The evening before we had decided that we would walk the 4 km into Moshi just to have a look at the surroundings so we got up around 9 in the morning.
To begin my morning I went outside the lodge walls and took a look at old Kili who was showing all its splendour in the morning sun.
We ordered the lodge breakfast which included 2 eggs, bread, jam, tea/coffee as well as some fruits.
The walk into the city was beautiful and there was many photos that I wanted to take however my camera had started acting funny again.
Already happened three times since we landed in Dar that the camera display just showed “Error. Turn off and on again” which I did several times without any success.
I popped out the battery and put it in again.
I unlocked the lens and locked it again.
I popped out the memory card and put it in again.
I made a factory reset of the camera.
This is something I did several times and suddenly it started to work again.
Just to fail a few minutes later when i was trying to take a photograph.
Frustration was not the first word that came into my mind.
Fortunate I had my backup camera with me however it doesn’t produce as good pics as my DSLR as the backup camera is with me since I can film underwater with it.
For all that it was worth I really didn’t want this to happen during the safari which would destroy all of my photographs that I was gonna take.
Even tried to Google to see if there was something similar that someone else experienced but didn’t become any wiser in the situation.
Suddenly the camera started to work again and I was hoping it wouldn’t start failing again.
It didn´t, to my delight.
We headed back to dot cafe as Jake had left his blackberry phone there to get charged by the Indian brothers who had helped us with all our needs the day before.
On the walk in I had received a message from our CS host, Emmason, if we wanted to meet up and talk and we agreed to meet up by the Dar Express bus station as we were gonna go to Arusha the following day.
Emmason arrived on a motorcycle and jumped off and came to greet us.
It was a little bit of a stand-off in the beginning as it showed that we had received wrong number from him and this is why we hadn´t been able to reach him the day before but things like that happens.
In´Shallah simply as Tanzania is a muslim country. Actually not a full state but Islam is the bigger religion.
Emmason has his own tour company which many people in this city seems to have and as me and Jake wanted to do a short four day safari we told Emmason what we wanted to see and how much we could pay.
Everything locked itself beautifully as he thought about our request and the price and simply answered, – Yes, we can do that.
The ice was broken and we started more to chit-chat.
As it was early lunch time and we didn’t wanna go to any restaurant in Moshi that would Muzungu rape us with their prices we asked Emmason for a local place to eat.
Local Tanzanian food is very simple but also very delicious and he took us to a nearby food shack that you couldn´t see from the street and therefore not accessed by us muzungus. A plate filled with rice, beans, spinach and a bowl with a chicken leg cost us 3000 shillings each (1.5 Euro).
A great was to start the day and this would later be what we would eat during most of our trip. Simple and cheap but yet delicious and filling.
Next on our wish list was to try the local banana beer that our new friend Charles in Dar had told us about.
It sounded horrible so we had to try it and Emmason showed us the was to a small local bar which was situated on the third floor in a kind of shopping center.
We rounded the corner and there sat already a couple of Tanzanians drinking the brew from the green bottles.
One was quite heavily intoxicated and started to talk with Emmason.
Meanwhile we entered the little pub, well not really a pub but a small space where there was a counter with a small old man behind it who was selling the brew.
On the right side the wall was covered with plastic cases filled with bottles and in front of the small counter is two knee-high wooden benches where some 7 or 8 other Tanzanians were sitting and drinking,
The smell in the space was very interesting as it smelled a bit sour, a little bit like old lemon, and you could actually feel the smell already outside the door.
I guess smoking was not to be considered due to the flammable risk.
We bought one bottle each which costed 500 shillings (0.5 Euro) and took a sip.
Now I thought it tasted like a sour grape wine.
Like very bad wine with hardly any taste of banana. You would probably need a flashlight to find the banana taste.
Jake thought it was not that bad.
Which means it was not that good either but he liked it.
We walked outside to hang with the other locals who liked the fact that there were a couple of muzungus in their pub drinking Raha, which is the name of this brew, together with them.
I looked at the label and saw that the drink had a whooping 10% alcohol content which could explain why most of the guys sitting in the pub was looking half a sleep while drinking.
