The best sunset I’ve ever experienced… Zanzibar Island, Tanzania, December 2009.
The other day I was reading this post on Brenna’s blog This Battered Suitcase
where she shared a beautiful picture of a sunrise that she recently witnessed while travelling in India (she is currently doing a 6-month backpacking trip through South and Southeast Asia- awesome!). When she asked her readers to share the location of the best sunrise or sunset they had ever seen, I only had to think for a millisecond before giving my answer: Zanzibar! I had the good fortune of spending two weeks travelling through Kenya, Tanzania, and the island of Zanziber in late 2009. I wrote only briefly on my experience there (maybe I should do a more thorough series of posts on my Africa trip, whaddya think??), and wanted to share this post with those who didn’t catch it the last time around. What a fantastic (but exhausting) trip!
Destination: Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar during the Christmas break.
Kenya: Two days exploring Nairobi after a harrowing 14 hour flight with a faulty entertainment system. Stayed for two nights in a hotel where we feared getting malaria and slept with mosquito nets on, went to the markets, mentally prepared for what came next.
Tanzania: Started a 7-night camping trip where we had to set up and take down our own tents. Went to the Serengeti and watched a wildebeest migration. Camped on the cusp of the Ngorongoro crater. Celebrated Christmas in a tent as the heavens let loose and launched torrents of heavy rain. Ate camp food and African specialties. Was mistaken for a local. Visited a Maasai village and marvelled at their haunting beauty. Had cold showers. Saw every animal imaginable. Ate more food. Got sick. Lived a little. Laughed a lot. Was thankful to have such an experience.
Zanzibar: 4 days of relaxation on the gorgeous beaches there. Danced a lot. Went on a tour of the spice fields there. Had lots of beach-side massages and long, lazy days at the beach. Survived sketchy internet and frequent power outages. Discovered that Eastern African beach-side sunsets are probably the best I’ve ever seen. Rang in the New Year with a wild full moon party on the beach and a late-night frolic in the Indian Ocean.
Conclusion and realization: I hate camping and love hot showers. It was beautiful to be around people who look just like me and see my face reflected in those of strangers. I am blessed to live this life. Coca-cola cures all stomach troubles. There is no hurry in Africa. Black Africa is more beautiful and diverse than I could have ever imagined. I love long bus rides, excessive humidity and heat, and pitch-black skies.
Africa is unreal.
Can’t wait to go back.