the annoying taxi experience.

I did enjoy quite a bit of riding before in a small town called Chingola at a small ranch with fewer horses than these.

Me with Perle in Chingola

Arrival

For every service you get, so long you paid for it, you expect good to excellent services from staff and I must say I found a helpful person in charge who assisted with locating of the place on phone when I couldn’t find it. He, together with other members of staff had smiling faces as they cleaned up the stables and I stopped over for a short walking tour near the front area of the farm’s reception just to see what it was about.

The horse trail

I could see some poster asking for respect from the public that this was private property and that no dogs or children under 4 years were allowed. By it saying ‘clients only’ must have meant that they usually received unwanted guests. The helpful staff was there explaining to me few things about their horses but the one question I asked was whether it was easy to distinguish between a young horse and an older one. I was told that,”You can just tell.” I proceeded to the stables that had the older ones and yes, I can’t just put my finger on it but I could tell age was catching up with these horses.

After checking out the tired horses, the helper at the farm brought two white horses. They looked like twins except one had longer mane than the other. I chose Jumbo for that. We headed out of the front of the farm using a short route that had leaves falling all over until Jumbo and I headed to a small slop I heard fills up with water in the wet season. I wished I came with company but so what if I do solo chronicles?

Jumbo was calm, friendly and because the only company I had was the guide who knew the trail, I got to learn a sound he kept making trying to communicate with his horse and I picked up on it to connect with Jumbo.

I am no horse expert but I must say I love animals and connecting with Jumbo was no biggie. I have had friends that have had bad experiences with horses even as experts but I didn’t wanna dwell on that and ruin my chances of a peaceful ride with Jumbo in this trail.

After about a good 15 minutes we got to a place which was dotted with some slim trunked trees stretching over a large area and I wish I had recorded the music provided by the birds there. I bet Jumbo was also enjoying this too. The trail wasn’t so defined but clear enough to show there were more trees ahead of us. At one point, I noticed Jumbo was distracted by the grass when we paused for a bit. It was time for free tasting for him.

Jumbo and I enjoyed some slightly hilly spots as well as few depressed ones and I am happy to say he was good at what he was doing. I noticed when we get to these two places, it’s as if he would slow down and think how best he would handle these spots. Smart huh…..

By the time we finished our loop it was almost two hours and this must have been about 8 km to 10 km. I believe we could have gone further but that was where my 13 dollars ended and was already held up for the afternoon.

When I said my byes to the staff, I noticed some drawings of horses on the walls that are coming up quite well and I should be back here to see how they finish and the other was the quote hanging on the wall that I couldn’t agree more to but this ride was actually refreshing and made me reconsider my hobbies. Riding is actually good for the soul and should you be on this side of Zambia, do try this farm out and pass my regards to Jumbo.

Don’t do what I did

Not to brag but I could tell Jumbo was a calm horse and was about no funny business so I tried this ride with no protective gear on my head but I feel it’s important to wear one. The place did actually offer one and I wanted it in pink because it’s one of my fav colors but unfortunately the only pink one available couldn’t fit and I chose fashion over safety and crossed my fingers. Luck was on my side.

Nungwi to Kendwa beach hike and everything beautiful in between

How it looked on map😁

I have always been mistaken to belong to a younger generation than the one I belong to. In some cultures this is a good thing while in some, it’s quite a challenge because people judge you based on your body size. I applaud those that watch their weight by checking what food contains religiously but that has never been my thing. What has helped me is exercise.

Being a high school teacher, I have sometimes been mistaken to be a recent allumni because well …. some people think that way, not because I still get in touch with my teen self when working with teens at times but because they think I look young. But what has really helped me stay forever 21 in this confused world of stresses?

So basically, this is the thing: though a teacher, I have taken sport seriously. I have always started aerobics and tennis in schools I have been attached to. I have also always been involved in athletics with the teenagers I teach just to lead by example so to me exercise must be doing some wonders!

