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Tanzania Day 10: From Bush to Beach

After breakfast at camp, we drove to the air strip for our 11a flight to Mafia Island. It wouldn't be a direct flight but rather five hours with multiple stops across Tanzania. We took our usual goodbye picture with our guides (Romano on the left and Kevin on the right).

Then they helped to ready the plane.

At one of our stops, we were able to de-plane and use the facilities.

Our flight buddies, Charles and Katie, from England.

Our pilot paying close attention to the flight plan. Ha ha.

Leaving the bush behind.

Arriving to the coastal islands.

We finally arrived at Mafia Island, an island off the coast of Tanzania near Dar es Salaam. We had to wait a bit for our driver but he eventually arrived.

We drove across the island and had to make a stop to pay our marine park fees in cash. He then drove us to the shore, unloaded our bags, and instructed us to get in a rickety boat. It was at this point I thought "Oh boy, what are we doing? A guy who speaks almost no English picked us up and has told us to get on a rickety boat with several guys who speak no English and we have no idea where we're going or how long it takes to get there." Luckily, it appeared from significant gesturing, that we were only going across the bay.


A short time later, we could see our hotel from shore. It was located on Chole, a small island off the coast of Mafia Island.

We were unprepared for the shore arrival which meant we had to wade thru the water. We took off our shoes and found our flip flops in our bag. Unfortunately, Brenda blew out her flip flop and the shore we arrived on was extremely rocky. One of the women who greeted us tried to give Brenda (a size 9 or so) her size really, really small shoes to wear. That didn't work and Brenda had to stumble across the rocks, barefoot, until she could find a place to put her other shoes back on.

The only thing on this island was our hotel and a small village. The hotel consisted of tree houses with no electricity, long drop toilets, and kerosene showers. There was electricity at the office where we could charge our cell phones and camera batteries during certain hours of the day.

Our treehouse bedroom on stilts. At least there was a fan.


The pictures don't do justice to show how massive the tree was.


The bathroom was down the stairs (remember our house was on stilts) and down the path. At least it was private.


Our sink

Our shower

After the explanation of how to soak the rag in kerosene and light it in order to get hot water in the shower and the explanation that if we didn't want to walk downstairs and down the path in the dark to the bathroom we could use the bucket in our room, we both looked at each other and laughed in nervous fear. Why did I think this was a good idea?

So we went with it. With alcohol, of course.

We later joined everyone else for dinner which was held by candlelight, outside, at a long table with the other guests and the owner of the property. The only other guests were a mother and daughter from England. It was dark upon returning to the treehouse after dinner and without electricity or any entertainment, we turned on the fan, climbed into bed, zipped up the mosquito net, and fell asleep listening to the fruit bats and the sounds of the tropics.

Posted by zihuatcat 02:05 Archived in Tanzania Tagged tanzania mafia brenda

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