Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 146 - Mikumi National Park to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Left the  park early ... very early.   As I approached Dar es Salaam the traffic became more congested and the there seemed to be a continuous stream of roadside merchant stalls.  I was warned by Chris back in Cape Town of the “law of the biggest”.  If it’s bigger than you, you make the effort to give way.  How true that statement turned out to be.  Nine times I had to move to the narrow shoulder of the road at highway speeds due to a bus or truck (usually a bus) passing another vehicle while cresting a hill.  At least they were somewhat courteous as they flashed their lights to get my attention. 

Dar es Salaam, what a busy place!  Your typical large African city. I needed to find a place with internet and ended up paying a premium for my room.  Had to catch up on my blog posts so I figured it was worth it.  I inquired about the ferry schedule.  No real help from the clerk.  An hour later I received a call to my room stating there was someone here that could help me with what I wanted to do in Zanzibar.  Met with Francisco (tour organizer) and I booked a package deal for the ferry, city tour of Stone Town, Zanzibar, spice tour and a tour of Prison Island (locally known as Changuu).  Took a cab ride to his office at the pier, paid my money and was driven back to the hotel.  Ya, the tour operator used a cab, not his own vehicle which I found odd but I trusted the guy as he was called by the desk clerk of the hotel.  Maybe I’m naive.  Anyway, I felt I had no choice as I was on a tight timeline and figured this guy must be legitimate even though I was questioning how he did business.  After all, it’s Africa.  Things are done very differently here.

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