Nomad Zanzibar 2019

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ISSUE 17| FREE COPY

ZANZIBAR

THE SPICE ISLAND

TALES OF

STONE TOWN

UNDERWATER

PHOTOGRAPHY

A FAMILY HITS

THE ROAD


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ED’S NOTE

The monkey that stole my Ethiopian coffee beans

When I was six years old, I asked my dad to

bring me some snow on a trip back from

London.

“How am I going to carry that back

here?” he asked, chuckling in bemusement.

Gee...perhaps get a tiny little portable freezer just so as to

please your only daughter? Needless to say, the only thing he

brought me from that trip was several pretty dresses.

I remember my parents, my mom especially, always being

collectors. She had this large tin that was packed with coins

brought back from her travels, the fridge was always dotted

magnets from exotic places and don’t even get me started on

her collection of Indian fabrics. As I go on more trips myself,

I am realizing that I’m slowly plunging into this same sunken

place, never mind that I’m actually a bit of a minimalist

especially with spaces like my apartment.

It’s not always the most practical souvenirs either. I never

think, “I actually need a wine cork, and this hand carved one

from Ubud will be just perfect.” Oh no no no. I am drawn

to that heavy beaded dinosaur stuffed with ashes from an

indigenous tree, blessed by the ancestors of that land and

said to cure things like overthinking, lactose intolerance and

maybe even infertility. Never mind that it’s probably going to

be way above my weight limit at the airport, and the “ashes”

might be flagged as some illegal substance that gets me

locked up in the next country.

I have prized souvenirs, too, like an antique, bohemian,

Morocan coffee set that I snagged from the owner of some

hole-in-the-wall restaurant that I convinced to sell to me. My

box of Ethiopian coffee beans was stolen from the table in

my hotel room by a colobus monkey who proceeded to jeer

at me from the top of a baobab tree all afternoon. I recently

got spiced tea combos from a Zanzibari spice farm, mixes

like cardamom-mango-and-lemongrass. All these purchases

consciously made by me yet I don’t even like tea or coffee.

Food can make for great souvenirs too, and some of my

favourites to receive have been Swiss chocolates, Turkish

baklava and dates from Oman. Ever notice, though, how

much easier it is to splurge on overpriced goods when you’re

paying in foreign currency?

My most-recent purchase comes from the streets of Stone

Town which we traveled to for this issue. I spotted various

gentlemen playing a heated game of Bao on the streets and

bought a set that’s been sitting on my coffee table for three

weeks now - I am yet to even Google how to play it. For you,

however, souvenirs come by way of all the exciting stories

and photographs shared in this issue.

wattaonthego

Wendy Watta

NOMAD ISSUE. 17 · APRIL/MAY 2019 · PUBLISHED BY WEBSIMBA LIMITED, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

MANAGING DIRECTOR MIKUL SHAH EDITOR WENDY WATTA DESIGN BRIAN SIAMBI SALES VANESSA WANJIKU

CONTRIBUTORS SIMON MARSH, LEROY BULIRO, ANYIKO OWOKO, JACK WOOD, SAMANTHA DU TOIT, FRANCES WOODHAMS, FAITH KANJA

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS BRIAN SIAMBI, SAM VOX, NICK DALE, SUSAN MOLLOY

DIGITAL, MARKETING & OPERATIONS DANIEL MUTHIANI, LEROY BULIRO, JANE NAITORE, FRED MWITHIGA, ANGELA OMONDI

SALES ENQUIRIES CALL NOMAD 0711 22 22 22 EMAIL EDITOR@NOMADMAGAZINE.CO

NomadMagazineAfrica @NomadMagAfrica @NomadMagazineAfrica

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 7


COVER IMAGE:

STONE TOWN, ZANZIBAR

SHOT BY BRIAN SIAMBI

APR

MAY

2019

12

12. TOP SHOTS

This month’s featured photographers capture a striking sunset in

the wild and a charismatic gentleman in Lamu’s Old Town.

18. NEWS

Africa’s largest ferris wheel is launched at Two Rivers mall, an

Ethiopian Airlines flight crashes shortly after take off and a

wildfire rages through Mt Kenya.

25

20. WHATS ON

From a wine extravaganza to this year’s Rhino Charge, find a

round-up of must-attend events this season.

9. GET TO KNOW: NAI NAMI

Who better to show one the streets of downtown Nairobi than

the kids who used to live in those very streets and had to have

their smarts about them to survive?

22. GLOBETROTTERS

Underwater photographer Jahawi Bertolii talks about his

time spent diving into the depths of the ocean in Sri Lanka to

document marine life with the aim of shedding a light on their

conservation.

22

54. WHAT I PACK FOR MY TRAVELS

Biko Adema is a renowned rugby sevens player who’s traveled

the world and stolen the hearts of numerous sports fans in the

process. Take a peek inside his carry-on bag for items he likes to

bring on trips.

8 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


CONTENTS

FEATURES

30-42

30. TALES OF STONE TOWN

Get lost with us in the maze-like streets of this charming historic

town. Find everything you need to plan for your visit, from

insights from our recent trip to secret insider know-how.

36. ISLAND IDYLL

Said to be Zanzibar’s most-popular beach, Nungwi is always

abuzz, understandably so. In between its beach strip with the

array of hotels, read all about a favourite find, Kilindi Zanzibar,

coupled with a parasailing adventure crowned by swimming with

turtles.

40. WHERE TO STAY

From North to South and East to West, a round-up of places to

stay whatever the beach you’re looking to explore.

46. SPOTLIGHT ON: FLIP FLOPI

The Flipflopi dhow sets off on a highly anticipated overseas

expedition sailing from Lamu to Zanzibar with a bid to create a

plastic revolution.

48. ROAD TRIPS: A FAMILY HITS THE ROAD

Exploring ideas of where to go, Simon Marsh decides that a road

trip up North, well beyond the usual tourist trail, might be a fun

and unique way to spend a couple of weeks with his family.

52. SPOTLIGHT: KIMANA HOUSE

Wandering around the beautiful, now-renovated four rooms of

Kimana House, it is hard to believe that at the turn of 2018, it

was still a dark and dreary space with ghastly tinted windows

and a questionable choice of paint.

REGULARS

52

25. KENYAN TRAVELER

Impressed by the mukeke, drums and jogging in Burundi, Anyiko

Owoko writes that this has been her first time traveling to a place

whose culture challenged her to learn more about her own.

28. NOTES FROM THE BUSH

When a little warthog is discovered along a river, and with no

mother in sight, Samantha Du Toit and her kids quickly take her

in, but the joy this piglet brings might just be short lived.

50. BUDGET PICK: ROCKY ECO LODGE

Most travel-loving Nairobians are no strangers to Naivasha, a

place which, at the very least, has served as a pit-stop as you

leave or drive back to the capital. In this town, Leroy Buliro finds

a spot perfect for anyone traveling on a tight budget.

56. LAST WORD:WALKING TOUR

Hamid takes visitors on a four hour walking tour of Stone Town,

but will they really brave the heat for that long?

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 9


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CONTRIBUTORS

WE ASK OUR CONTRIBUTORS WHAT THEIR BEST OUT-OF-TOWN FOOD SPOTS ARE...

SAMANTHA DU TOIT

Notes from the bush, Page 26

As a child my family loved picnics, and I can

name many a shady tree where we stopped

en route to a safari destination to have our

egg sandwiches and coffee. But when asked

to name a favourite non-picnic spot it would

have to be the balcony of Nautilus Restaurant

on Kilifi Creek. Set up on stilts, not much

can surpass eating fresh tuna carpaccio with

a cold glass of white wine while watching

dhows sail by.

LEROY BULIRO

Globetotters, Page 22

Nothing beats digging into some really

good food while in a serene atmosphere that

truly calms the mind. We had just finished

exploring the amazing Tsavo East National

Park and while driving along the coast,

made a stop at Osteria Restaurant, right by

the ocean’s shores in Malindi. That warm

ocean breeze accompanied by a classic

cheesy Italian pizza was hands down the

highlight of the journey.

SIMON MARSH

A family hits the road, Page 48

I always look forward to visiting Kobe

in Watamu; it has a unique mixture of

great ocean views, a laid back vibe and

outstanding cuisine with a seafood focus.

Large prawns with garlic are cooked to

perfection and accompanied by tender

calamari and the catch of the day, which just

melts onto the fork. I like to combine with a

glass of chilled pinot grigio and some finely

chopped chillies, and the result is euphoric!

GET TO KNOW: NAI NAMI

in the CBD. After the usual pleasantries were

exchanged, we set off for Nairobi Railway

Station, a place known to many as a bus stop

with matatus heading to different parts of the

city. Kissmart led the way with one guest while

the other guest, our editor, walked behind with

Mrembe. The other two guides then trailed

behind, possibly for security.

The concept of Nai Nami (Swahili for

‘Nairobi with me’) is rather genius: who

better to show one the streets of downtown

Nairobi than the kids who used to live in

those very streets and had to have their

smarts about them to survive? The company

currently employs seven guides, all former

street kids, and using strengths such as

storytelling and entertaining which they have

honed naturally over the years, gives them an

opportunity to make a better living.

Their walking tours have so far been well

received, with over 2,000 guests from over

75 countries having signed up within one

year. When the Nomad team got an invite to

check out the city from co-founder Gianmarco

Marinello, we simply could not pass up the

chance to get reacquainted with certain parts

of Nairobi that we don’t get to visit as often

as we’d like.

We had been linked up with four guides;

Mrembe, Kissmart, Cheddar and Donga,

and on the said day, met up right outside

the Hilton Nairobi, a pretty central location

Mrembe launched into his life story, talking

about how he ended up on the unforgiving

streets of Nairobi as a child and had to

raise himself by doing odd jobs such as

collecting plastic from rubbish heaps. When

he hit puberty, this soon gave way to theft,

a decision that led to his best friend being

gunned down at Bus Station. He himself was

almost beaten to death by an angry mob

when he was caught stealing. Their stories are

much more complex than this space would

allow, but we were so engrossed in them that

we didn’t notice the two hours pass by, or

how much distance we had covered walking

to OTC, Riverside, Kariokor market where we

got some souvenirs, down to Ngara and back

up to Moi Avenue where we finally stopped

for a hearty lunch at a kibanda.