I would rather work out than diet🥺

When in my personal space without these teenagers I see everyday, I still take long walks mostly around my neighbourhood, which brings me to this beach hike I did in Zanzibar from Nungwi to Kendwa and back to Nungwi and you have got to see the beautiful things I saw!

I boasted an 8km in a day dedicated to beach side hike because the first 4km was done in the morning and I spent the afternoon going back to point A. This walk was not about the speed but the soothing effect of everything I saw in between. Naturally, for experienced walkers, this was supposed to take a total of 2 hours.

I started off with my pink Nike backpack loaded with nothing much but some swim wear cos I knew I would need cooling off somewhere ahead. I packed myself some ‘chewies’ to go. I didn’t carry a water bottle, I knew I would find H2O ahead.

Point 1 : Starting points

Starting point 1

I wanted my starting point to be so clear this was some serious walk and I meant business! The two places that marked my start were Makofi Guest House (Where I took a deep breath knowing I would be back in the evenings) and by another place with a poster you can only find in Nungwi. The beauty with this walk is that I had company and so I was more motivated than if I did this solo.

Like I mentioned before about not ageing, staying young has got to do with attitude as well as “loving what we do and doing what we love” just like the relaxing words I found at the start point of my hike. You will stay young when you do what you love and learn to love what you do. This happens because it keeps you smiling and a smile makes you look younger.

Starting point 2: Makofi Guest House

We walked for about twenty more minutes for the other signature start point I wanted which was the “Hakuna Matata welcome again ” sign post. This sign post spoke the truth to me as this was my second visit to Nungwi, Zanzibar. Again, I fell in love with this sign post because it spoke truth. Many would know this phrase from the legendary cartoon Lion King and this phrase means “no worries” in the swahili language. The reason people think am forever 21 is because I always stay away from worries. I look it in the eye but I get rid of it. I also almost all the time avoid toxic people unless there is really nothing I can do to avoid them.

Point 2: Aren’t horses the cutest?!

We continued walking for a good two hours. Not rushing much caused us to appreciate the turquoise waters of Nungwi! This was a long stretch of beauty only to bump into more of what nature can offer. Horses! I even remembered that the day before this hike, I went to the stables at Zanzibar Horse club in Nungwi and met a cutie called Oreo.

Maybe one of these horses we saw was Oreo at work but it was kinda nice to see horses on water! The two hours paid off obviously. It was clearly time to take pics. The horses looked at peace on duty and cooling off. This reminded me how we should stay calm even in adversity if you want to avoid those wrinkles. Focus on positives.

Oreo

Point 3: The cave lady

After a good time horse viewing, we enjoyed a stretch of nothingness except her majesty, the Indian Ocean.

After about an hour or so, we found a rocky, cave-like area. These caves must be formed by water from the ocean and its force. We paused.

When I saw these caves, I was reminded how caves are actually home to a number of animals and if this was the northern parts of the globe, I was gonna be talking bear stories. We don’t have them on this side of the globe. Nonetheless, caves are a refuge for some creatures and going back to keeping fit and staying young, we all need a refuge when down. The other reason I have also been mistaken to belong to the younger generation is because I have mastered where to go for refuge. When I feel down, I know what to do to snap out of it or go through it but feel safe and rested. I have surrounded myself with people with the right energy and sometimes like an eagle, I have sometimes shut some toxic people out so I energize.

Point 4: No place like home

No matter how much fun you are having away from home, the thought of your home country will cross your mind. After leaving the caves, we were at it again. This next spot felt lonely. We were in the middle of nowhere except for the ocean. I thought of back home.

I missed home but I had something on me reminding me of who I am, Zambian. I have had my flag for a long time now and always find a reason to carry it. You will stay younger when you know who you are and quit being like someone else.

Point 5:Pirate lady

I was exhausted and decided to take a dip in the shallow end of the ocean. The swim wear came in handy. Getting to Kendwa is all I could think of. I heard this was also a cool place where full moon parties are held every month! I shook off the feelings of missing home and decided why not pretend to be a pirate girl on this dhow that I saw. I needed to feel powerful to finish this exhausting walk. Sometimes pretending to be okay is okay and may actually cause you to be okay because your focus is on the positives.