The guy who was a bit more happy in his hat then the rest had turned to me and started talking to me in Swahili.
He was a bit offensive but Emmason translated what he told me.
He wanted to trade environment with me.
He wanted to go to Sweden and enjoy life while I could stay here in Moshi and have his life.
I tried to make him understand that in Sweden it was – degrees temperature and a beer costed at least 10.000 shillings.
He didn’t care.
He wanted to go to Europe and live the good life because his life in Tanzania was not good.
We asked how many bottles he could drink in a day and he replied that he had drunk not more than 10 bottles that day before we arrived.
Could explain a few things I guess.
Meanwhile Jake had started talking a little with some guys inside the store as they had started taking out their mobile phones and photographing us, the two muzungus in the Raha bar, and was saying that the pictures was gonna be uploaded to Facebook.
Jake pulled up a pink elephant (10.000 shillings = 5 Euro) and asked how many bottles he would get for it.
I told him 20 bottles of the, in my opinion, horrible bad drink.
He put it on the bar counter and made it clear that this would buy free drinks to the guys in the bar.
The old man behind the counter smiled and nodded at the same time as everyone else in the small room understood what just happened and started to scream of joy.
As the bottles came up on the counter one by one the room started to fill up with curious people who was standing outside to see what had happened.
When they understood that there was free Raha for the people inside they tried to sit down and get in on a bottle but that was not possible as the Tanzanians that was already sitting there had a hawkeye on the bottles on the counter that was ment for them.
I pulled up another pink elephant and put it on the counter and the old man smiled and the roof was almost lifted by the joy from screaming men inside the bar.
We had just become the most famous and favourite muzungus of Moshi.
At least in that bar and now they had a story to tell.
they day that two muzungu walked into their bar in Moshi and ordered 40 bottles of Raha for free for them to drink.
I’m not sure if I wanna know how drunk they got that day.
But surely the little old man was happy as he probably never sold so many bottles in one day.
We left the little bar and headed towards the local market for some eye shopping.
On the way there we passed a six man band that was dressed in bright orange shirts with black ties as they jumped off the back of a mini truck.
They positioned themselves outside a hair saloon and started playing some music.
It was a wedding that started to take place and the bride walked out with the bridesmaid also dressed in orange and black.
We walked out on a side street and as we had come a bit up we saw the band standing on the back of the truck, still playing, following the car that the bride had stepped into.
A quite funny thing to see as people were looking at the band as they stoop on the back of the truck playing as they tried not to fall off as it accelerated.
The market was a bustling place where people were screaming over each other to sell their vegetables, beans, soap or whatever was their products of commerce.
Many of them also stopped yelling and had a look at the two muzungus that came walking in and just said simply, not loud but loud enough so we could hear it, Muzungo..
It was a true feast for the eye if you are a fan of fresh tropical fruit as pineapple like I am, but also for vegetables like sweet potato, okra, spinach, habanero and more. Now why dont i live in a city like Moshi?
Emmason stopped here and there and talked to people as he is a little bit famous due to the local reggae band he is playing in as he is a rasta.
He also took us to a second market which was bigger and situated a bit outside the city center. This market was purely just clothes and we were told that they had a saying “Made in Europe – Used in Africa”
It was a second-hand clothes market and the funny thing is that Africans don’t like to buy new clothes but want second-hand.
Not because it is cheaper, a new pair of jeans costs around 21-22 USD while a used pair around 16-17 USD, but also because if they buy used then they buy a one of a kind and will not find someone who wear the same clothes.
If they buy new then there is always the risk of running into someone who have the exact same clothes.
It’s funny as I have never thought it that way before but then again I am not so bothered by that.
We walked back to the city which was a couple of kilometers and ended up on a rooftop bar overlooking the city talking.
Emmason is a funny and laughing guy.
I have noticed that I have hardly seen any grumpy or serious faces here in Tanzania as you often see in Europe but everyone is more smiling and laughing all the time.
Maybe something we should take more after?
At the same time maybe we are more efficient in Europe and doesn’t take the time to be more relaxed and cheerful?