A suggestion is to ask for the itinerary

beforehand, read up on the places then kick

back and get immersed in the stories.

www.nai-nami.com

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 11


NICK DALE

Instagram: @nickdalephotography

There was a beautiful sunset and I took

this shot using the settings: ISO 280,

f/16 and 1/500.

The most important factor for me when

shooting this was the aperture as I

wanted both the silhouette and sun to

be sharp. I used a Nikon D850 and

an 800mm lens perched on top of the

bonnet of a safari truck!

TIP: When taking this type of shot, it is

important to keep the horizon very low

in the frame.

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TOP SHOTS

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 13


TOP SHOTS

SUSAN MOLLOY

Instagram: @whatsusansees

As I walked through Lamu Town’s

maze of alleyways and artistic

doorways, meeting this charismatic

gentlemen was one of my favourite

moments. He welcomed me to chat

with him in the shade for a while.

Realistically, it was mostly us laughing

at my terrible Swahili before I asked

if I could take a few portraits. For me,

this shot represents the beauty of an

unhurried life lived in this friendly,

coastal community.

I took this shot with a Canon 5d Mark

III and a Canon 24-70 mm F/2.8 lens.

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www.maasai.com

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 15


TOP SHOTS

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BRIAN SIAMBI

Instagram: @brian.siambi

There was a beautiful morning light as we were

driving out of Kimana Sanctuary at 7:00am. It was

the clearest day to see Mt. Kilimanjaro so I got out

of the car and started capturing it. A few metres

away, we saw some commotion and dust in the

air, and driving a little further on, encountered a

herd of elephants. This curious female stood and

looked straight at us and I quickly grabbed my

camera and got it in frame with the mountain in the

background. The birds were a lucky occurence in

the shot

Shot with the Sony A7 and 70-200mm

at F7.1, ISO 160, and 1/320.

TIP: Always have your camera on standby when

in the wild. Nature is quick and you won’t always

have a second chance to capture an image.

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 17


NEWS

AFRICA’S LARGEST FERRIS WHEEL

LAUNCHED AT TWO RIVERS MALL

This observation wheel dubbed “Eye of Kenya” is set to give

one brilliant panoramic views of Nairobi’s expansive skyline.

It is located at Two Rivers Mall along Limuru Road and boasts

40 air-conditioned cabins that have a seat capacity of six

passengers each. The Eye of Kenya is the tallest ferris wheel

in Africa at 60m above ground, surpassing the Cape Wheel

in South Africa which stands at 40m. Get to enjoy this iconic

addition to the city’s attractions by paying Ksh 500 per person.

The wheel does two revolutions which take a total of 14 minutes.

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES PLANE

CRASHES SHORTLY AFTER

TAKE OFF

This devastating crash happened six minutes after

take off, leaving no survivors when the Ethiopian

Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane crashed while

on its way from Bole International Airport in

Ethiopia to Kenya’s Capital, Nairobi. Investigations

into the cause of the accident are still on-going as

several countries suspend the Boeing 737 MAX 8

planes. The aircraft was carrying 149 passengers

from at least 35 nationalities as well as eight

crew members. Another plane of the same model

was involved in a crash less than five months ago

when a Lion Air flight crashed into the sea near

Indonesia with nearly 190 people on board.

WILDFIRE DEVASTATION IN MT. KENYA

A multi-agency team successfully managed to put out a

fire in Mt Kenya Forest. The week-long wildfire destroyed

approximately 120,000 hectares of vegetation and killed

wildlife. Mt Kenya region is an important water catchment

area for Kenya and also hosts national parks and various

conservancies. The inferno that reportedly started near Lake

Ellis in Tharaka-Nithi County spread to parts of Embu, Laikipia

and Kirinyaga counties. The Kenya Forest Service boss said

investigations were underway to establish the cause of the fire

but they were not ruling out poachers, illegal honey harvesters

and bhang farmers as some of the possible causes. A big thank

you to the environment and forests ministries, Kenya Defence

Forces, British Army Training Unit, Tropic Air, Mt Kenya Trust,

Kisima Farm, Lewa Conservancy, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and

the Rhino Ark for battling and successfully putting out the huge

wildfires.

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NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 19


WHAT’S ON

SOKOKE FOREST MTB

CHALLENGE

This biking safari initiative is geared towards

conservation of the exotic Arabuko Sokoke Forest

in Watamu, Kilifi County. The race stands to offer a

perfect blend of challenge and thrilling adventure...

the picturesque sights and sounds are just a bonus.

A 70 km challenge will take place on 4th May

while a 15 km fun day will be held on 5th May. A

great deal of cash prizes will be up for grabs. For

more information and registration details, check out

SOKOKE MTB CHALLENGE on Facebook.

RHINO CHARGE 2019

The Rhino Charge is an annual off-road 4×4

competition held in Kenya to raise funds to

support the activities of the Rhino Ark Kenya

Charitable Trust, an NGO which works towards

the conservation and protection of Kenya’s

mountain range ecosystems. This year’s event

takes place from 30th May to 2nd June. Tickets

are only available from the Rhino charge

website ticketing portal (www.rhino-charge.org),

which closes on 24th May. General location

details will be shared by the Clerk of Course

during the pre-event briefing on 4th May 2019.

The exact location will be revealed to registered

ticket holders the night before the event; the

venue is usually kept a secret.

WINE EXTRAVAGANZA

The second edition of the Wine and Beer

Extravaganza will be held on Saturday April

6, 2019 at the Leleshwa Getaway in Rongai

from 11:00 am till late. The Wine tasting affair

presents you with an opportunity to sample over

50 wines, champagnes and gourmet food while

also undergoing wine training and jamming

to live DJ music. Build your wine knowledge

and enjoy your glass, all while overlooking the

Nairobi National Park. Entry is free. For more

details, contact 0722 528 749.

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EASTER WEEKEND AT LANTANA GALU BEACH | DIANI BEACH

Offering an array of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy

From 19th to 22nd April 2019

Free Scuba Diving Trials at the pool with Scubaduka

Free Afternoon Activities for Children

Free Kite Surfing Trials with the Kenya Kitesurfing School

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 21

+254 714 315 151 | info@lantana-galu-beach.co.ke | www.lantana-galu-beach.co.ke


CAPTURING THE

UNDERWORLD

Kenyan-Italian photographer Jahawi Bertolii talks to Nomad’s

Leroy Buliro about his time spent diving into the depths of the

ocean to document marine life with the aim of shedding a light

on their conservation.

How did you get into underwater

photography?

One day while filming a music video, we

needed an underwater shot of someone

jumping into a pool so I went in with a

GoPro and my cousin, the talented director

Phillipa Herrmann, joked that I should

venture into underwater photography as

there was no one doing it in Kenya. A

few months later, I was sitting in my studio

writing music for some beautiful footage

when my frustration at being trapped in

landlocked Nairobi came to its pinnacle. I

decided that I wanted to be out there, within

nature, filming, and not stuck in a studio.

Once that project was completed, I moved

to Thailand and enrolled in an underwater

cinematography course…and that’s how I

got behind a camera.

Which has been your most exciting

assignment yet?

Hunting down photos of blue whales in

Sri Lanka which is an interesting place for

cetaceans because it is one of the few

places that has a resident population of Blue

Whales alongside many other species. The

nutritious upwelling of plankton and krill

at the drop off of the continental shelf in

the south of the island makes it possible to

support these massive creatures year round.

For the best chance of photographing blue

whales, Sri Lanka was the place to go. It is

also a very culturally interesting place with

superb waves for surfing.

When did you finally get to see some blue

whales in Sri Lanka?

On our first day, we were woken up by the

owner of the guest house where we were

staying. “There are huge numbers of whales

being spotted,” she said in excitement. We

hadn’t planned anything for that day given

that it was our first morning. The day was

dark and cloudy and the water an eerie gun

metal grey. The lack of sun meant that the

krill were closer to the surface providing a

huge feast for the whales; this was however

not the best weather for photography. The

whales were close to the coastline and

when we found them, we realised that the

boat was surrounded by at least 15 feasting

blue whales; even with all their years of

experience, the crew had never seen so

many together! We spent some time just

watching them to see their behaviour and

once the captain was convinced it was safe,

I decided to take the plunge.

How was the first dive?

The water was very murky and visibility was

poor. Swimming on, I came across a bubble

trail left by one of the whales that had a 6

metre wide tail. Water visibility was bad and

it was impossible to get a good shot. The

water was 1 km deep and 500 metres long,

cargo ships were moving silently through the

mist... not the best conditions, so we called

it a day and went back to shore deciding to

wait a few more days for better conditions.

This was actually one of the only times I’ve

ever felt really uneasy in the water.

22 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


GLOBETROTTERS

Did you get another photo opportunity?

Definitely. We spent the next week

exploring the southern part of the island

and when conditions improved, headed

back out to the open ocean again. From

radio chatters, we heard that the whales

were quite far off the coast - about 30

nautical miles - so we motored out into

the blue which took about 3 hours. We

eventually found one as the sun was getting

low. The best way to get a chance to

capture these gentle giants is to get in the

water in front of them and let them swim to

you. There were many unfruitful attempts.

Knowing we had a long trip home, the

captain said there was one more chance

to get underwater. I jumped and swam as

fast as I could to reach where I estimated

the whale was heading only to see a huge

tail disappear into the blue, for a moment

I thought I had missed my opportunity

and then I turned to see another whale

coming straight at me following the first!

The moment passed by in slow motion as

the largest animal ever to have lived on

this planet glided through the water in front

of me before disappearing as quickly as it

had arrived.

What’s another set of memorable shots

that you have ever taken?

We filmed a short documentary in Lamu

for the Lamu Marine Conservation Trust.

A strong part of the narrative was turtle

conservation and we needed a shot of

a newly hatched turtle wading into the

ocean for the first time. For months I went

out to hatchings to try get the shot but

ocean conditions were always either

difficult or visibility was bad. Trying to

follow something so small also proved

impossible. One morning after 6 months,

the sea was calm and visibility was good.

