Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Musings under the Mango Tree

The temperature was high and the humidity even higher. The Golden Tulip Hotel, equally infamous for its bad management and for the lovely seaside pool is where 5 friends took refuge from the Dar es Salaam heat. While dipping their toes in the water they where discussing life in general in “the house of peace” aka Dar. The irony of the name given to the seaport by the 18th century Sultan of Zanzibar did not escape them. And it was here, while pondering over the different lives they have all left behind in return for an East African adventure that the idea of a blog was born.

They all come from different places and they all have different interests. A Harare homebody with a flair for baking to a crazy creative Grahamstown girl. They are in various stages of their 20’s and in various forms of relationships. From a 25year old hitting the quarter life crisis and all the related questions to a 28year old wife and mother of beautiful Moo.

What they have in common is a love for the wild continent of Africa and the life she offers those who can embrace the adventure along with the allure. They also share a longing for friends and family from all over the world to experience a slice of their daily existence….so karibu (you are welcome) to Musings Under The Mango Trees of Dar es Salaam.

May we introduce Hibiscus who arrived in Tanzania in 2004, meandering up from Malawi on a coal truck. All sorts of unique events (which I’m sure you’ll come to hear about) lead her to Dar es Salaam, then onto the Selous Game Reserve. Since then, she has spent some time out of the country, pursuing food. She returned to Tanzania again in 2006, to once again take a dip in the safari pool. Currently living in Dar es Salaam, but traveling to the bush for work, Hibiscus is passionate about the country; from the downtown dala dala mayhem to the palm fringed shores of the coast and crocodile infested waters of the Rufiji River.

Graduating from University earlier this year Frangipani stood at the crossroads thinking ‘where to now?’ Doing the ‘two-year year London work thing’ didn’t appeal to her so with a phone call and a friend on the other end she moved to Dar in search of adventure. “A life-long desire to explore the continent brought me to this beautiful country where there are no fences, the juiciest tomatoes, traffic jams and the warmest people.”

Andizi used to be a career driven, corporate animal. “And then” she exclaimed “one day I sold my car, packed my life into a suitcase and moved to Dar es Salaam! An impulsive life changing decision – most definitely! Wrong move – not for one second! It was a life long passion for Mama Africa and her children, my (until then) unexplored sense of adventure and I suppose the big three O creeping closer that resulted in this relocation to the equator.
Living in Africa surely has its trials, but I am incurably in love with the people, the colours, the savanna plains, the fresh fruit, the beaches, the bush, the bougainvilleas in every garden…How do I explain my choice for living in a city where goats roam the streets for rubbish? How do I explain life where everyday there is red dust on your feet but also frangipani’s in you hair?”

Maisha left Joburg in a whirlwind to follow her heart with big ideals and little money. She loves Tanzania; its got the bluest sky, greenest trees and friendliest people.

Last but not least is Desert Rose who has lived in this African city the longest. She explains…”I've always had a passion for travel, people, adventure and most importantly Africa. The red dust, the rain-soaked forest floors, the beautiful people and the colours of this continent. I came to Tanzania by default – 3 bottles of excellent red wine, a very special friend, the back of a cigarette box, no convincing and a map of Africa…..We planned to stay 2 months, but alas, it is almost 6 glorious years later. Enjoy our journey through the days in and around Dar.”

“Safari Njema”…


  1. Hibiscus, Frangipani, Andizi, Maisha, Desert Rose! Awesomenesssss!!! Can't wait for the next post and next visit in DAR!! Lotsa love your rafiki Rina

  2. Greetings beautiful flowers, I look forward to great things from your blog. I'm sitting at my work desk in Cape Town yearning to travel again so please do continue. I will be sure to watch this space and live vicariously though your blogs. Haha!