Ahoy!

Point 6: Unfinished buildings

At this point, it was too late to give up on getting to Kendwa. We knew we were close but no sign of it was showing except for the unfinished building on water that was coming up which reminded me that keeping our hopes and faith high can sometimes drive out some negativity which you know will make you experience ageing. A stone throw away from this building was some art I found being sold and just looking at this art was quite refreshing. Always look at the big picture and brighter side to stay young.

Point 7: Kendwa, we are here!!

Because of the faith we had, we finally made it 4 kms to Kendwa! I really wished those much talked about full moon beach parties where happening this night because I was gonna stay at the beach overnight, lol! I saw the sign posts showing us we were in Kendwa and this is where I went into the ocean to cool off a second time. I have learned that finishing small tasks that you can handle is quite fulfilling. The feeling of accomplishment can be found even in the least challenging things like this hike but they do keep you in high moods and looking young.

And the truth is Kendwa does rock!☺️

6 Zanzibar restaurants you should try out in 2023

Zanzibar and her sunsets

We travel for different reasons and one of these reasons are for the experience, food wise. Some people have selective taste buds while others choose to be adventurous and expose their mouths to much. It’s okay to be traditional but when you feel daring to do exotic foods, try out these eateries that will make you appreciate these foods.

One of the most captivating and serene African islands you will fall in love with is Zanzibar. There is lots you are gonna see but definitely lots to eat too. If you love dining out like I do, why not try out one of these:

1) Mangi Beach Bar and restaurant (in Nungwi)

The outside of Mangi Beach Bar and Restaurant

I wanted to know a bit more of Zanzibar than just its popular center which is Stone Town. I chose to do a day in the north of the Island. Having met some cool people that also wanted to head there, I tagged along. We had transport and just put some fuel and off we went. From Stone Town, it took us like one hour to get to the north of the Island. Have you ever been determined to have a meal with a view? Someone did alert me how the northern parts of Zanzibar particularly Nungwi are home to turquoise waters and I wanted to experience this. We started off at about 9 O’clock and got there at close to 11.

You are gonna love this restaurant for its views and outdoors (provided it’s not pouring). I particularly liked the pine trees am guessing I didn’t mistake for coconut trees. The other thing you may like is how there is provision for you to enjoy your own space or chill with others. This is not a restaurant you should go to on a date and dress to kill…. in heels…nop. There is beach sand and I think you now know what your dress code should be, should you find yourself on a special date. I loved their wide selection on their menu but my focus was more on my favorite mashed potatoes with chicken stir fry. Yummy…Their pizza is actually delicious.

2) Wild Dove Cafe (in Nungwi)

Now some restaurants in Zanzibar are well known and have a large following. For Wild Dove Cafe in Nungwi, I can’t say that is the case. It is an upcoming restaurant that I see making it big should they continue with the meals I found. The place itself is nothing too fancy and you find it near Highland Bungalows in Nungwi.

You will like this place for the fair prices. It is found just in the dusty small roads of Nungwi so I guess no charging high prices here for things like views. I must say I had at least two to three good meals here and this was enough times to recommend others to give it a try. Their menu had burger, in curry, grilled and fried selection. There was pasta and noodle selection as well. That wasn’t all. They also made sure to cater for those that do desserts.

3) Zenjis Food Lover’s Joint (in Stone Town)

This restaurant is one of the most popular ones on the island. I particularly liked the location. Sometimes we don’t want to go so far in the outskirts to have that meal with a view. It’s okay to be within reach.

The maze streets of Stone Town

This restaurant is found in the heart of Stone Town. As you enjoy walking through the maze streets of Stone Town trying to find your way around, you will find this restaurant. I had a meal here that has made me recommend this restaurant to others. The setting of the restaurant is more like outdoor with a gazebo and well arranged tables.

