Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Baba, matatizo kidogo....." (Translation: We have a wwweeee little problem)





We arrived back at our home one evening after an early-lunch-at-Mediterraneo -that-turned-into-late-dinner-at-Spur-with-way-too-much-wine and our Askari (bless his heart, sleeps all night) very excitedly informed us that our tree fell down.

"Oh, well, when did this happen and which tree?" says Impi. "Baba, in the corner, come look" says Askari. "It happened at 5 o'clock" (it is currently 10:43 at night)

"a;lskcn b poaueb;oaisjv   alsdkvjpaoib'a" was Impi's reaction of course.


Well, turns out the beautiful tree that provided most of our all-day shade, came down with a crash on our "home-made braai", missed our umbrella and my favourite fever tree.


It took several days and various helping hands to cut down the branches to clear some space. We now have an awesome thick branch (still half way in the yard with the other half in the road) that's got the potential of a wicked treehouse and jungle gym for Moo. 

Then, out of nowhere Mr. Peter Someone (couldn't remember the surname) Chairman of so-and-so municipality pitched up shouting and screaming demanding to know why we didn't call them (who are they by the way) to come and cut the tree down! I mean come on! Were they really going to????

Funnily enough, we actually received about 7 queries of people walking by asking if they could bring their own machetes/chainsaws/blunt knives to cut it down and take the wood for themselves. They even offered us money to do so!! First ever!

Moral of the story.... not sure, but if anyone is up for a braai, let us know! We'll bring the wood!


~desert rose~



Monday, March 29, 2010

When a plan comes together


Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?! 2010 started really crappy, but people, I am happy to announce that things are finally starting to look up...


1. I have got a job! Signed, sealed and delivered!

2. I have sold my soul to the capitalists of the world for one more year, but that also comes with one more year of bush and beach...oh, and free wine...aka the deal breaker!

3. My landlord has agreed that we only have to pay two months rent upfront instead of the normal three. Where else in the world to you ahve to pay rent in advance?! We are even lucky, normally it is a year or six months upfront - and rent in Dar does not come cheap! So after being physically sick with financial worry, this is massively kind of him and Frangipani and me will be star tenants for the rest of the year!

4. My job is only starting in May. Under normal circumstances, this would NOT be the plan coming together. In fact, it would be the plan unraveling faster than my dwindling T shilling supply! But thanks to a brainwave from a friend, this is the best part which means I AM GOING HOME BABY!


One whole month in SA with my family, Woolies hot cross buns and Alto Rouge...things are definitely, definitely starting to look up!

Andizi

Spa....? you gotta be joking!






When one goes to a "Spa" there is normally some or other "clean" connection to the word. For instance, I just see neatly wrapped, vanilla-scented, towels lying in a small square wicker basket, a range of high-end health and beauty products displayed in a neat line, (and all of it actually from the same supplier), fresh frangipani flowers arranged in a terra-cotta vase. 

You find yourself in a clean, dimly lit room filled with music that sounds like waterfalls.
Everything just feels fresh and perfect.....

But alas, when you lie on a grimmy table ready to get your unwanted hair waxed at a so-called "spa" in Tanzania, this is what you get crawling on the walls............


Not a good day to be in Dar today!!!!

~desert rose~

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It never rains but it pours...


the street and parkinglot of Oysterbay shopping centre

For the last couple of weeks the heat in Dar has been extreme, coupled with no aircon, numerous power failures and no generator at home it has become down right unbearable. The short rains in November never arrived so with all this talk of Global Warming everybody was wondering if the rainy season would ever arrive to provide some relief.

On saturday someone remarked that the 21st of March is the official start of the rainy season and that most of the Safari camps effected by the rains have closed. A bit over confident in my opinion. Sunday( the 21st) dawned as a blazingly hot day, not a cloud in sight. Monday...twice as hot and twice as humid. And then...some time in the early hours of tuesday morning the heavens opened and Rainy Season announced its arrival with a downpour of note a mere two days late. And like anything in Dar and actually in Africa not a halfhearted attempt. When its hot, its blazing hot and when it rains it pours...

After spending two Tuesday nights (while Greys Anatomy is on) without power flat on our backs on the verandah. using a weak torch to see and lots of chocolate to try and cool down the cooler, cloudy weather is very welcome.

Just keep in mind that most roads in Dar are still dirt and the drainage none existent thus turning innocent looking roads into raging rivers...

So for now, don't forget to pack plastic sandals or wellies and forget about those heels...although always industrious there is another way of getting around;

"Lucky for you, the strong young neighbourhood boys have the answer. These young men, who are generally unemployed and desperate to make money, offer a service: to carry you across the river so that you do not get soaked. " read more..

And at the end of it all we are treated to one of natures phenomena's...

...a rainbow...
~maisha




Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.

Welcome to the rainy season!

Frangipani

Hakuna Matata etc


Recently heard read…

“more than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to. It would be charitable to say that the results are sometimes mixed.