We decided to meet up the following day before we took the bus to Arusha to finalize the last details of the safari we had agreed on as Emmason would rent the car and make all the necessary arrangements with the sleeping during the four days.
Walking out of the city the darkness fell upon us and the last couple of kilometers we walked in complete darkness which was no problem at all as we knew old Kili would look after us.
Another evening that had been full of impressions that we fell a sleep as soon as we hit the pillow.
Once again I slept like in coma and as the alarm clock sounded at 06:45 I got up to start packing my bags again to make it to the airport in time for our 10:30 flight to Kilimanjaro airport.
We leave the house and flag down a tuk-tuk that agrees to drive us to the airport for 15.000 shillings comparing with the 35.000 that a regular taxi would cost.
Pretty soon we realize that it was a good choice to take the tuk-tuk as the traffic is literally fucked this Monday morning.
The driver didn’t accept that the queue build up and went over to drive together with motorcycles on sidewalks and walk paths honking with its Beep-Beep signal horn to get people to get out of the way.
It was a very inspired way of driving but if we would have taken a taxi we would have not been able to make it to the airport in time for our flight and that is a thing that is sure.
We finally pull into the airport some 70 minutes later and manage to check-in without any problem on FastJet, Africas newest low-cost carrier.
One thing that is constantly surprising me is that the concept of “African time” that I have met everywhere else in camera is not so adapted in Tanzania, things are pretty organized and goes as it should.
African time is the concept of things taking the time it takes. Meaning that you can not really plan or rely on any set time-table as it is always gonna take longer due to African time.
That has not been the case in Tanzania. We boarded the plane on time and the short flight of 75 minutes went without any problems and we landed on Kilimanjaro Airport which is more as a long landing strip with a small terminal building.
You exit the plane direct onto the tarmac and walk over to the one building that serves as the terminal building.
And this is the international airport where big airlines like Qatar Airways, Lufthansa and others land? Amazing.
The small terminal contained just two conveyor belts and three immigration huts.
We took our bags and walked out of the terminal building where we had heard that there might be a cheap shuttle bus into Moshi instead of paying the regulated taxi fare of 40 USD for the 45km to the city.
Fortunately this was true as we got jumped on by local taxi drivers that wanted to drive us as I saw a man walk around with a FastJet sign saying Moshi.
We climbed into the minibus and took place at the back row of seats and paid the 10.000 shillings for the ride.
The ride went towards the foot of Kilimanjaro who were showing its peak through the clouds and after some 80 minutes we were in Moshi.
Once again local taxi drivers saw the two muzungas sitting in the minibus and started pointing at us to get our attention and to get the chance to drive us to where we were going.
Fortunately we had already a couch in Moshi so we would contact him to come and get us but I needed to get a local SIM card first.
We decided it was best to get to an internet café first to kind of orientate us and get our bearings before we contact our host.
Ended up in a place called dot cafe which was run by two indian decent brothers who turned out to be extremely helpful and friendly to us during our stay in Moshi.
They helped me with getting a SIM card for my phone as well as getting it registered as you need to do in Tanzania.
This was apparently a long process so we decided to go to the food place right next door and had half a fish with rice and beans.
When everything was set to go I tried to call our host without any success several times.
I sent SMS and also a message through CouchSurfing in case I had been given the wrong number by mistake.
Hours passed by without and luck so we decided to find an alternative place to stay instead and found Twiga lodge through hostels.com.
I called them up and luckily enough they had a room free for us where we could stay.
As the Twiga lodge was situated some kilometers outside the city the Indian brothers were kind enough to organize a car with a driver they trusted to take us there and as we passed out of the city we suddenly saw the mighty one Kilimanjaro.
The clouds that previously had hidden the mighty one most of the day had now dispersed and the top was visible.
We asked the driver to stop so we could shoot some pictures and he did.
At the lodge, as they like to call things in Tanzania, we found out that we were actually the only guests except for 3 long-term staying Germans who were all working as volunteers in a NGO in the city.
Jake joined a group of kids playing football on a dirt pitch right outside the lodge while I got connected and started talking to one of the germans living there.