I managed to find and stay with a baby

turtle that had just hatched and filmed a

sequence of its first few moments in the

ocean, and that moment will stay with me

forever.

What lies next for you this year?

I just received great news that a project

I’ve been working on has been approved

for a National Geographic Society grant,

which is amazing and pretty much a

dream come true! This will be part of a

larger project we’re setting up called East

African Ocean Explorers where we want

to inspire a new generation of explorers

who will champion marine conservation

and act as an inspiration to young people

in their communities. We want to provide a

platform for passionate people to be able

to explore and learn more about the ocean

providing workshops, educational films and

funding for young Kenyans from coastal

communities to be able to get in the ocean;

whether that’s learning how to snorkel,

taking a diving course or going on whale

watching trips.

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 23


Tel: +254 (0) 723 697 346 || Email: info@mbh.co.ke

www.msambweni-beach-house.com


A KENYAN TRAVELLER

TALES FROM

BUJUMBURA

Impressed by the mukeke, drums and jogging in Burundi while

in the country to attend a traditional wedding, Anyiko Owoko

writes that this has been her first time traveling to a place

whose culture challenged her to learn more about her own.

As I plan my first trip to

Burundi, where I am to attend

a friend’s traditional wedding,

I don’t know what to expect

when I arrive because I

haven’t heard much about

the culture and food, the two

things I’m always drawn to when I travel. I

am however excited and ready to immerse

myself in everything this landlocked country

will have to offer.

It’s a five hour flight from Nairobi and

when we arrive at around 5:00 pm, which

would typically be rush hour in Nairobi, it

is so refreshing to be met by clear roads.

Bujumbura is a small city and most of its

residents don’t own personal cars. I am

immediately drawn to its scenic hills and

mountains, which I have thus far only seen

featured in several popular music videos by

the country’s local artists, an area of interest

to me given that I often work with musicians.

I quickly notice how the residents of

Bujumbura are often out jogging at all times

of the day, running up and down the curved

turns of the city’s winding roads. Burundians

actually have a long history of jogging

tracing back to bleak times when the country

was in war and conflict. For years, citizens

used jogging as a means of expression

against political oppression. Since then,

jogging has been so ingrained into their

culture that today it is a hobby for many

Burundians. In recent years, the country’s

President Pierre Nkurunziza banned jogs

involving thousands of people. To jog in a

large group, you must first join a jogging

club or register with the government, after

which you must pick one of the pre-approved

venues.

The culture and food are also quite

rich and mind blowing. Burundians speak

Kirundi, Swahili and French. Having been

colonized by the French, some of those

influences are still prevalent in their food

and love for good wine. Whether you are

at a five-star hotel or downtown, you must

simply sample Lake Tanganyika’s Sleek lates

fish known locally as mukeke, famed for its

natural delicious flavour and the fact that it

is only found in Lake Tanganyika. For lunch

on our first day, we visit Roca Golf Hotel in

the heart of Bujumbura for the best grilled

Mukeke served in mouth-watering amaranth

leaves locally known as lenga-lenga.

Later in the evening we visit Bwiza area

in downtown Bujumbura where we have

michopo—Senegalese-style grilled goat

meat served with a hot sauce made from

red chillies, lime and spices. Both michopo

and mukeke are often eaten with sticky ugali

made from cassava flour.

The traditional wedding I am attending

at The Atrium, nestled right by the shores of

Lake Tanganyika, is a very cultural affair.

In the first phase, for instance, ladies dress

up in traditional attire called imvutano.

Entertainment is a lively number reminiscent

of the Rwandese traditional dance, where

the dancers raise their hands in regal

postures as though they were royal birds.

Traditional drumming is also so prominent

here that you need to get a permit to be

allowed to have drummers even at a private

function. With a selection of over 25 big

drums accompanied by a talented team of

male drummers at my friend’s wedding, this

is certainly a very prestigious function.

My trip sparks several questions

regarding my own culture and how much

tradition still plays a role in our everyday

lives back in Kenya. Upon returning, I’ve

been curious to find out what people

from my tribe, the Luo, would wear and

do during traditional ceremonies like

weddings. It has been surprising that my

mother doesn’t know much about this

because even during her heydays, she

says ceremonies were pretty basic. This

has been my first time traveling to a place

whose culture challenged me to learn more

about my own.

Do you have a story you would like

featured in this column? Email a detailed

pitch to editor@nomadmagazine.co

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 25


YUMMY

WHITE

26 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE

56 Yummy. Food. Drink. Life


YUMMY

SANDS

A sanctuary of peace and intimacy, Zanzibar White Sand Luxury Villas & Spa is a boutique luxury resort situated on the beachfront Paje beach,

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Paje beach, Zanzibar, Tanzania +255 776 263 451

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Information and reservations

reservations@whitesandvillas.com +44 207 193 2716

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 27

Terms & conditions apply


NOTES FROM THE BUSH

SQUEAK THE

WILD PIGLET

When a little warthog is discovered along a river, and with no mother in

sight, Samantha Du Toit and her kids quickly take her in, but the joy this

piglet brings might just be short lived.

It is very hard to reason with a

three-day old warthog.

Despite her tiny size, Squeak

was a fierce and feisty piglet who

definitely knew her own mind from

the minute she arrived in our lives.

One hot afternoon in January,

the children and I were seeking out shade

in their play/classroom tent when Kibai (our

Maasai daytime watchman) came rushing up

to us holding the tiny hog. She was squealing

most indignantly as he hurriedly handed

her over to me. I noticed she still had her

umbilical cord, making her only a few days

old at the most.

Kibai had been walking along the banks

of the river just upstream from camp and had

found the little warthog on the side of the

river amongst a troop of baboons. When

no mother appeared after some time, he

picked her up and brought her to us. The kids

were excited, but we decided she needed

to be given back to her mother as soon as

possible.

Without a moment’s thought we carried

her back to where she had been found, with

her objecting, gnashing her teeth and biting

me at every opportunity. We placed her

on the ground, where she collapsed into a

heap, still squealing. We stepped back and

hoped her mother would come. It was only

then I realised that perhaps I should have

thought this through as I was not sure what

an angry mother warthog might do in such a

situation. Placing the children behind a tree,

we waited. No mother came. My heart was

torn.

What now? I have always believed

that ‘Mother Nature knows best’, and have

refrained from interfering with wild animals

at all costs. Surely there must be some

reason why this little creature is out here,

away from the safety of a burrow? But the

longer we stood there, the more chance it

seemed that she might die alone there, as we

watched. I looked at the children, looking to

me to decide, and knew we could not walk

away. We picked her up and took her back

to camp.

And so, the second ‘what now’ of the

day hit me. How does one raise a new-born

warthog? Many hours of internet searching,

calling patient veterinary friends and family

followed. The children did their best, making

her a small ‘burrow’ in a wine cooler-bag,

trying to decide how to keep her warm and

helping with the feeding from a small syringe

we had in the medical kit.

It turned out that the general consensus

was that goat’s milk was the best option, and

Kibai kindly offered to provide an unlimited

supply from his home every day. She was

soon named ‘Squeak’ by the children, who

worked around the clock to care for her.

Well, the daytime clock at least. I took on the

night time routine of three hourly feeds.

It was a steep learning curve, not least

learning to appreciate that wild animals

are completely different from their domestic

cousins. It should have seemed obvious

perhaps, but Squeak was a very wild animal,

accepting comfort and food only with her tiny

feet firmly on the ground. We learned that,

even in the days that followed where she had

learned we were ‘family’ she still would not

tolerate being picked up. That made sense as

the only time in the wild this would happen is

if she were being carried off in the mouth of a

predator.

Over the five days that followed, Squeak

appeared at first to be doing well. However,

on the morning of the sixth day, she was

listless and weak. By the afternoon it was

clear she was unlikely to make it through

another night. I took her to a quiet place

where she was too weak to object as I held

her close until she slipped away.

We still often talk about Squeak, and

certainly feel we were privileged to have had

her to care for and learn from, but I do hope

that Mother Nature takes care of her own for

the foreseeable future.

Samantha du Toit is a wildlife

conservationist, working with SORALO, a

Maasai land trust. She lives with her husband,

Johann, and their two children at Shompole

Wilderness, a tented camp in the Shompole

Conservancy.

28 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


Nestled in the foothills of Mt Kenya, award-winning accommodation 40 minutes from Nanyuki, endless opportunities to relax, reconnect with nature and the special people

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OlePangi.indd 1 02/04/2019 14:26

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 29


30TH - 31ST MARCH 2019

Great beer, food and company were all the rage at ‘The White Cap Big Brunch’ event which took place in Diani

on the 21st & 22nd March. Restaurant managers, influencers & the White Cap team were all in attendance for

the adventure filled brunch part of the White Cap Big Brunch series, all of which led to the Big Brunch weekend

on the 30th & 31st of March, courtesy of Kenya Breweries Limited and Eatout Kenya.

With some of the best restaurants in Nairobi & Mombasa participating, the weekend was filled with beer, laughs

and brunch. If you missed out, have no fear: More adventures and brunch weekends are coming your way soon!

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NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 35


8 Ways

to do brunch right

Get There Early

there’s nothing worse than going late for brunch

on an empty stomach and finding it packed. be the

smarter one, grab the prettiest table and enjoy your

brunch with no stress

Cab It

the white cap big brunch is probably going to be

a boozy one, so make sure you’ve got your cab apps

ready. drink responsibly

Go In A Group

sure, a romantic brunch could be a thing, but we

believe that brunch is an experience for friends. grab

your crew and make it a special day!

Experiment

yes, we know you have your usual that you pick every.

single. time. but come on, it’s a special weekend! go

outside your Comfort Zone

Let the Sweet & Savoury Combine

the best thing about brunch is how it’s a common

ground for both. relish in it, it’s one of the few times

you can! chicken wings with honey covered

pancakes? yes!