Zenji Food Lover’s Joint Restaurant

I had company and opted to try seafood. I am a sucker for well done spicy, fluffy mashed potatoes. Knowing very well I come from a landlocked country and seafood is sold but not the one fresh from the ocean, I ordered some prawns. They were one of the most fresh prawns I have ever tasted.

The food, I must say, was well prepared and we were surrounded by helpful staff willing to give help at our request. Whenever you are in Stone Town, do try out this restaurant.

4) Lukmaan (in Stone Town)

Another restaurant I heard people talk much about was Lukmaan restaurant found in the heart of Stone Town. It is highly rated and boasts the best local, dining experience award in previous years. I enjoyed two meals there. This place was packed both times I went there which can only mean that many find it a perfect dine in pick.

I wanted to try out seafood because it is actually expensive back home! I particularly loved their succulent prawns that were slapped with some salad. The restaurant has wide variety on the menu: Arabic food, fish, all sorts of seafood and pizza. The price range of food on their menu is from about 50 cents for the naan to about $15.

5) New Monsoon Restaurant

Walking around in Stone Town, I did find a restaurant just close to where I lodged. The New Monsoon Restaurant it was. It was beautiful inside out. You can dine from the outside or inside but with the scotching heat of the Island, I chose to sit outside. The view you have sitting outside is that of people walking down the paved roads. In the evening, you could catch a glimpse of street markets and ocean view. Forgive me for my love for mashed potatoes but I was at it again. The chicken mishkaki went perfectly with it. They made sure the salad was fresh and colourful. I tried looking for something to wash this food down and Indian Whiskey was just perfect.

New Monsoon Restaurant (Outside)

Should you be in Stone Town, Zanzibar for whatever reasons, do stop by because this place prides itself with the ability to offer multi cuisine, Indian and Indo Chinese food created at high standards.

6) The Silk Route (in Stone Town)

I felt like Indian food and because this place was just a stone throw away from where I lodged, trying it out was easy and it actually felt like visiting India! What I liked first about this restaurant was the view when on the next floor. You could see parts of the ocean and the busy town of Stone Town and am guessing it’s more heavenly in the evenings! The theme colors inside were orange, brown and cream.

The beauty about having someone to dine with was cost sharing which leads to having what we desired to have like….wait for it…lobster!!! It was my first experience and I didn’t regret it a single bit. It came with potato wedges and a salad. The second time around, I got rice and some beef stew which was medium hot spiced. Tasty! This restaurant has a wide selection on their menu and if you have a 15 cents to $20 on you, you could walk out of this place with a smile.

99 Countries in 9 months or 9 countries in 9 years?

I enjoyed the journey of painting not the final look

I am ashamed of this painting even though it is part of my collection and this is for two reasons. Firstly, it’s because I didn’t use much inspiration to paint it. I just thought of it and painted it. I am not quite sure this kind of flower exists. Secondly, I am extremely far from what you call an artist but I really love, love, love art! I must admit that though the result of this painting is something I am ashamed of, the actual process was really so soothing that it is the reason I have treasured this piece.

Every time I look at it, I always remember a quote by Greg Anderson that goes like, “Focus on the journey not the destination, joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” Very wise words from Greg that I wanna use to air out my views on why we travel to countries as opposed to what our motives are in how many counties we should travel to for the sake of keeping count.

In this day and age, travellers want to be known for so many countries they have been to but as a traveller who has done few countries many times, my question has been why one would pride in number of countries even if they just spent a night in that country.

Where am I going with this? The thing is this one time my week at work was so hectic and life of a teacher can be that way at times.I felt my mind protest that it just ground to a halt and I set off to a place I usually called my chill spot. This place is called Glamville and offers a variety of services ranging from spa to scrumptious food.

A plant would look good here

This one time I decided to do the ‘Paint and Sip’ treat from the same place. I was given a blank canvas and then remembered I had a mini obsession for black and white paintings.

Since my mind was tired, I looked at the canvas and figured what could be more refreshing than a plant.