We had a proper shower and a nice meal making us to feel a little bit like humans again.
Suddenly my phone rings and it is our host that is calling asking us if we are ok.
In the end it turns out that one of the numbers has become wrong and we decide to meet up the following day instead.
This night however I didn’t sleep so well and woke up several times during the night mainly because of the loud fan in the ceiling which we had turned up to full speed to keep the room a little bit cool.
Joyce woke me up when she was leaving early in the morning to say goodbye and I guess she wasnt shy as I was sleeping only in my underwear as it was so humid.
Next thing I know when I wake up it is around 10.30 and I decide to get a shower and get up.
I wake up Jake around 11.45 so that we could start activate ourselves for the day as I wanted to see a bit of Dar es Salaam on the only day we would be there as we would have to head to the airport the next morning to catch our flight to Kilimanjaro.
We both felt that we needed a shave pretty bad so we went to the local barber that we had seen the previously day when we had been driving by.
For a 1000 shillings (0.5 Euro) we got a nice shave with a machine, not with blade as I had expected but it didn’t matter as it didn’t itch anymore.
Usually for us men when our beard grow it itches like feek in the beginning until it has grown enough length so that it doesn’t bother us anymore.
After the shave we decided to employe the local economy and took a tuk-tuk into the city center.
The traffic on the Sunday seemed to be a bit lighter and 25 minutes later we arrived at the port where we suddenly got horded by a group of men who all tried to get us on the ferry to Zanzibar or to book a safari with them.
And when it comes to these “fly-catchers” as they are called here they don’t simply take “no” or a “No thank you” as an answer but keeps following you trying to strike up a conversation with the regular “Where are you from?” and “Oh, its my favourite country!” and similar to try to build a connection.
I find them kind of annoying but Jake talked a bit to one that was following us for a couple of minutes before we managed to get rid of him so we could stop and navigate where we were in the city.
As we navigated us to where we wanted to be my eyes caught this amazing saying that was written on the wall to one of the churches.
We didn’t come far before another guy started talking to us and this guy was an artist and wanted us to come and see his art.
A very similar approach as I had encountered in Senegal where everyone seemed to be an artist just because they either couldn´t or didn´t want to get a regular job
We kindly refused his offer with different excuses and this is when it took a new turn. When the guy realized that we would not look at his art he tried to sell us marijuana instead.
This happened to us several times later as well where a person came up to us and presented himself as an artist just to offer us to buy marijuana when we didn’t wanna look at his art.
Now it makes me wonder, are they artists with talent or do they just use the marijuana as a enhancing talent?
Remember that many of the worlds best rock songs were written on marijuana.
The weather was hot, around +32 and extremely humid and when Jake got his eyes on an ice cream truck he went for an ice cream. Now as we are in Africa this is not the normal ice cream truck as we imagine it when we hear the word but instead this is a bicycle with a front wagon for ice cream and also they have a silly little speaker playing the most horrible song to announce that the ice cream bike is here.
He went for some strange creation that looked like an ice cream but was a more of a watery coffee/toffee flavored ice cube in my opinion but Jake enjoyed it so that is what matters. I just tasted it.
As we wandered around the deserted city we decided that it was around time to have something to eat so we started to scout for an open place and we found a place that looked local and you can easily say that it was.
I’m curious if they have ever had any muzungu guests there as everyone was watching us as we went n and sat down by a plastic table in the middle of a roofed little hut. Muzungu is the word Tanzanians use for white people and it means “Traveller” more then it means White devil.
The “kitchen” was something like two cooking plates behind a few sheets of metal in the open. A guy was sitting behind it shredding carrots while another guys job was to peel potatoes with a knife and then cut them into fries.
We ordered fries with egg and some meat and two big bottles of water.
The water was so cold, almost frozen when we got the bottles that I drank half of it directly.
As we were sitting and waiting for the food all people who entered the backyard of the shed where we were sitting, stopped and paused for a few moments when they realized that there were two muzungu´s sitting there.
We finally got the food and it was a lot of food.