Enjoy Your White Cap

COMPLETE YOUR BRUNCH WITH AN ICE- COLD WHITE

CAP LAGER, PERFECT FOR WASHING DOWN ALL THAT

DELICIOUSNESS.

Leave A Review

your review will definitely help others figure out

where they should go so please, leave a review!

Tip Well

brunch can be a crazy time for servers, so show a

little appreciation and tip well!

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TEXT: WENDY WATTA PHOTOGRAPHS: BRIAN SIAMBI

TALES FROM

STONE TOWN

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 39


We are standing outside the Old Fort when Taib, with

suspicious enthusiasm, launches into a colourful story about

an Arab princess called Salme. Suspicious, because how

someone can be so chipper in this heat is beyond me; I can

already feel a migraine start to throb within the crevices of

my brain thanks to the sun mercilessly hammering at it. As

he drones on, pausing ever so slightly to adjust his kofia, I

momentarily halt my frantic self-fanning antics as I am gently

transported to a Stone Town of 1866, when this fort upon whose walls I now

lean would have been used as a garrison and prison. Merchants, I imagine,

would have been haggling about the price of a kilo of cloves, a teenage

slave hopelessly marching behind his brother towards an uncertain tomorrow,

an adventurer setting foot on ‘zinj-bar’ soil for the first time fresh off the boat

from a faraway land, and for Princess Salme, utterly scared of the whispers

in the palace and her brother the Sultan’s reaction to finding out that she was

pregnant by their German neighbour.

Shortly after, she flees this homeland having been rejected by her people

for her choice in a lover. Once in Hamburg, her name is no longer Salme but

Emily Ruete, and while she gets baptised as a christian, she secretly dreads

going to church and adamantly refuses to eat pork. Through this woman’s

story, 19th century Stone Town fascinates me because of how different the

society and culture are from present day. I wonder what life would have

been like for me, an African woman. Despite being born into vast wealth, the

youngest of a Sultan’s thirty children, Salme still has to secretly teach herself

how to write because this skill is not taught to women. Imagine, then, the

policing of friends, fashion, marriage, entertainment, work and the works.

I am drawn out of my reverie by a cat - these lanky felines that slink proudly

along the verandahs, and when you come face to face, it is you that has to

move out of the way. This being my second visit to Stone Town, hiring Taib

to take us on a walking tour was a smart idea. My first visit, I’m afraid, was

wasted, because I mostly wandered around the streets overwhelmed by the

beauty with no real insight into the rich history.

Much like Lamu Old Town, the pathways are narrow and maze-like, lined

with curio shops and art dealers, and after a couple of turns, start to blend into

one another in their similarity. Brightly coloured scooters whizz past. Women

swathed in colourful kangas or beautiful buibuis gracefully sashay along with

handwoven baskets in hand. Gentlemen perched on barazas play a complex

board game of bao, the winner clapping animatedly and talking smack to his

opponent, and I am so intrigued I that I buy a set. Distinguishing between the

beautiful intricately carved Arab and Indian doors, some pastel and others

with shiny golden brass studs, becomes a fun pastime. If a place ever so

deserved to be called charming, it would be this town. I fall in love with its

very essence, African, Arab, Indian, Persian and European influences distinct

in everything from the people to the mosques, churches, bazaars, architecture

and food. Stone Town is picture perfect, the heat notwithstanding.

THE STONE TOWN LOW DOWN

FOR COFFEE: JAW’S CORNER

We were actually lost when we first wandered onto this street where four of

the town’s winding alleys intersect, but we stayed for the people watching. It

is hard to miss, distinguished by a large painting-on-the-wall of the poster of

that classic 1975 Steven Spielberg movie. Here, a mzee brews strong, black,

Arabic-style coffee in steel kettles balanced precariously over a small charcoal

stove. The beverage is cheap and flows almost as freely as the gossip, and

there is a high chance you will be roped into a debate about anything from

football to the weather. Should you wish to call your online lover living

somewhere in Sweden or Thailand, there is a long pole with an old phone and

a cheeky sign announcing “free international calls”.

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ZANZIBAR

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 41


FOR ICE CREAM: TAMU GELATERIA ITALIANA

We may have only been in Stone Town for two nights but we stopped by this spot

so much - at first to find solace from the heat but pretty soon like a pair of hopeless

crackheads in need of a fix - that we were on a first name basis with the waitress. The

walls are decked in photos from around town and the refreshing gelatos are made from

real fruit. Local flavours include coconut, tamarind, hibiscus, passion and baobab. They

were so addictive, in fact, that I walked from my hotel room in pajamas at 10:00pm to

go get a scoop; a pathetic sight, I am certain, but my taste buds were quite pleased.

FOR ZANZIBAR PIZZA: MR MANGO’S STAND AT FORODHANI GARDENS

This is a glorious seafront night market bustling with tourists and locals alike, with

numerous vendors selling local dishes all being cooked on the spot. The seafood is oh so

seductively spread out, but because it’s not always refrigerated, to try these would be to

set a date with food poisoning. You should however definitely try Zanzibar pizza, and

Mr Mango’s stand is the place to go. To be honest, his signature mango-nutella combo

is more like a crepe than a pizza, but it sure is downright delicious. To his left, a vendor

sells freshly squeezed sugar cane juice to wash down your food with, and if you’re still

hungry, because you’re a glutton, a lady to his right sells a spicy Zanzibar mix also

known as urojo. We were told that this market is a tourist trap since the same food is

much cheaper at Darajani, but I liked the vibe so much I didn’t mind the snare. If you’re

here before sunset, entertainment will be by way of local boys diving from the perimeter

wall into the sea below.

FOR COCKTAILS: THE BEACH HOUSE

This modern upscale bar and restaurant is said to have some of the best sunset views,

but both times I’ve been there have unfortunately been after dark. It has a multicultural

millennial staff and the menu offers an array of excellent gin-based cocktails infused with

Zanzibar’s popular spices. On this visit, we sat on the outdoor terrace - the best spot in

the house - where there was remix to the Game of Thrones theme song playing. Some

local guys were playing a lively game of football on the sand below and after two ginpassion-and-saffron

cocktails, I had to be held back to stop me from joining.

FOR SPICES: JAMBO SPICE FARM

Herbs and spices were initially introduced to Zanzibar by Portuguese traders from their

colonies in India and South America in the 16th century. During the Omani rule, cloves

were actually more valuable than their weight in gold. We drove for a little over 10km

from the town center to an organic farm where we learnt how the spices got to the island,

how they are grown as well as their uses, some of which we had never considered

before. We were smelling, tasting and collecting spices like cloves, lemongrass, garlic,

ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, pepper, cardamom and more. I love using spices in

my kitchen...cooking without any is like hosting a party with no music. I have only ever

seen some of them ground, which made the tour all the more interesting. Fresh whole

nutmeg for instance opens up like a jewellery box and the seed sits inside like an exotic

ring, and I was just about to say yes to this unexpected marriage proposal until our guide

told us that the spice is actually “like a viagra for women”, at which I very slowly backed

away. It was only 10:00am for heaven’s sake. At the end of the tour we came to a stand

selling packaged spices and soaps as well as interesting spiced tea combinations. We

loaded up by the kilos.

42 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


ZANZIBAR

PHOTOGRAPHS: SAM VOX

LOCAL KNOW-HOW

What makes Stone Town a photographer’s

paradise?

It is naturally a very photogenic place, with

its beautiful heritage buildings, the narrow

streets and the beach (Forodhani). To me it’s

a place of identity. I love the Swahili Arab

culture which is my ethnic background. Here,

I can learn more about my history and have

a deeper understanding of our traditions and

the people.

What’s your go-to spot for lunch?

Ma Shaa Allah Cafe or Lukmaan Restaurant

which offer every day authentic Zanzibari

dishes using an array of local spices.

What are some hidden gems in Stone Town?

Mrembo Spa is my little sanctuary when I

need to rejuvenate and recharge. They use

traditional remedies and natural product. My

favourite masseuse is Asha who is legally

blind but is amazing at what she does.

There are also so many talented Zanzibari

carpenters in town that create amazing

woodwork but are often overlooked in the

midst of all the imported souvenir stores. My

favourites are Suleiman and his team inside

the Old Fort.

What are your go-to foodie spots around

town?

For breakfast, Foro Cafe at Forodhani

Gardens because it’s inexpensive and

the food is really good. Secret Garden at

Emerson Spice is a great spot for lunch- the

ambiance really transports you back in time.

My favourite dish there is the

coconut seafood curry. At Ma Shaa Allah

Cafe, the prices are affordable and I love

their Indian twist to Swahili food.

What’s your go-to beach when you need a

break from Stone Town?

I like Kendwa beach because its picturesque

although it can get very busy. I would go for

Michamvi, Matemwe and Bwejuu. While the

sea is tidal on the East Coast, it tends to be

less crowded than the north coast.

Any tips for first time visitors?

Unless you’ve done considerable research

beforehand, do a guided Stone Town tour

with a registered company. It will give you a

sense of direction and better understanding

of the history and culture of Zanzibar. Spend

at least two nights immersing yourself in the

food and culture here before heading off to

explore the rest of the archipelago.

What’s your go-to beach when you need a

break from Stone Town?

A favorite is a hidden beach in

Mwangapwani. It’s only there for a short

period of time depending on the day and

tide. The waters are beautiful and clear, and

it’s a perfect spot for cliff jumping.

Any insider tip you would like to share with

someone visiting Zanzibar

for the first time?

Get lost, wander around and be present. If

possible, get a local guide. Stone Town is

one of those places with a deep history and

culture and you could easily walk by vital

landmarks without knowing their significance

to the island. A local will help you

understand the everyday life of the people.

What’s your favourite place to photograph

in Stone Town?

I can never tire of Forodhani beach. To

me, it’s the one place that brings the Island

together, especially on weekends. I love

seeing families come out in their beautiful

matching clothes having traveled from

nearby villages for a day out at the beach.

Occasions like this are what makes this

island special and I like being here to

document it all.

SAM VOX,

Photographer

HAFSA MBAMBA

Owner, Grassroots Traveller

(They set up our tours around Stone Town)

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 43


ISLAND

IDYLL

Said to be Zanzibar’s most-popular beach,

Nungwi is always abuzz, understandably so.