Coming back to travel lovers, this idea of a plant could just be your passion to travel 9 countries in 9 years so you could pick the ones you fancy and go there often. That’s my desire. But what is out there about travel can dilute what the purpose for travel should really be. I do understand I have met travellers who are moving from one country to another ( let’s say a month, a country) simply because they saved up and no competition here. But there are those that probably want this for the record. How annoying.

It would be nice to appreciate the journey like the phrase used earlier that was coined by Greg. I continued with my painting and I liked how the process felt…. soothing.

It was so relaxing to do this with some soothing music in the background while sipping on some cocktail and enjoying some bites. I am not even an amateur painter, I am just not one in the first place but because of the feeling I got from the process, I focused more on the journey and how the mounting stress of that week was slowly fading away as I was finishing off my piece.

Travel should do that to us. Those that are actually diluting it to be a ‘sport’ in which they are crowned for the 99 countries they did in 9 months are ruining the fact that travel is sometimes therapy and can be seen as a way to appreciate where we go. You may sometimes not even like the country you visit but see a reason to enjoy that flight, get lost in the nature you see as you are many feet away from the ground level! Enjoy connection with the locals (of course with caution). How can you do all this when you have to do 99 countries in 9 months? (Unless of course with a whole different reason)

I must say I had company when I was coming up with this painting and these two ladies were such awesome painters like seriously I have never seen someone paint the Taj Mahal and another a very beautiful sunset like pros! If you ask me, I stuck out like a sore thumb! Clearly I was way outside their league! But guess what? I really didn’t bother about it because to me this treat was slowly diluting the stress that was piling up from work that week.

Thumbs up to that traveller that is genuinely doing it to enjoy the journey and not for trophies. It should not be a sport. Maybe if I am filthy rich my sentiments may change because I may do 99 countries in 9 months but I highly doubt I am interested in trophies. I am pretty sure the travellers that brag about numbers even include layovers lol! if your motives are different, this is not for you. I will gladly return to that place that I loved more than 5 times like I did in Zimbabwe, Southern Zambia, Tanzania, Zanzibar and South Africa just because I loved them.

I mentioned earlier that I love making black and white painting collections. I am just that way. I should have ended my painting at just this point until I heard someone suggest I add color to it if I liked.

I liked it up to this point

I listened to them and it’s at this point that I disliked the painting! The moment you start comparing yourself to other travellers and their trophies, you will miss the point travel was intended for. I was once inspired so much by this British traveller I met that has been traveling almost the whole post COVID period and are still at it. They saved up and decided to do the Cape to Cairo (Africa) travel and they have spent at least a month in a country and as I speak they are heading north! This traveller was not living in luxury though they could afford to. They chose to do hostels and use road transport and crossed land borders. They were not picky with meals and ate local affordable meals. My confession is I can’t do that, but I saw the real purpose for travel through them. When I asked whether they are writing about their experience, they said it wasn’t even their thing to write! That part, I did not like! I even offered to write their story, lol! I learnt that not all travellers are out there to get a badge of honor.

I am not out here to get anyone but the real purpose of travel has changed so much because some have even been rated expert because of numbers and it is inspiring to some extent but it is not the main reason for travel. Just like Greg advised to enjoy the journey, do enjoy yourself and for the 99 countries in 9 months, if you can actually enjoy the journey at that speed, then by all means enjoy the journey and quit reducing travel to be a sport.

The 9 things you must do in Mombasa as a solo traveller in 2023

When you think of visiting Africa to get the feel of it, one of the first countries that will cross your mind is Kenya.It is the epitome of Africa. Maybe at this moment, you are planning on doing Kenya or perhaps you even recently got here. You will surely love the Africa it really is. We all wanna visit Kenya for different reasons be it for work, projects, sport, politics whatever…., the fact is, there is that one day you will be up to planning what to do there.

Though this is a thought that could come from a local person as well, the tourist would have to get more knowledge on what this place has to offer. What activities can you do that may involve money (but not always) and still make your stay in Mombasa worth while, well spent and enough reason to wanna tell a story to someone like am doing?

