One night the pool area at my camp got bright lit by a film crew. When i arrived, a girl was dancing in front of camera team with loud music in background. Filming for a music video, a nice guy explained me. But there was not only music and dancing but also filming for some funny comedy movie. A big mama and a gentleman were acting around the place and making lots of fun. Later on i heard i stumbled into quite famous stars here.
A crowded ferry sets hundreds of people over to the southern beaches of Daressalam. At Kigamboni i found a little paradise to camp and got stocked for more than two weeks. Every morning i watched early sun pushing trough the clouds and chased them away, made my coffee with the friendly words of the staff, did some laundry or small repairs before taking my book to the hammock at the beach.
There’s always been people to talk with too. As i met energetic Radhia, who told me about life here and all the many ideas and projects she has in life. Or two young volunteers just finished their time on a project in Rwanda and were on search for a perfect beach before heading back to Europe. I offered to drive south to more remote and unspoiled beaches …and we found was we were looking for: A lonely, white sanded beach with crystal clear water.
Soon as i found a nice camp on southern beach of Daressalam i met new interesting people too. Some travelers i met before on my trip trough Africa or i made new acquaintances, with whom i went to city of Daressalam. There are some touristic spots with art and handicrafts, a national museum with old presidential vehicles and streets with shopping centers, hotels and good Indian restaurants.
Most impressive was the new build „Human Dreams Children Village“ south of the city. The people taking disabled kids to give them not only a home but also treatment for their difficulties. Among many projects in Africa, with this one, at least a few human beings with no chance for future got a place to survive and experience a worthy life.
„Please take a photo of me“ she asked me, showing her cellphone towards me. I was chilling and reading under the shade of the beach bar. „It’s not gonna work with your cellphone cam“, i explained her, „it can’t handle the bright backlight and you would appear only pitch black on the pic.“ „Try it anyway“ she insisted. I took a pic for her, but showed her my Nikon and offered her a short, spontaneous photo shooting. She got so excited and started to pose like a pro, but see yourself:
Silence woke me up early in the morning. Camping in African bushland is always a great experience, with vast scrubland or desert around. For my new „friends“ joining me trough Maasailand there’s all new kind traveling. Little things has to be learned, like to cook and dishwashing with a little amount of water or to use a shovel if you’re going to bush toilet. The nature gives back many little things too. The chirping birds, slightly waves of the wind, the scent of wildflower …and sometimes annoying flies.
The path lead us to a dusty, little town called Naberera, where we get some more supplies from a tiny shop. I asked for banana beer to let the girls taste it later that day. The shop lady was shouting into the backyard and few minutes later a guy appeared with the ordered drink. Meanwhile my tourist girls started to go around and having fun by making selfies with locals. It wasn’t the first time i noticed they hardly try to avoid having me on one of their selfies. Although we started as friends, i feel treated as a tour guide for free. This feeling persisted when i stopped next to a village for the opportunity to meet real village people. A dozen women gathered under a big shady tree to listen to man who taught them something or gave a speech. The girls wanted rush into the village, as i hold them back and told them to wait till we get invited from the inhabitants. Not long after that two younger men arrived, started to talk in Kwisahili with us. He asked us to wait and got an elder man, presumably the chief in village, who spoke some English. He looked uncomfortable but couldn’t refuse the repeated request of the girls to show us the village. While i tried to learn more about the village and life, the girls had fun taking selfies, teach them Dutch phrases and asked them several times to jump around as they expect all Maasai people doing it permanently. The chief looked awkwardly with the GoPro cam and selfie stick in his hand, not knowing what to do with it. When the situation got unbearable to me, i thanked the people for their understanding and kindness and asked the girls to continue our trip.
The young Maasai men and warriors, those ones who use to jump for rituals and to impress the girls when they look for a wife, are usually outside the village to protect the livestock. We’ve been lucky to meet some at a pond next our route. Of course, the girls got a lot of attention. The men came shyly closer, but start soon to have fun by showing their weapons and teach the girls how to use them. After awhile -and many selfies- we proceed our journey towards coast. But not without taking an elder man as an hitchhiker a few villages further. The next day we reached the tarred highway, let beautiful Maasailand behind us, but bringing a bunch of new experiences with us.
As we got closer to Daressalam, the traffic got heavier. The girls pushed me to drive faster and overtaking the big trucks, since they wanted to reach the ferry to Zanzibar. I suggested to stay together at the southern beach to celebrate the end of our trip, as friends suppose to do. But they wanted leave desperately. I’ve been even asked shamelessly i really want the money for fuel, since they’re late to reach the ferry and would have to withdraw cash first. HELL, YES!!
It’s a little while since, but i don’t want hold back the pictures from my last Tanzania trip any longer. After the safari tour to Serengeti and Ngorogoro crater with – a rather disappointing – safari tour operator. I was happy to continue traveling with my own car and pace. On the safari tour i met two young tourist girls, who wanted to go to Daressalam too. I offered them to join me trough Maasailand instead of a boring, long bus ride direct to Dar. They agreed for sharing fuel and food.
The day before departure, the three of us went to local market to buy food. It’s hard bargaining if one goes with typically dressed tourist girls to the food stalls. Somehow we managed to get our supplies, as the girls told me about their appointment with the owner of the safari company we went days before. The same guy who cheated me and gave false informations to me, was inviting those young girls for pizzas and swimming pool at the most expensive hotel in Arusha and paid them even their room in a backpacker hostel. I joined the girls for that appointment and got at least a pizza myself and some relaxing hours with wifi at the pool at „Mt Meru Hotel“. The pizza was tasty, the pool refreshing and the view of Mount Meru splendid.
The first day traveling didn’t brought us very far, but to a wonderful oasis i knew from earlier visit. Hot spring and pool with crystal clear water was a delight after a dusty road trip. Since we supposed to travel as friends, the girls had to help with cooking while i pitched their tent for the night. With the highest mountain of Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro – we camped just next to the hot spring.
On the next day, we got deeper in Maasailand, with no specific route, just follow south on dusty roads. We passed some huts and villages which seemed to be abandon. Some kids lead cows somewhere, looking bewildered as we crossed their ways. The rain brought much green food for their cows. For us was it easy to find a quite place to camp in that lush, green bushland and enjoy a peaceful sunset.