In between its beach strip which stretches

into Kendwa, amidst the array of hotels both

grand and cheerfully cheap, Kilindi Zanzibar

redefines luxury in this quaint fishing village.

TEXT: WENDY WATTA PHOTOGRAPHS: BRIAN SIAMBI

I“You can dance, you can jiiiive, having the time of your

life...diggin’ the dancing queen!”

mooch about the grand villa which is far too spacious

for just me, singing embarrassingly off-key at the top

of my lungs, certain no one will hear me because of

how spread apart the 15 villas at Kilindi Zanzibar

are. Carried away, I imagine I am Meryl Streep in

Mamma Mia and jump onto the four poster bed

with childlike glee then spring up as though on a

trampoline, but quickly remember that I can’t do a split

mid-air and this bed might break under my weight, in

which case, it wouldn’t matter how understanding the

people here are - I would have to pay. I have been playing

Abba’s Dancing Queen in a loop ever since finding out that

Kilindi Zanzibar was built as a private home for one of the

bandmates before being converted into a resort. It is now

under the management of Elewana Collection, and for that I

am glad.

Bosomed within the forested folds of Nungwi, it is hard not to

love this property. The slatted door of my palatial bedroom

opens up to a full-moon plunge pool which overlooks an

indigenous forest that stretches out to waters docked by

various traditional double-outrigger canoes called ngalawa.

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ZANZIBAR

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 45


46 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE

Here, you can

wear a bikini and

laze by the beach

all day and yet

a monkey might

swing by your

room from the

bush to say hello,

and I like that

juxtaposition.


ZANZIBAR

Here, you can wear a bikini and laze by the beach all day and

yet a monkey might swing by your room from the bush to say hello,

and I like that juxtaposition. The white-washed pavilions are very

European; Scandinavian minimalism meets the curved roofs of

Santorini’s domes complete with bougainvillea flowers in full bloom

along the pathways.

The bathroom housed in its own building comes with a rainshower

and sink-with-a-view, and is big enough to host a small conference.

As I potter between this and my room, clothes quickly become

burdensome. Keen to seek refuge from the heat after every trip from

the beach, my only predicament is whether to use the fan or let trade

winds do the cooling.

Guests are assigned their very own butler and we get Victoria

who comes with heaps of the renowned Swahili hospitality and a

side of wit. Dinner on the first night is right by the T-shaped pool, and

just when we thought things couldn’t possibly get better than that,

on the second night, we get our own secluded spot by the beach.

The meals here are absolutely divine. Ugali is elevated way above

its pay grade in an amuse bouche that mashes in potatoes and tops

that off with a flavour-packed beetroot puree. The seafood is fresh

and whispery with local spices, and Victoria always seems to appear

with a drink as soon as you think about one (she does this throughout

our stay, and I am completely convinced that she’s a mind reader).

After dinner, a guard pushes the pan with the log fire even

closer to the water and Victoria brings out bean bags to snuggle

in. Looking out at the stars and the sea glimmering in the shadows,

if an experience ever so deserved to be called magical, this would

be it. Conversation wanes as we drift in and out of slumber before

everyone retreats to their villas at 1:00pm. If we had no activities

planned for the following day, we would have been content to sleep

on this beach till the morning. In fact, I have now decided that Kilindi

is where I will be coming for my honeymoon. I suppose I still need to

meet the guy first, but let’s not get caught up on the minor details.

Along with Kendwa, the fishing village of Nungwi is said to be

Zanzibar’s most-popular beach, understandably so. The water is such

a saturated turquoise that should you only see it in a postcard, you

would think it were fake. It is also perfect for swimming in whatever

the time; there are no tides. The sunsets are spectacular enough to

turn even the most articulate poet into a baby-talking goop. The

shoreline is always docked by dhows and if you visit in the morning,

you can always chat up the fishermen for tales from the sea. It is

idyllic living, and we were warned that it would be crowded, if only

because numerous hotels occupy the same stretch of beach from

Nungwi to Kendwa. The only place where we saw a lot of people

was however at the latter beach which has gained a reputation as

the home of epic full moon parties.

PARASAILING

Zanzibar Parasailing run by Johann, a South African who

retired from the corporate world to open this busy water sport/

accommodation/ party central combo, is set in Kendwa which

is only a five minute walk from Kilindi Zanzibar. After cheerful

pleasantries are exchanged, we hop onto a small raft which takes

us to the parasailing boat. I am then harnessed and tethered to a

bright red parachute and from the back deck of the boat, the rope

is released and I take flight into the sky like a bird. Gliding gently

behind the boat to a height of about 250m, wind against my face

and with curious swimmers and sunbathers gazing up at me in the

distance, I can’t help but think that this is exactly what my drone

would be recording if I launched it up these northern shores. “I’m

flying, Jack!” Literally. No previous experience is necessary and a

flight lasts about 10 minutes which, when you’re cruising mid-air,

feels like an hour. It costs about $90 for a tandem flight and $130

for a solo flight. Visit www.zanzibarparasailing.com to find out what

other water sports are offered here. The vibe back at their dive

center is so lively that I could have hung out with this community for

the rest of the afternoon, but that cold hibiscus cocktail at Kilindi

wasn’t going to drink itself.

CONSERVATION: SWIMMING WITH TURTLES

I have been so eager to swim with these turtles all afternoon, but

now, finally face to face with them while crouching at the entrance

to this tidal pond watching them paddle hard in a race to reach the

food which has just been thrown in by one of the attendants, I am

unexpectedly timid. First of all, their number is overwhelming. I can

spot at least 15 of all sizes and ages. After a little coaxing from

Nomad’s photographer Brian, who has himself settled on paying

only the $7 required to simply watch and feed them (it costs $10 to

swim with them), I decide to take a deep breath and walk into the

cold water.

Eager to feed on the seagrass which has just been thrown in and

perhaps a little keen to play as well, the turtles come rushing towards

me and I can suddenly feel their flippers and shells rubbing against

my skin under the water as they swim about. I find their touch ticklish

and can’t help but laugh and squeal every time they brush against

me. Once I get comfortable, however, there is no getting me out.

Looking at these gentle creatures, it is hard to imagine them being

caught in fishermen’s nets which is how a lot of them often die, or

being hunted for their meat. Places like Baraka Natural Aquarium

exist to provide a refuge for rescued turtles and are often involved in

research, conservation and re-release into the sea. We are the only

guests at the pond and I would thereby suggest visiting later in the

day after the crowds have wandered off.

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 47


WHERE TO STAY

NORTH COAST

Photography: Brian Siambi and Respective Properties

ZURI ZANZIBAR

Choose from 55 west-facing bungalows,

suites and villas overlooking the beach and

close to the mesmerising azure waters of

the sea. Designed to provide the ultimate

in coziness, equipped with a mixture of

contemporary and local furniture and

decorated with African artwork, they come

with an option of outdoor showers, jacuzzi,

a private stretch of beach and more, a

unique experience of indoor/outdoor living.

Zuri Zanzibar offer a fusion of European,

African, Arabic and Indian cuisine, creating

a rainbow of sensational flavours at their

three restaurants and four bars. Everything

from yoga, wellness, a swimming pool and

beach to spice gardens, an indoor and

outdoor “wild fitness” gym area and a

library are at your disposal. Rates on request.

www.zurizanzibar.com

FLAME TREE COTTAGES

This small, independent, family-run

beachfront hotel lies on the beautiful

turquoise coastline of Nungwi. It is ideally

situated for swimming, snorkeling and diving.

Mnemba Atoll, just a short boat trip away, is

one of the best diving spots in the world. If

you fancy some dynamic hatha and vinyasa

flow yoga, head to the rooftop for a sunrise

or sunset session- the sunsets here are some

of the most spectacular on the island, and

you can also settle for taking it all in from

the cozy beach bar. The hotel lies within a

beautiful private tropical garden and has a

range of rooms and cottages to choose from.

Low season offers start at $160 for direct

bookings only. www.flametreecottages.com

MAKUTI ROOF ON THE BEACH

A room high up on stilts under a traditional

Makuti roof and right on Kendwa Beach in

front of Zanzibar Parasailing Clubhouse with

great views over the Kendwa bay. It is an

open air room with coconut wooden walls to

protect your privacy, and has a double bed,

sofa, table and locker. The front side is open

which looks directly to the sea. The room

is part of a watersports centre which has

a bar and kitchen facilities and bathrooms

are communal, shared with clients of the

watersports centre, and are situated towards

the back of the clubhouse away from the

room. An unobstructed view of the sunsets

and beach is the main attraction here. Rates

from $30. Bookings only via airbnb.

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ZANZIBAR

STONE TOWN

ZANZIBAR SERENA HOTEL

The hotel is comprised of two historic

buildings designed in traditional Swahili

style, a lavish retreat that captures the

elegance of a grander era since passed. An

ambience of relaxed sophistication has been

created in each of the 51 rooms and suites,

with wood-framed louver doors opening onto

private balconies with unobstructed views of

the ocean. Cool white walls, high-ceilings

and crisp royal blues and whites give a sense

of Zanzibar’s coastal serenity and charm.

The rooftop Terrace Seafood Restaurant offers

freshly-caught seafood and extraordinary

views of the bay while weekly authentic

Swahili banquets can be enjoyed by the pool

at Baharia Restaurant. Masahani Bar, on the

other hand, offers signature cocktails and live

performances by local Taarab bands.

www.serenahotels.com

EMERSON SPICE

This boutique hotel consists of three adjoining

World Heritage site buildings in the exotic

Kasbah of Zanzibar’s Stonetown. Two of

the facades face a quaint square at the

end of historic Tharia Street, a principal

thoroughfare for walking tours of the city.

