The 10 of us continuing the trip joined another bus load of people on safari, making a total of 24. It was time to say goodbye to the two we had spent all our waking moments with over the last 10 days and our friendly driver, cook, tour guide and trainee guide.
We travelled via Moshi, which has a population of 20k and is used as a base camp for those trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro. Moshi means ‘smoke’ in Swahili – the town was given name because the mountains appear to smoke in the morning. On a clear day, Kilimanjaro would be visible but unfortunately for us, it was cloudy so we didn’t see anything!
Chickens were literally playing chicken at the roadside as we made our way down to Pangani, stopping for lunch at the edge of a pretty Sisel field, a crop used to make premium ropes and mats. The soil is back to a lovely ochre red shade contrasting brilliantly with the lush green vegetation. We had an audience of school kids who stood watching us eat lunch like we were exhibits in a zoo!
We drove past the beautiful Usambara and Pare mountain ranges; the shapes of the eroded mountainside were very different to anything I’ve seen before. I think I spent too long looking though, because at one point I thought I could make out a Lion’s profile!
Our camp overnight was small, and with a different type of tent to put up, a duty rota, mossies, muggy heat and rain to contend plus a new group to get to know, I was ready for bed.
Onwards and upwards…
Leaving Pangani after no running water in the washroom block and fighting with the tent in time for a 5am breakfast, we were back on the road heading to our beachside camp at Dar es Salaam.
Dar es Salaam means ‘haven of peace’ and has a 2.5mn population. The traffic would certainly indicate this, so we we were delighted to get to Kipepeo Beach and Village by lunchtime. My tent buddy and I upgraded our accommodation to a twin chalet, made by local craftsmen from wood and other materials found in the area. They are raised on stilts to catch the fresh sea breeze, with a hammock on the balcony to chill out in.
An afternoon of rest and relaxation on the gorgeous white sand beach was exactly what we all needed, and I was excited to whip out the bikini! It was so good, and actually more what I was expecting on Zanzibar!
We swam in the inviting and deliciously fresh turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and sat on the warm sands drying off, slowly baking under the afternoon sun. I even saw a couple of pretty butterflies flutter past.
The evening was spent in the bar watching a World Cup match, relaxing on the hammock and preparing for the trip to Zanzibar.