About Mombasa

Mombasa is a coastal city in Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It has been said to be the second largest city in Kenya. This town is one of the coastal touristic spots in Kenya and I discovered it is super rich in history!!

Now that you are here or still thinking to be, not all your days can or should be planned. Sometimes we leave room for spontaneity. The day you choose to just go by a plan, do remember to jot down some of the activities you could do whilst in Mombasa and these are based on what I personally did. Some activities are totally free but some would cost just a few bucks.

1. Take a free ferry

Yes you heard me!! Free! This is a ferry you would enjoy free of charge for a good 10 to 15 minutes and there are a number of trips made in a day. Mombasa being on an island is the reason to enjoy Likoni Ferry which serves Mombasa and Likoni. You will find ferries carrying both road and foot traffic. These ferries are operated by Kenya Ferry Services. It is completely free as a passenger but there is a cost for vehicles, motorcycles, trucks etc. I used this ferry for a necessary move but I must confess because we don’t have a beach in Zambia (what I hate about landlocked countries), I sometimes used this ferry for the fun of it.

2. Enjoy some tennis at Mbaraki Sports Club

Sorry to be specific here but you could actually play other kinds of sport here by making either prior arrangements or just popping up and joining in. This gives you the opportunity to mingle with and get closer to the real Kenya through associating with the locals. I had so much fun having tennis tournaments with the local kids I met at Mbaraki Sports Club.

3. Spend time with camels at Diani Beach

I chose to spend some time at Diani Beach just because a camel is one animal I saw last when I was little…at a zoo and I really did not like the reaction I got from it because I tried getting it’s attention by calling out but it didn’t even bother to look or even move. My impression was camels are not that friendly and my opinions of camels changed when I visited Diani Beach.

To enjoy these camel rides just have about 5 to 10 bucks on you and I guess you could pay more if you keep increasing your hours on its back. I was happy to have met a camel that reciprocated my love unlike the one in my childhood. Laban was his name and my regret is not packing some apples or bananas before this trip. I really don’t know what sort of menu Laban has but I should have shown him a bit of appreciation for taking advantage of him.

4. Hike and hydrate on the beaches while picking shells

I know that heat levels in my country Zambia can be quite high and unbearable but not to the extent I found the heat in Kenya! As you enjoy this overdose of Vitamin D, cool off with some coconut water sold almost everywhere at the beaches and in town.Take a hike on the beach enjoying all the lovely views and you could even make them longer!My favourite of them all is to add to my shell collection!

5. Spend time with locals on the Shelly Beaches

Beaches do differ in vibe and while others are touristic, others aren’t. I must say Shelly beach is a beach you will find locals. I did spend time surveying it but I must say I met many wonderful locals there and ate lots of good local food. Try this place out!

6. Do shopping malls

I don’t know about you but I do like me some shopping! Don’t you? You could shop hop and enjoy some treats. Next to street food, the cheaper places to get your meals from are supermarkets and I recommend Naivas which came in handy when I didn’t have to do restaurant food.

7. See some of the cool landmarks of Mombasa (Pembe Za Ndovu)

Some of the other activities I involved myself in were to get to know my immediate environment and appreciate cool landmarks like the Pembe Za Ndovu or Pembe Mbili monument which is so highly valued and is a story for another day………This monument is a set of elephant tusks you should never leave Mombasa without showing some love to. If it means a lot to the Kenyans, it should be appreciated by tourists. A good 10 minutes was enough love for them.

8. Grace Fort Jesus with a visit

I was here for a tour that I feel in my heart did not really end probably because of time. This fort is the pride of Mombasa and is so rich in history which explains my need to go back because I did not finish reading articles displayed in the museum but if it so happens that I don’t go back, I must say it was amazing to still see this fort. I learnt quite a lot here.