The third façade looks toward the Anglican

Cathedral and the slave market. Nestled

among the rear facades is a squared

private courtyard containing an ancient

well. Dubbed the soul of Zanzibar. The

main building, an inspired and lovingly

restored merchant’s house has eleven stylishly

furnished rooms structured around an airy

central courtyard. The rooftop ‘Tea House’

hosts one of Stonetown’s most renowned

restaurants offering a stylish ambiance amidst

the sound of the calls to prayer from the

town’s numerous mosques. Book via

www.emersonspice.com

PARK HYATT ZANZIBAR

The hotel has a new and old building, the

latter being dubbed the Mambo Msiige

mansion which dates back to 1847 when it

was built for a wealthy Omani tradesman.

A good example of a traditional Zanzibar

mansion, it had various functions in the

following years before being transformed into

the luxury hotel it is today. The new building,

also known as Zamani Residence houses

the rooms and restaurant characterized

by towering ceilings with wooden beams,

skylights and golden brass chandeliers. The

owner is an avid art lover and collector and

the hotel is therefore dotted with several

unique pieces. For dining, the outdoor patio

is the best place to enjoy the buffets while

taking in all the boats and dhows in the sea.

www.hyatt.com

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 49


ZANZIBAR

EAST COAST

ZANZIBAR WHITE SAND

LUXURY VILLAS & SPA

This is a luxury boutique hotel located on

the pristine sands of Paje beach. The large

property has only 11 villas to ensure maximum

privacy for each guest. A stay here is as

much about enjoying a cocktail on the rooftop

champagne bar as it is about kitesurfing in

the sunset or indulging in a massage at the

spa after a day of sunbathing. They apply

sustainable policies within the resort including

recycling and growing organic fruits and

vegetables in their plantation, which are

used in our restaurant for a controlled quality.

Whether you are looking for a romantic

getaway or family holiday, the mission here

is to ensure memorable stays and the utmost

comfort in a serene and stunning setting. Rates

available on request.

www.whitesandvillas.com.

TULIA ZANZIBAR

Opened in 2015, this independent resort

is tucked away in the quiet and pristine

Pongwe beach and to ensure the utmost

privacy, the property has only 16 villas. The

wish of the Czech owners was to incorporate

traditional Zanzibari pavilions with chic,

modern elements. Choose from seafront luxury

villas, royal villas with a jacuzzi or a garden

bungalow with a partial sea view, all bathed

in soft, natural light. Cobia Restaurant offers

delicious meals crafted around international

cuisine with the added magic of coastal

ingredients, all done by Executive Chef Mgeni

Mzima. Staying at Tulia Zanzibar with its lush

botanical garden is not just about relaxation

but unique experiences and never-ending

adventure, all dictated by you. Rates available

on request through

www.tuliazanzibar.com

ZANZIBAR BANDAS

With unrivalled views of the Matemwe

lagoon, these five all-natural, thatched beach

bungalows are spacious and built using

traditional, eco-friendly materials. They feature

beautifully finished, hand-crafted furniture

including four poster beds and safari chairs.

Meals are prepared by local chefs Hashim,

Heri and Finiko and can be enjoyed on your

veranda or candle-lit dinner by the beach.

Built on stilts and on a platform using only the

ancient building materials of palm frond and

coco wood, these remote and eco-friendly

beach bandas offer a truly exceptional

experience on the island of Zanzibar. You can

walk along the majestic palmed-lined beach

for miles in both directions, only occasionally

coming across other people. Rates average

$100, to be confirmed on enquiry

www.zanzibarbandas.com

50 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


@serenahotels

Spice up your life … Experience Zanzibar Serena Hotel

P.O. Box 4151, Zanzibar

Telephone: +255 24 22 33 051/ +255 77 44 40 010/ +255 77 44 40 011 / +255 24 22 33 587

Email address: zanzibar@serena.co.tz

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 51


ZANZIBAR

SOUTH COAST

THE RESIDENCE ZANZIBAR

This resort lies in Kizimkazi within a lush,

forested 32-hectare estate where five-star

luxuries sit harmoniously alongside nature’s

untouched beauty. Feel your spirits soar amid

extensive tropical gardens that meet with

powder-soft white sand lapped by the crystal

clear waters of the Indian Ocean. Inspired

by the island’s eclectic cultures, it blends

modern comforts with Swahili, Omani,

British and Indian influences. Indulge in the

privacy of the spacious villas, attended on if

you wish by your own butler. Enjoy carefree

days relaxing by your private pool, on the

beach or exploring the gardens on foot or by

bicycle. Savour the taste of the Spice Island’s

unique blend of cultures and cuisines, and

the pleasure of sensational spa treatments.

Rates available on enquiry via

www.cenizaro.com

AYA BEACH BUNGALOWS

The resort has 12 rooms and is located

on the southwest coast of the island in

Kizimkazi. It has small makuti bandas, all

rooms face the sea and are nestled within

a garden with plenty of coconut trees and

shrubs. It sits in the historical district, only

2.8km from Kizimkazi Dimbani Mosque.

Kizimkazi is a fishing village and the catch

ranges from kingfish and octopus to tuna,

lobster and crab. Fresh fish is therefore

readily available and is prepared daily at

the restaurant along with an array of local

dishes. The restaurant is perched on the

edge of a small cliff overlooking the ocean,

and has a laid back atmosphere, a perfect

vantage point from which to enjoy incredible

sunsets. Rates from $70.

www.ayabeach.com.

UJAMAA BEACH RESORT

Set in Makunduchi, this relatively new

resort was built by an NGO that works

with international cooperation to help

local communities in developing countries.

Ujamaa translates to extended family,

and this name was chosen because it

represents the organisation’s wish to create

opportunities for economic training and

social development based on the principles

of integration, respect and sharing. The

place is quiet, overlooks the beach and is

embraced by a wonderful tropical garden. It

has eight bungalows and is great for families

and large groups. The bar-restaurant, with

its unique ocean view, offers an exquisite

local and international cuisine and directly

overlooks the pool and private beach. The

cosy wellness centre offers moments of

relaxation and also overlooks the sea.

www.ujamaabeachresort.com

52 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


The Emakoko || Telephone 0724156044 || emandant@emakoko.com

www.emakoko.com


CONSERVATION

SAILING

THE

SEAS

Made from 100% recycled

waste, the Flipflopi dhow sets

off on a highly anticipated

inaugural overseas

expedition, an adventurous

trip from Lamu to Zanzibar

with a bid to create a plastic

revolution. By Jack Wood

T

he buzz felt in Lamu on

the day before the launch

was palpable: there were

community events, football

matches, speeches, beach

clean ups and my favourite

– a children’s sailing race

with dhows made from plastic bottles - all

because a team of boat builders in Lamu had

been crazy enough to create a world’s first, the

Flipflopi, and sail it from their home in Kenya to

neighbouring Tanzania – to engage people in

an African borne ‘plastic revolution’

As the team gathered on the night before

setting sail, the air was tense with anticipation,

nervousness and downright excitement: we

were a crew of 12 people from six nations

ranging from Kenya to South Africa and

beyond. Some of us had only just met and

yet we were about to set off on a challenging

500km journey from Lamu to Zanzibar aboard

a vessel made from takataka. All concerns

however dissipated when we all heaved up

the mast for the first time, those of us with

‘sedentary computer hands’ already feeling the

burn; we had just hit the open seas!

We headed right for Malindi, covering 130

km over 14 hours. The constant enthusiasm

from Captain Ali alleviated our fears around

his recycled plastic creation. The sea carried a

constant 8 foot swell and force 4-5 winds, but

thankfully, Flipflopi sailed brilliantly. The first of

many enthusiastic welcomes was on the beach

at our first port of call, Che Shale, where we

were greeted by many well-wishers and fellow

plastic revolutionaries: the combination of this

and the sense of achievement unified the team

and set the tone for the entire expedition, one

of shared values, determination and adventure.

Flipflopi, so called because of the 30,000

flip flops that festoon its hull, was created as

a symbol of why single use plastic makes no

sense. She was built as a vehicle to draw

curiosity and smiles in order to engage people

and show them that there are numerous

ways to recycle plastic. To do that, we ran

an ambitious schedule: hosting seven jampacked

events in partnership with 50 local

conservationists and recycling partners. At

each stop we conducted practical recycling

workshops, gave lessons to schoolchildren,

engaged businesses and policy makers in

presentations and talks, and held community

networking events – it was key for us to ensure

we were stimulating practical solutions in the

region.

We were astounded by the total of 5,000

people, from school children to business

owners and local officials, that came and

joined us in celebration and discussion at the

events. By the time we reached our destination

in Stone Town, Zanzibar, the impact of the

expedition became clear: the world’s first

plastic boat had captured the hearts and minds

of an international audience, led to pledges

by Kenyan and Zanzibari governments to help

stem the tide of plastic, led to 39 businesses

banning single use plastic on the Kenyan coast,

and even the closing down of the largest dump

site in Mombasa!

These are all incredible examples of local

progress in the global fight against plastic

pollution. However, the key now is to build

more momentum in the region and beyond –

whilst both Kenya and Zanzibar have already

made progress to ban plastic bags, there is

still much to do to implement these policies,

and we hope that the region will take further

measures to ban all single-use plastic.

As for Flipflopi, we will keep on sailing, and

plans are now being made to build her ‘big

sister’ so that we can sail the message around

the world - hopefully inspiring more people to

join the “plastic revolution”.

Jack Wood was the security advisor on

board the Flipflopi as it sailed from Lamu to

Zanzibar in Jan-Feb 2019. To become part of

this ambitious project, visit theflipflopi.com.

54 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


Bar Culture Night

Join us every Wednesday night and

experience craft cocktails. DJ Paps on the

decks from 7.00pm.

For Reservations Call 0726 303030

Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health. Strictly not to be sold to persons under 18 years

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 55


ROAD TRIP

Nairobi-Shaba-Chalbi-Turkana

A FAMILY

HITS THE

ROAD

56 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


ROAD TRIP

Exploring ideas of where

to go, Simon Marsh decides

that a road trip up North,

well beyond the usual

tourist trail, might be a fun

and unique way to spend

a couple of weeks with his

family and friends.

Our trip was to take us

from Nairobi up to

Shaba National Reserve,

which is contiguous with

the considerably more

famous Samburu and

Buffalo Springs National

Reserves, before heading off to the eastern

side of Lake Turkana and crossing over into

the Chalbi desert, all while revelling in the

places in between.

