In the winter of 2019, Henderson Productions took a small group to Tanzania for a 14-day adventure. This blog series tells the story of the trip and our fellow travelers. Using our network around the world, we curated a tour to give us local connections and experiences beyond the normal tourist choices. For more information about our upcoming trips, subscribe to our newsletter.
We had prearranged van transportation services from “Freddy” for our time in Dar es Salaam and headed to the Slipway area divided by an artisan market area and the upscale shopping promenade littered with comfortable cafes with a view of Oyster Bay and welcoming breeze. We shopped and photographed the market for a while and then plonked ourselves down for beers and variety of appetizer plates – fried octopus, veggie rolls, beef and chicken satay, wings and prawn rolls. We probably could not have defined the haves vs have nots better than this area where we were challenged by security as we approached the promenade. Apparently, ‘tourists’ are welcome to take pics, but locals would be charged a photo fee. Interesting.
We had a lovely swim and dinner at a local friend’s house complete with the cook, Njeera, making homemade pizza and samosas as appetizers followed by broccoli salad, avocado, carrots, chicken with brown and white rice. Family-style with 16 of us around the table and coffee table.
Blissfully back to the hotel before 9 for an early night. I spent an hour or so downloading pics on the free Wi-Fi and settled in before midnight. It was a fitful night with some digestive challenges for me. It didn’t help that an earth-shatteringly-loud rainstorm spent a half hour pummeling our upper floor tin roof making all of us think it was an evacuation possibility. Striking at 1:30 coincided with our party’s natural jetlag giving all of us an even playing field the next morning. Feeling sluggish but better by breakfast, I really appreciated the eggs and sort of sad croissant. It’s always interesting to me how challenged bread products are in many countries.
Our group joke is becoming “How late with Freddy be?” He likely won’t top the 1st day 45-minute delay setting an excellent first impression. Mbari (welcome) to Tanzania! Generally, he has 2 or 3 vehicles to shuttle us from place to place while in Dar es Salaam.
I’ve had a couple great conversations with the drivers already. Amon was born in ’93 near Lake Victoria – 1.5 days away by bus. As the only son, he works in the big city to support his family and only visits every December when the tourism season decreases. And Stephano is a little younger, also not married but did finish high school at age 16 like everyone else. He told us school is ages 6-16 from 7 AM – 2 PM as we passed kids lined up waiting for buses.