Kigamboni: In love with private paradise

Posted On November 26, 2016 , 12:14 AM Contador HarrisonPeriscope

The legendary MV Kigamboni, one of the two ferries that tourists use to cross to the island
The legendary MV Kigamboni, one of the two ferries that tourists use to cross to the island

Kigamboni in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania has one of Africa’s cleanest and finest beaches.Its a paradise for people who want to relax, refresh and recharge.My first trips to Kigamboni were for adventure. As a tourist, each hour was spent frantically scouring for a story. On the first trip it was a mishikaki sold at shops near Ferry exit and entry points, on the next a boat ride, then a swim.The tour operator and I would leave the hotel before dawn, me already sweating because of the high temperatures but along the way I could see i was better off because some caucasian brothers and sisters were sweating ridiculously thanks to the climate. We’d then drive hundreds of metres on unsealed roads, knock on the doors of mango vendors’ shops, then return to the hotel for three or four hours of swimming and trying to connect over an unreliable internet connection.Everyone I met or bumped into thought I mad with my love for Kigamboni. My trips there started off well, and everyone I met or bumped into was definitely in love with life, the beaches, the island and, of course, each other. Along the beach, I met an Australian couple who acted as if there’s nothing quite like strolling arm-in-arm with each other back and for Kigamboni offers an exquisite and unrivalled view to watch the sun melt gracefully into the sea between perfectly placed, gently dancing coconut tree locally known as Mnazi, fronds and not suddenly hear the shrill cry of an upset school kids heading home.And, of course, when you’re dining out under the stars in the warm embrace of a balmy Tanzanian island evening, feet resting on the still-warm sands as you’re being served fresh vegetables by a waiter with a smile that rivals the crescent moon above, it is nice not having the mind numbing screeches of a drunkard at the table next door.

The newly built Kigamboni bridge which connects the island with Dar Es Salaam Central Business District
The newly built Kigamboni bridge which connects the island with Dar Es Salaam Central Business District

My stay at Kigamboni was basically perfect for me, and judging by the solid line up of stars it gets with online rating websites it’s basically perfect for everyone who’s ever stayed there.I would feel slightly ashamed at the couple of times the phrase “ningezoea” Swahili for I wish could get used to, passed through my head, if it wasn’t for the fact that before I got used to it, I was on to the next phase of Zanzibar adventure, a cruise through the Indian ocean and straight to the famous islands, and on to the upper Pemba Islands.Now, I read the travel magazines from around Africa on a regular basis. I recall how my mother used to tell me about Love Boat stories as a kid but thanks to Bakhressa cruise ship to Zanzibar and others like those, these days even in Africa, cruise ships are cool and trendy and there are a diverse amount of cruising options for many different demographics. The are plenty of hip and stylish passengers from fashion around the world who use them in trips between Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar.The cruise ship was indeed an adventure torn straight from the script of a 20th century movie as vast majority of those on board really were pensioners from Europe and North America.Great Britain shirts were popular, same as Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts.Of course, the thing about relaxed pensioners from the West is that they’re damn awesome fun.Very quickly any age or culture gap between passengers is rendered meaningless. I guess I was the youngest and only dark skin toned bloke around.But that didn’t matter.The only thing that matters on a cruise ship is who has the finest wit, the tastiest music and the best moves on the dance floor.The other thing about a boat cruise to Zanzibar is the sheer delight of seeing coves and coral reefs. I collected coconuts from the island but nothing could beat the spices I bought from spice island in Zanzibar.From Kigamboni to Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania has everything to offer for anyone who fancy an Africa safari.

While on ferry, this is how you see Dar Es Salaam's CBD
While on ferry, this is how you see Dar Es Salaam’s CBD