We had spent a lot of time seeking out

individuals with knowledge of the more

remote areas and bombarding them with

questions. The given answers provided

more questions than answers; we would

need to carry between one and sixty litres

of spare fuel, might get no punctures or

upwards of twenty, water might be available

or we might need to filter our own...the

only certainty was that there were many

uncertainties.

Our first stop was Shaba, previously

home to Joy Adamson. Shaba has a tropical

feel to it thanks to the Ewaso Nyiro river

dissecting it. We pitched camp at the

Funan campsite. As expected, there were

no facilities but it did offer shade under

sprawling Acacia trees, with plenty of water

from the spring and a small stream. The kids

and I mucked in with a will and soon a small

hamlet emerged. With the long drop dug

and the mess tent set up, the priority was to

get the fire prepared. At any African camp

the fire is both the oven and the social hub

and will generally be kept going all the time.

With plenty of firewood, this was relatively

easy and the next priority was to open the

fridge for cold drinks all round.

The next couple of days were spent

pottering around, watching elephants and

gerenuk, looking for crocodiles in the swiftly

flowing river water and paying a visit to

the Save the Elephant Research Camp in

neighbouring Samburu reserve to learn

about their critical work before cooling off in

the refreshing natural spring pool in Buffalo

Springs. The children also discovered the

delights of wallowing in the marsh and

seeing how much mud it was possible to

accumulate upon themselves.

At any African camp

the fire is both

the oven and the

social hub and will

generally be kept

going at all times.

Soon it was time to completely leave the

tarmac so we stopped to squeeze a bit more

fuel into the tanks then hit the dust. There

was very little traffic now, a sporadic truck or

two and the occasional motorbike taxi, but

not much else. After about three hours we

arrived in the sprawling village of Ngurunit

which mainly consists of the Samburu style

rondavel type houses. We had tentatively

booked in at the campsite at the edge of

the village but decided we would prefer

something slightly more detached. Together

with Mbeko, our local liaison, we set off a

short way along the very rocky road until we

identified a nice shaded spot by the river.

Ngurunit has a little known secret which

is the river that comes down from the Ndoto

Mountains and forms a number of crystal

clear pools and some really awesome

natural waterslides. Just a 20 minute

saunter away, we had little in the way of

expectations but it took the two children all

of thirty seconds to work out the dynamics

before hurling themselves fearlessly over the

edge, followed pretty swiftly by the adults.

We spent the rest of the evening trying to

find new ways to hurl ourselves down the

rocks with the aim being to catch the mighty

take off and land neatly in the pool at the

bottom.

The next day after breaking camp and

cleaning up the site it was time to head

up to Turkana, something we were all

excited about. Stopping in South Horr, we

managed to find the well hidden petrol

station and headed through the dramatic

mountain scenery. Once again, our plans

upon arriving in Loiyangalani were vague...

we found a local guide and headed off

somewhere about 15km along the lake

and found a nice shaded spot overlooking

the jade sea and in view of Poi, then set

ourselves up. The more intrepid decided

that tents were an unnecessary addition and

decided to sleep under the stars braving the

scorpions and legendary Turkana gales.

There was little on the way to the desert

other than camels and the occasional village

until we turned into the sand, and then there

was nothing at all. Chalbi desert was once

upon a time a lake and the fossils of fish

are still to be found along with frequent salt

deposits. These deposits doubled as car

traps and so avoiding them, we pitched

camp alongside a sand ridge in the middle

with views of nothing in every direction.

Throughout the journey the lack of light

pollution had provided the most incredible

night sky but the desert stole the show; a

star gazer’s dream come true!

In this part of Kenya, time has largely

stood still, a landscape devoid of habitation

in a world with so many people, being

outdoors all day, no electric gadgets

to distract us and relying on good old

fashioned principles of conversation, fresh

air, excellent food and more than a couple of

cold beers for the adults.

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 57


BUDGET PICK

ROCKY ECO

TEXT & PHOTOGRAPHY LEROY BULIRO

Most travel-loving Nairobians are no

strangers to Naivasha, a place which,

at the very least, has served as a pit-stop

as you leave or drive back to the capital.

It is also home to numerous affordable

accommodation spots and activities,

making it the perfect stop for budget

travelers. Rocky Eco-Lodge is one such

place; its central location makes the rest

of the town accessible, from the bustling

centre to the lakes.

OVERVIEW

This eco-friendly spot is easily

distinguishable by its articulate

incorporation of wood carvings, starting

right from the reception to the walls in

the rooms, all drawing inspiration from

nature. The retro ambiance here is African,

drawing from mud and wood huts, albeit

with a 21st century remake. The wooden

swing chairs, side tables and mirror frames

all stay true to the theme.

The ten-roomed lodge offers

breathtaking unmarred views of Lake

Naivasha with the geological curvature

of the mountains as the perfect backdrop,

each sunrise better than the last.

Perfect for backpackers and

archeological geeks, this four year old

property’s proximity to most of Naivasha’s

key attractions makes it the perfect spot for

those keen to explore. It is only 3 km from

town, Hell’s Gate National Park and Lake

Naivasha lie to its north while Mt Longonot

stands to its West. The massage room

is always open for some much needed

relaxation after a busy day out and about,

and the international cuisine offered at

the restaurant will do just the trick. Matter

of fact, their vegetables are sourced from

Lodge

their very own backyard, ensuring total

freshness for farm to table enthusiasts.

GETTING THERE

From Nairobi, drive 83 km using the

Nakuru- Nairobi highway. Once you make

your turn headed to Naivasha Town, take

the Moi South Lake Road and drive another

3.7 km to arrive at your destination.

Rocky Eco Lodge will be located along the

highway on your left, directly opposite the

junction leading to Hell’s Gate National

Park. The road is tarmaced all the way so

just map out the route and hit the road- any

kind of car will get you there.

PROS

• Easily accessible given its location

right by the road.

• Camping is available.

• Fresh food grown in their own garden.

CONS

• Limited number of rooms available if

you’re coming as a large group. Book

in advance.

• If you need something that is not

available at the lodge, you will have

to drive into town as there are no

shops around.

HOW TO BOOK & COSTS

A nights stay at Rocky Eco Lodge will

cost you Ksh 8,500 for a single room

and Ksh 12,500 for a double room, Full-

Board while half-board will go for Ksh

7,000 single and Ksh 9,500 double. For

camping, call to confirm availability.

For bookings, head to their site at

naivasharockyecolodge.co.ke or email

them directly at rockyresort@yahoo.com

Overall

8/10

ACTIVITIES

From trekking the rough terrain of

Hell’s Gate National Park to uphill and

downhill adventures to the crater of

Mt Longonot, these are just but a few

activities around Naivasha that will

surely quench your nomadic desires

to explore, so dust off those safari

boots and prepare to experience what

Naivasha has to offer. Want to cool

off? Drive down to Lake Naivasha and

enjoy the calm breeze as you unwind

with a boat ride.

HELL’S GATE NATIONAL PARK

Distance From Rocky Eco Lodge:

31 km

Entry Fee: Ksh 300 for citizens & Ksh

600 for residents

A TREK UP MT LONGONOT

Distance From Rocky Eco Lodge:

22 km

Entry Fee: Ksh 300 for citizens & Ksh

600 for residents

CRUISING ON LAKE NAIVASHA

Distance From Rocky Eco Lodge: 9 km


NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 59


Weekend at

KIMANA HOUSE

TEXT: WENDY WATTA

60 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


SPOTLIGHT ON

Ibegrudgingly yank myself from the

cozy embrace of the four poster

bed and pad barefoot across the

spacious room towards the large

glass windows through which the

soft morning light has washed

into the space. Taking in the view

for the first time given our late arrival the

previous night, I am met with a startlingly

green, well kempt lawn, and...wait, is that a

herd of zebras grazing further afield?

There is a river a few feet away and its

soothing rushing sound had lulled me to

sleep the previous night. I walk out for a

closer inspection and discover a rock pool

which must have been manually marked out

from the rest of the river by several rocks,

and for a moment, seriously contemplate

belly-flopping in for a quick dip. It is

however cold enough to deter even the most

determined of swimmers, and I am also,

quite frankly, starving.

Being a self-catering spot, there is a chef

for hire at Kimana House, but I am stubborn

about doing our own cooking. If coming

from Nairobi, I would suggest doing all

of your shopping in the city as you might

not find all desired items at Kimana town.

I am quite content to potter around this

very functional kitchen, peering into neatly

organised cupboards and drawers to get

familiar with this new space, and pretty

soon, my beef Burgundy is simmering on the

stove.

Wandering around the four beautiful

rooms of Kimana House, it is hard to

believe that at the turn of 2018, it was

still a dark and dreary space with ghastly

tinted windows, a questionable choice of

paint complete with an overgrown bush

covering the entire front yard. When Big Life

Foundation backed by Sheldrick Wildlife

Trust signed a lease until 2046 from the

local maasai who communally own the land,

one of the first orders of business was to

completely overhaul this house.

With a limited budget, tight deadline

and unexpected rains which went on for

three months, renovations were in high gear;

shiny tiles were replaced with mazeras stone

and the work done on the bathrooms was

nothing short of a miracle, turning what was

once a pastor’s house into a stylish homey

space that can comfortably sleep eight. My

favourite spot would have to be the outdoor

dining area which proved the perfect spot

for long overdue catch ups that spilled late

into the balmy Amboseli evenings.

Kimana Sanctuary is said to be the first

community conservancy in Kenya, presently

owned by 480 local maasai who depend

on tourism for most of their income. It sits at

the very center of a crucial corridor linking

the nearby Amboseli National Park to the

Chyulu Hills and Tsavo, and being a true

elephant lover, our game drive certainly did

not disappoint.