9. Admire the Old Town

Old Town is on the South of Mombasa and I was amazed by the historical buildings that date way back in time and history says it was the main centre for trade between Africa and the Arab world. It was amazing to see in this place the first hotel in Kenya and just walking around In this town made me feel I used a time machine to go back in time

Hostels.Not such a crazy idea…

❤️This post is based on personal experiences in places I personally visited and my own gallery😉❤️

“The MOJO Hotel | Sea Point Hotel, Cape Town” https://themojohotel.com

Sometimes the opinions of others could make you miss out on the things you could experience. I know for sure I have heard a friend of mine say, “I would never do hostels.” Uhmm…..I didn’t bother to hear much because I knew whatever would be said would impact me negatively and was meant to discourage me from trying it out.

I must say sometimes the comments of others do affect our decisions and sometimes they shouldn’t. Plus, if you allowed people to control you like that, then you may never enjoy your own adventures.

Travelling on a regular basis for an African may not come that easy especially if you do it because you really fancy it. And since I obviously didn’t ditch my friend, I was curious (just a bit) to find out why those strong statements against hostels . For starters, she was very honest about how we Africans have a difficult life and why subject ourselves to more difficulties of staying in such places? ”And besides, Faith, I would rather wait for my company to pay for the cost of my travel so I get to stay in the coolest of places because that’s not the life I have known….luxe.” I heard her loud and clear. What about that travel person who is so passion driven to see lots of places such that as they are at it, they are already planning their next move? Would you wait for a sponsored trip? I get it. Her bone of contention was that Africans are already poor so why make travel a misery by staying in misery? Did she really say that? lol!

That’s what I asked my friend

My friend will probably wait forever to have adventure or should try her luck in the next life but she needs to know the good and the bad before sounding so judgy.

ADVANTAGES

  1. Cutting on costs and seeing lots for less

The advantage of staying in a hostel is the fact that you can cut on costs and could actually see more places that way than waiting to win the lotto to ever see the coolest of cool places on this place we call earth! If I ever got the opportunity to do let’s say, Mauritius …….for starters, I have done my mini research and concluded it’s slightly more of a pricey island compared to Madagascar. Why on earth will I miss the opportunity to see beautiful Mauritius because my budget included stays in luxe resorts or many star hotels?

I will gladly include hostels so I even enjoy the island for a longer time. My experience in hostels when it comes to cutting costs is that I have also taken time researching which hostels have a ‘homely touch’. Yes, some hostels just offer basics but others are quite comfortable to be at like Shoki Shoki House of Zanzibar. All the advice I would give here is that you take your time online searching for them before your trip than do the, “I will cross the bridge when I get there.” Plan your hostel stay the way you would a five star hotel which gets me to the other advantage of hostels which is:

2) Making friends easily

Seriously like some of the places I have found it so easy to make friends coming from all four corners of the world (wait, does the world have corners?)is in a hostel. A hotel will have that peace and quiet, we get it, but part of the thrill that comes from some travel lovers is about who we meet.

I am happy to mention that some of the like minded people I have met, I did in a hostel. In the community I come from, I would say very few find travel appealing or worse still, they don’t even wanna talk about it but in a hostel, rest assured that my favourite topics are all over. It’s here that you can learn more about other countries other than yours from the horses’ mouths and from all the beautifully different people around the hostel which brings me to the next advantage which is:

3) Enjoying group tours

Yes, we are self proclaimed solo travellers but we do love some good company while at it. And going back to my friend who is blunt about hostels, she should know that I have done some coolest trips because of joint efforts with other hostel mates and if I have to wait to be super rich (be able to book a whole cruise ship) lol! The lovely moments I have had in hostels will just ‘zoom!’ pass me by.

Instead of doing Spice Tour solo……
I found ‘K’ at a hostel and we shared costs😉

Bottom line is even as a solo traveller, we are aware of the people around us too. And this spending of time with people reminds me of some disadvantages that cause people like my friend to speak ill of hostels:

DISADVANTAGES

  1. Shut up!

Noise levels at times can be quite annoying. I am a light sleeper and pretty sure I have an internal alarm clock in my head that reminds me I have to shut down and this usually happens early hours of the night like just before 9 pm and at around mid night I have no sleep at all and honestly with this kind of sleep pattern, I really don’t do well around people who are loud at about the time I need to sleep.I wake up feeling grumpy. Am afraid my friend was gonna be right had she rubbed this point in but she didn’t.