Fries and egg mixed together into an omelette and four sticks with four bits of grilled meat on.
The meat could easily have won the award of the chewiest meat on the planet but we didn’t let that stop us from enjoying all the fresh vegetables and food that we were indulging in the middle of nowhere in the back of a shed on an empty street in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
After the food we headed down to the fish market to have a look and smell and yes you can imagine how a whole area dealing in fish smells on a day with +32 degrees.
It smells like a fish market.
Walked around and made sure that we didn’t step into any water as we walked along the market just to make sure that we would get the stench incorporated in our shoes for the rest of the trip.
I saw the local boats lying around the shore and decided to walk down and walk along the beach to see where it would lead.
Didn´t take long before we had three guys walking beside us trying to communicate in Swahili and English
The active person of the gang tried to figure out why we didn’t speak Swahili as he spoke English and this went on for another 30 minutes as we walked along the beach until we got tired of it and decided to head back to our home as I had made an appointment with this guy Charles the previous day.
We got a tuk-tuk back to our house and on the way we discussed if we would try to get a tuk-tuk to the airport the following day and decided to do so. The last few meters back to our house I stopped by one of the fruit vendors standing on the side of the dirt road selling pineapples. I bought a big 2 kg pineapple and my jaw dropped when I got told that this big one costed 2000 shillings. What a robbery! It’s outrageous that a huge and juicy pineapple would cost 1 Euro.
I could have bought his whole stand of pineapples right there and then but decided to control myself and as we came back to the house i cut it up and ate probably half of it as it was so amazingly delicious.
It looks like this is turning into a curse as I have problems eating oranges these days after had travelled through western Africa back in 2010/2011 and ate about 1 kg of fresh oranges from Morocco everyday.
After that I always gets disappointed over the taste of the oranges we have in Europe.
Looks like pineapple will go to the same destiny in my fruit book.
After my fruit fest we went to meet the guy Charles but when we got there he wasnt there as agreed but then again we were about 10-15 minutes late.
We bought a soda each as the store didn’t have any beer and decided to wait in case he would show up. The shop assistant told us after a while that Charles had already been there before us and had left his number.
As we didn’t have any phone we convinced her to call him for us and tell him to meet us by a nearby little shack where we went to drink beer and watch the local life pass by on the local dirt road.
A few beers later he shows up in his car and we start talking and as you might understand we are quite curious about this character who had invited us for a local beer.
His name is Charles, he is 32 years young and is married and have a son who is 13. He has also adopted his wifes sisters daughter and her kid so in fact he is a grandfather already.
32 and a grandfather? that is amazing and we spinned away on that thought and calculated that by 55 he would be a great-grandfather if the population in his family continues the same way as up to now.
He had his own company where as he is also studying into become a lawyer.
After 2 beers each, Charles had invited us to try the local BBQ specialities as lamb which is typical for his tribe Chagga.
I questioned if he should be driving after have drinking beer but he said it was no problem at all. So we entered his car and he first drives us to the place where you can get the best pork BBQ.
We eat and drink beer and continues our conversation about life in Tanzania and life style and differences between Europe and Africa.
When we are almost full we enter the car again and he takes us to his relatives store where his wife and brothers are so we get to meet almost the whole family and talk a little with them before we are off again to next place where the should have this special BBQ lamb.
Unfortunately they are out of it so Charles takes us to the third place where he also shows us sheep head soup which is supposed to be very good for hangovers.
I honestly say that I would prefer the Bulgarian Shkembe (tripe soup) then the Tanzanian sheep head soup to cure the hangover.
Once again we get a big plate of BBQ but this time of lamb and we eat and we wash it down with more beer as we talk about everything again.
Charles insist on paying for everything which we feel a bit bad about but as we continue talking he tells us about his house that he is building and the land he bought to be able to build the house.
Let me put it this way.
I will never be able to do this construction with the money he is putting down on it that he has saved for 10 years.
I don’t believe any normal European citizen with the average salary would be able to save THAT kind of money in 10 years.
After being totally full and the head is buzzing enough from all the beers we have consumed during the whole evening we enter the car again and Charles is in a really good mood smiling, laughing.
