In the beginning of January I will travel to Tanzania with my long-time travel buddy Katry. We have been to Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Paris together. But I think I most excited for this trip. Let me explain why.
1. Jaw-dropping beaches of Zanzibar island. There can be no more divine setting for a barefoot African beach holiday than the exotic spice island of Zanzibar. The crystal blue waters of the warm Indian Ocean lap endless miles of unspoiled white, sandy beaches backed by lush tropical forests. However, I have to be careful and pack SPF 50 with me because the UV levels on the island are dangerously high.
2. Giant tortoises and dolphins. In the beginning of 20th century, the quarantine island near Zanzibar was turned into a large compound for giant tortoises. In 1919 the British governor of Seychelles sent a gift of four Aldabra giant tortoises to the island who then bred quickly and now the island hosts more than 150 tortoises. The average weight of grown tortoises is 200kg and some of them are more than 150 years old. Quests can pet and feed the tortoises. In addition to that, the sea life is truly vibrant and there are many tours offering swimming with dolphins and snorkelling between corals.
3. Vibrant markets in Dar es Salaam. During the trip we will also visit the largest city in Tanzania – Dar es Salaam – which is famous for its colourful and authentic markets. I am excited to go through all this hustle and bustle myself.
4. Complex history. Tanzania has witnessed multiple foreign rulers – from Portuguese and Germans to Omani Arabs and the British. 19th century Zanzibar became the centre of Arab Slave Trade. Later spices and coffee became the major export products. There are multiple museums and historic monuments looking back at these periods that me, as a history buff, will definitely visit.
5. Tempting food. Tanzanian food is a mixture of traditional African food with a strong Arabic/Indian influence. On Zanzibar island there is amazing sea food. I’m worried that it will be a bit too spicy for me as a typical Estonian, but I am definitely excited to try!
6. Real-life Lion King. Tanzania is one of the best countries in the world to go on a safari. The wildlife is amazing – from lions and leopards to giraffes and elephants. This is a definite must when visiting this country. Unfortunately it’s not the cheapest adventure – everything costs from car rentals to national park admission fees.
7. Witness sunrise at Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzania is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa. Since it is expensive and takes quite a lot of time and physical effort to hike up there, we won’t be going up. But we will fly to the area and enjoy the views from the nearby villages.
The trip will go as follows: Tallinn -> Helsinki -> Paris -> Dubai -> Zanzibar -> Dar es Salaam -> Kilimanjaro -> Dar es Salaam -> Dubai -> Paris. Exciting!!! 🙂