Some clients you will find here are party animals and because these hostels are kind of made to repel boredom just embrace the few times its gonna get loud.The other thing to note is, as you are enjoying your sleep at whatever time, someone flew into the country at an odd time and will check in your room at the time you are enjoying being in dreamland! This won’t be so much of a problem if the place is not :

2) Cluttered

Guests would not be subjected to so much noise if not for the way most of them are cluttered up.Thumbs up to those hostels that have owners that consider the claustrophobic traveller and not just display the need to make money by having so much going on or too many beds in one room! Hostel owners shouldn’t just allow clutter and it’s for this reason that there is :

3) Not much tidiness

Hostel owners usually have rules about keeping amenities clean especially after using them. I doubt this rule is followed religiously by most of the clients but that traveller who feels there is clutter in this place after all, will keep the trend.This may not be the case for every hostel as they have dependable cleaning services but even with them, in a hostel there is need for you to clean up after using stuff because they offer self services and if you are a clean freak…..these places may not be for you.

4) Finder’s keepers, loser’s weepers

Not everyone that stays in these hostels is sober or has your best interests at heart. Just because you met fellow travellers and had a good time is no reason for them not to dip their hands in your stuff.Not that I have experienced it but it’s a place am so self conscious about where I put my stuff just in case.I have heard funny stories of how other travellers checked in and because they stayed there for long, there was not much pushing for payments from the owners for the remaining days, besides, this client paid for the other days right? The client eventually took advantage of the thoughtfuless of the owners and just left without paying for other nights! Some have also just helped themselves with other people’s stuff and this is not cool.

https://www.etbackpackers.com

So if these other bad thoughts were running through my friend’s mind, no wonder her negativity but to that adventurous soul willing to try these places out…..hostels are not such a crazy idea after all.

Would I tour Fort Jesus again?(Part 1)

Into the heart of the fort itself

Given a chance and money, there are lots of places one would love to view whilst travelling.My time in Mombasa was not planned for. It was more of, ”I will see and enjoy whatever is in Mombasa.” Plus, I needed just a change of scenery to clear my head from being that busy high school teacher who never easily gets free time.

I usually do countdowns towards the end of a school term because of a dire need to unwind in places far from home.Talk about the power of change of scenery! It was my first trip to Kenya and not in the slightest do I regret being in Mombasa. You can’t separate Mombasa from Fort Jesus which is a tourist attraction in this old town of Mombasa that is dated ancient. Where are all the historians?

Counting down to term break🥴

Getting there

As usual, this depends on where you are in Mombasa. And am thinking you are in the heart of Mombasa so getting to Nkurumah road should not be a problem. I took a boda boda (motorcycle) to the Fort. This didn’t take too long.

Now of course being a non resident, do not expect to pay the same price as the locals would and this is usually the case when it comes to tourist attractions unlike other things like taxi fares, groceries and what not. No discrimination fee here lol! Fort Jesus will cost you just about 10 dollars or so.

Historically speaking, what about Fort Jesus?

I have shared before how I am not a history geek nor am I geeky in general but at least I know why my history results in school weren’t that appealing. I am a hands on kind of person and not having enough school trips in history class back in the day could be the reason but it’s never too late to appreciate history the way I would have loved to. But then again am thinking, how much was it gonna cost to learn about Europe all the way from Africa the hands on kind of way! Lol! Pricey, right?

I discovered that this fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century on the coastline near Old Town, Mombasa. It was designed by an Italian architect Jao Batista Cairato and built as a refuge place for those Portuguese that lived on the coastal areas.

It has been said that this fort was built in the shape of a man when viewed from the air that is and later on after a series of its capture and recapture, was under the British rule converted into a prison. In the 20th century, it was declared a national park and later on UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. It turns out that in this day and age, Fort Jesus is one of the most visited places in Mombasa, Kenya. But will I tour Fort Jesus again?

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