It is a self-drive property, although

car hires can also be arranged with a

third party through the house. We set off

just before sunset with house manager

Joshua acting as our guide; our saloon car

surprisingly handled the terrain quite well,

although I highly suspect that it would be an

altogether different story during the rainy

season. Having been on innumerable game

drives, the wildlife somewhat start blending

into one another, but elephants always stop

me right in my tracks, even if this time it was

simply because we were caught up in a sea

of these curious giants who flanked us all

round showing no signs of budging. As a

few more posed in the shadow of a snowcapped

Mt Kilimanjaro in whose direction the

sun was setting, I had to blink back cathartic

tears brought on by the visual overload from

the sheer beauty all round. It was simply

overwhelming.

RATES

Kimana Sanctuary is open to everyone for

game drives and camping. There are two

campsites with a long-drop toilet and bucket

shower facilities so carry your own food,

water and tents and stay for the awesome

location.

Game drives: Ksh 1,000 per person per

day for residents/citizens, and Ksh 2,500 for

non-residents.

Camping: Ksh 2,000 per person per day

for residents and Ksh 3,500 for non-residents

(includes the entry fee).

Kimana House: Ksh 18,000 per night for

four guests or less, and Ksh 24,000 per night

for 5-8 guests (inclusive of children).

Children between 10-18 years pay 50%

and children under 10 years go free for

camping and game drives.

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 61


SANDSTORM

What I pack … for my travels

Athlete Biko Adema is a renowned rugby

sevens player who’s traveled the world and

stolen the hearts of numerous sports fans

in the process. Whenever he hits the road,

these are some of the items you’re likely to

find in his carry-on bag.

Instagram: @ademdiz

Tan Moshi

Ksh15,900

PORTABLE JBL SPEAKER

This has proved to be the

perfect companion on

roadtrips. When on group

getaways with friends at the

beach or on safari, we can

simply play some good music

and hang out. The sound

quality is superb.

LACOSTE COLOGNE

Did you know that the Lacoste

brand was unintentionally started

by French tennis star Lacoste in

1927 when he was promised

a piece of luggage made from

crocodile skin if he won a

particular match? Thereafter, he

emblazoned a small crocodile on

his court apparel after the win,

and pretty soon started producing

this signature shirt for tennis, golf

and sailing. Biko says, “I like

smelling great and have several

perfumes that I use depending on

my mood.”

THE RULES OF

PEOPLE

BY RICHARD

TEMPLAR

I like to bring a

motivational book

to go through whenever I can and this

current read is marketed as a personal

code for getting the best from everyone...

it promises to turn you into a natural

‘people person’, so we’ll see about that.

BLOC SUNGLASSES

I like to whip these out when it gets too

sunny or when I simply want to enjoy

a beautiful view such as an incredible

sunset. They are also just oh so stylish!

G SHOCK WATCH BY CASIO

This is perfect if you’re on the

move a lot as it was designed

for sports and adventurous

outdoor activities. From the

gym to hiking and the beach,

you can literally wear it

anywhere.

A SMALL BIBLE

A quiet moment

of devotion and

meditation is key every

now and then. For my

spiritual nourishment, I’ll

go through this and it calms,

inspires and sharpens my

focus.

62 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


NAIROBI: The Hub, Junction, Sarit Centre, Village Market, Yaya Centre, Westgate

www.sandstormkenya.com

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 63


LAST WORD

Hamid stands brandishing

a red umbrella outside

The Tembo Hotel

wearing a kanzu

robe and prayer cap.

Gathered around him

are a motley bunch

of tourists who have

been foolhardy enough to sign up for an

Old Town tour under the midday sun. Most

are dressed suitably with shoulders and

legs covered in loose fabric, but Cathy has

to rush back for a hat and Mindy, to grab

a bottle of drinking water. David wears

long shorts with an expensive camera slung

around his neck. When everyone is finally

ready, Hamid clears his throat.

“Wakaribishwa,” he says, arms

outstretched. “Karibu Stone Town. Today we

visit a palace, a fort, hidden caves and a

house of wonders. Follow me!”

“Er, how long is the tour?” Asks Cathy,

clearing her throat.

“Just four hours.” Hamid says casually.

The group exchange worried glances.

Mrs Mungai asks if she might be able to

return to the hotel midway through the tour

and Hamid nods in agreement.

“Endelea” Hamid says, heading off

feelings of uncertainty. He takes a bold

step forward, followed by a hasty couple of

sharp steps back as a moped driver, white

Walking

TOUR

By Frances Woodhams

shirt flying, nearly mows him down. Hamid

shakes his fist as the moped disappears

around a tight corner, horn honking.

The group crocodile down narrow streets

lined with tall, whitewashed buildings. Iron

roofs, peeling paint and ramshackle wooden

balconies with power lines and cables that

crisscross overhead. Ornate carved wooden

doorways are flanked by stone seats

positioned for weary travelers seeking refuge

from the sun. Occasionally a door is left

ajar giving a glimpse into a sunlit courtyard

replete with washing line, pot plants and

perhaps a fountain. Hamid explains the

history of the carved doors but the group

turn at the sound of a cat fight taking place

down a side alley, so they move on.

“And this was Freddie Mercury’s House.”

Hamid says with a flourish. “Where he spent

many years of his childhood.”

David says,”Freddie who?” but takes

photographs nonetheless.

“Real name Farrokh Bulsara.” Hamid

continues, undeterred. “He spent his

childhood years right here.”

“Bohemian Rhapsody!” Mindy pipes

up. “My absolute favourite movie, you must

watch it.” She tells Mrs Mungai who is

fanning herself wearily.

On with the tour and shops selling

fabrics, spices and paintings spill their wares

onto the streets over tables or strung up

on walls. Bicycles, mopeds, handcarts are

parked to one side while vendors lounge on

doorsteps calling out to passing customers.

Ladies in full veil with henna-tattooed hands

go about their shopping quietly. The delicious

smell of freshly brewed coffee floats in the air.

Some streets are so narrow that the party has

to walk in a single file. There are brief stops

at the Hamamni Baths and the famous Jaws

Corner intersection where ‘international calls

are free’. Mrs Mungai shows signs of flagging

when the muezzin’s call to prayer starts

ringing out from Stone Town’s 50 mosques

and David suggests the group take a break,

which everyone agrees is a good idea.

“I know just the place.” Hamid says, “Not

far.”

The group magically emerge at the

seafront, signaled by a warm breeze and half

a dozen touts offering boat trips and spice

tours.

“No thank you. Not today,” says Cathy.

“Perfect stop for a soda!” Hamid beams,

crossing the road to the Sunshine Bar and

Grill. The group gratefully pull up plastic

chairs in the shade and, buoyed by sugar and

bubbles, ask what is next on the itinerary. The

Arab Fort and then the House of Wonders.

On with the tour!

Frances Woodhams is author of the blog:

www.africaexpatwivesclub.com

SKETCH: MOVIN WERE

64 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE


ADVERTORIAL

BEACH TO

BUSH

WITH

Why you should fly with Safarilink

Your flight with Safarilink to Zanzibar guarantees you;

• The booking process ( Reservations & Call Centre)

• Our state-of-the-art security

• Our friendly check-in

• Our dedicated private lounge

• Direct boarding and in-flight service

Reasons to visit Zanzibar

• Blissful beach destination

• Unique and vibrant culture and architecture

• Exotic spices

• Rich culture & history

• Diving Mecca and water lover’s paradise

Safarilink

is Kenya’s premier

airline with a network

of connecting domestic scheduled services to all

the best safari destinations within Kenya and

across the border into Tanzania. Based at Wilson

Airport, Nairobi, Safarilink provides daily scheduled

flights to Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo West,

Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Lamu,

Kilimanjaro, Loisaba, Kitale, Kapese, Lodwar,

Migori, Vipingo, Diani, Zanzibar and Kisumu.

Safarilink offers daily seamless inter-connecting

services from safari destinations to our beach

destinations such as Zanzibar, Diani, Vipingo and

Lamu. We also provide private charter services if

scheduled services are not convenient.

Through our dedicated check-in lounge, friendly

security checks, free Wi-Fi, free flights through our

safari bonus program and direct boarding, we pride

ourself on being a reliable airline. Over the last year,

we have had numerous expansions on our services;

on 1st July 2018, we increased the frequency of

Zanzibar flights from four times a week to daily. On

3rd September 2018, we introduced a new route to

Kisumu. Both services enable passengers to connect

from all our safari destinations, most notably Maasai

Mara and Laikipia, allowing them to arrive at their

destination in daylight hours! The in-bound early

evening return flight from Zanzibar enables suitable

connections to international flights.

In line with the extensive expansion of our

services, we have increased our fleet from 11 to 13

aircraft, three of which are Dash-8 (Bombardier)

Safarilink CSR activities are targeted at regions

where we operate and are primarily focused on

preserving nature and improving the lives of local

communities. This ranges from Laikipia where we

support forest restoration with Mt Kenya Trust

to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy with whom we are

partners in wildlife conservation. In Diani, we

engage in conservation of colobus monkeys and

in partnership with Hands Off our Elephants, we

have branded our aircrafts with this vital message.

Further to that, we are also engaged in numerous

acts of goodwill across the country to save nature and

transform lives.

To achieve this, we partner with reputable

organizations operating in the destinations that we

serve. Our efforts have won us many awards and

collaborators. We are recognized as the first airline

to partner with Mt Kenya Trust committing to the

carbon offset program, and as the first airline to be

awarded the Best Eco-Friendly Airline by Ecotourism

Kenya for five consecutive years.

We recently partnered with Mpesa Foundation

Academy to sponsor two students from Turkana

county for a full course of secondary school

education. In the same county early this year, we

sponsored a five-day eye clinic with over two million

shillings with one of our partners, Medical &

Education Aid for Kenya (MEAK) which saw a total

of 818 patients reviewed.

SAFARILINK AVIATION LTD

Phoenix House, Wilson Airport

PO.Box 5616, Nairobi, 0056, Kenya.

Tel: 020 6690000

Mobile: +254 720888111/ 730 888 000

email: res@flysafarilink.com

65 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE

NOMAD MAGAZINE APRIL/MAY 2019 65


Book a flight to paradise.

Daily flights

Zanzibar

66 DISCOVER EXPLORE EXPERIENCE

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