As we pull off Charles tells us that he has only drunk 12 beers during the day and he decide that he wants to show us downtown Dar es Salaam and starts speeding down the motorway faster than I have ever gone in a car in Tanzania.
I’m sitting in the backseat and is gripping hold of the door handle as I feel the warm wind in my face from the side window realizing that I am a little bit intoxicated.
I’m thinking that this is a really stupid situation but decides to go with the flow as I would at least die happy in a way being where I feel that I in some strange way belong.
Charles turns up the volume of the music as the speed increases and the 8km into the centers goes very fast and suddenly he has turned into a street and stops by a woman.
Takes a few seconds before I realize that he has stopped to show us the local prostitutes and I start giggling to myself over the bizarre situation.
He drives us a quick round around the center before he heads back out on the motorway back to his relatives store where the rest of the family is sitting and drinking.
Another beer and also some Jack Daniels comes up on the table as we all talk.
I keep to my beer and Jake get acquainted with Jack together with Charles brother.
It is pretty late and I feel that my head and eye-lids are very heavy as Charles drives us home again.
We are still to this day trying to figure out what really happened.
Why did he do this for us?
We hit the bed and fell a sleep pretty quick.
I was woken up 1½ hours later and I felt like someone had sucker punched me right in the face.
Somehow I did however managed to get my head together and jumped into the shower for a quick refreshing before heading out to the BBQ that we had been invited to my Joyce.
I dried myself and got dressed and walked out in the livingroom where one of her friends were sitting and waiting for us.
A beautiful woman named Niwa who turned out that she had lived in Sweden for 5 years as her parents had studied there previously. We started speaking in Swedish and Jake just looked at us and shook his head.
I guess neither of us had expected that I would speak Swedish in Tanzania
After a little bit of chatter and acquaintance we headed out to the car to go to the place which was called Rudi´s Farm.
Since me and Jake hadn´t been successful in withdrawing any cash from the machine earlier we asked them to pass by a ATM where we could make a withdrawal and they did.
This time the ATM gave me the option to withdraw money so it looked like I was gonna survive this trip as well.
Funny enough it was the same deal as I had experienced in Mauritania previously.
I withdrew 400.000 Tanzanian shillings which is almost 200 Euro just to find out that the biggest note they have is 10.000 shilling, a pink note with an elephant on. So now I had a thick batch of 40 notes in my hand.
And we started referring prices in pink elephants as well.
Back in the car for the 10km drive to the BBQ place we once again faced the horrors of the Dar es Salaam traffic queue. The party called and wanted us to bring with us some pommes frites for the meat.
We pulled off the road and bought two bags of the desired potato type and as soon as we were back in our slot in the traffic queue the first bag was opened.
After about one hour in the queue the second bag of the potatoes were opened and eaten as well.
We had to stop a second time to get a new set of fries and while doing that me and Jake decided to get some beers to drink and I also felt that I needed an Energy drink to stay awake a bit.
And I immediately fell for a Chilli Willy energy drink standing there in the small fridge in the cramped food store 🙂
Back on the road again we finally reached the BBQ place after another hour so in total we drove 10km in 2 hours which is pretty insane.
We walked up to a big table where a couple of work colleagues to both girls that were escorting us were sitting and eating BBQ chicken, pork and beef as well as drinking beer and laughing.
Jake and Me walked the table around and introduced ourselves to the smiling bunch of people sitting around the table before we sat down and started to eat as well.
We were also introduced to Konyagi, the Tanzania produced national gin. Not bad at all.
Food, laughter, beer and friendly people really raised the bar for our first day in Tanzania after the few small mishaps we already had been through.
A few of the people were talking about going out later in the evening but as the night fell over us and embraced us as we were sitting around the table with no other light then the reflection of the projector on the wall next to us showing one football match, one by one they thanked for themselves and went home.
We decided to go home and sleep as well as it had been a long day for us and also our host had to pack as she was going for a business trip the next day leaving us to our own destiny for the rest of our stay in Dar.
I slept hard that night hardly remembering how I got into bed.