Consider this hearty announcement in a Yugoslavian hotel: ‘The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid. Turn to her straight away.’ Or this warning to motorists in Tokyo: ‘When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigour.’ Or these instructions gracing a packet of fast food from Italy: ‘Besmear a backing pan, previously buttered with a good tomato sauce, and, after, dispose the cannelloni, lightly distanced between them in a only couch.’

Clearly the writer of that message was not about to let a little ignorance of English stand in the way of a good meal. In fact, it would appear that one of the beauties of the English language is that with even the most tenuous grasp you can speak volumes if you show enough enthusiasm – a willingness to tootle with vigour, as it were.

To be fair, English is full of booby traps for the unwary foreigner. Any language where the unassuming word fly signifies an annoying insect, a means of travel, and a critical part of a gentleman’s apparel is clearly asking to be mangled. “

(from Bill Bryson: Mother Tongue The English language)

Now lets take Swahili. Fusing Arabic with the African Bantu, the word Swahili is derived from Arabic Sawahili meaning ‘the language of the coast’. The correct word to describe the language is Kiswahili and the people who speak Kiswahili as their mother tongue, are Waswahilis.

A fine language, full of many onomatopoeic, monosyllabic words that appeal to anyone vaguely interested in picking them up. Take ‘lala salaama’ (sleep well) for example, or ‘sasa hivi’ (right now – why oh why does that one jump out at me…?!). These phrases are heavy with meaning– exactly what is intended. Although one must be honest – I definitely had more success from the first phrase regarding rest and relaxation, than the latter which seemed all too much in the slow pace of this marvelous land.

Again from Bill Bryson: “Usually in English we strive to preserve the old spelling at almost any cost to logicality”. In Swahili – not so – its all as it sounds. Not that one ever has to go as far as spell, lets be honest. But it is within realms of possibilities...

There are many great websites to help and perfect our day to day Swahili:

http://wikitravel.org/en/Swahili_phrasebook

http://www.jambokenya.com/jambo/swahili/swahil03.htm

http://www.word2word.com/course.html

Post Script Note:

One sentence rather notable on the wiki page:

Stop! Thief!

(saying this in Swahili could likely result in violent death for the thief at the hands of self appointed vigilantes. your item may or may not be recovered.) Simama, mwizi

Rather practice your Swahili in the privacy of your own home, then?!

~ hibiscus

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jean Pant

Just dropping a line to give advise to all you ladies out there:

DO NOT try and put on your pair of favourite jeans that you bought when you were 20 years old and think you'll fit in them. (Especially if you've had a child)

That's all I wanted to say.

~desert rose~

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Pink Ticket

Don’t we all just yearn for that pink ticket every now and again.!!

Last weekend, we all got dressed up, dusted off the high heels, put on make-up (I own mascara and eye stuff -what do you call it again….. ah, eye shadow – AND THAT’S IT!!) did the hair, put our diamond earrings in and off we went to the Irish Ball.

Impi was out of town, so Andizi was my “date” for the night. Maisha, Frangipani , the two of us and various other friends took the night on! (Hibiscus you were DEARLY missed my friend!!) And didn’t we paint it PPPIINNNKKK!!!

We had a glorious time at the Irish Ball which was held at the Kempinski hotel, very nice venue! Great food, lotsa booze, good Irish music, what else do you want!

Just after 1am, we decided that we need some more music, cause apparently these feet weren’t done with it yet! So we piled into a taxi, heels in the hand because now the blisters were beginning to get too bad, and we set off to Runway Lounge. Our very own in Dar es Salaam……

Quote from their Facebook page:

Situated on the Penthouse level, below the dome, at Shoppers Plaza, Runway Lounge bar lives up to its expectation of glits, glamour and pizzaz….as it should.

No where else in East Africa are you able to strut, drink champagne and watch the sun set and moon rise without having to leave our little haven created just for you. Finally I am able to pay homage to the greats of the past that have taught us so much here in the present.”

I mean HELLLOOO, doesn’t that just sound divine!

As we approached the doors, we had to put on the heels again, make sure the lipstick is in place and fork out Tsh 20 000 (about $15) for cover charge…. Ah, no problem, that time of night nothing is too much??!!! And so we got our PINK TICKETS!

Anyway, we had a lovely time, danced the night away and got home at 4:43am….. Heard from other friends that they got back at 8:30am…. Greeks – gotta love ‘em!

I won’t say much other than my dear Moo woke up at 6:30am….. Impi was out of town as I mentioned before. I was a complete wreck on Sunday!

But what fun, don’t we just love Pink Tickets!

Check out their webpage for those who would like to odd night out - great to dress up every now and again!

www.runwaylounge.net or join their facebook page: Runway Lounge Bar


~desert rose~

Friday, March 19, 2010

Heart vs Home


What was once a far removed possibility now suddenly fills my every thought with it’s reality. The fact that I might have to leave Tanzania looms larger than life in my every day and it makes my heart weary.

I am reminded of a passage from Out of Africa when Karen finally had to say goodbye to Ngong farm: “It was a curious thing that I myself did not, during this time, ever believe that I would have to give up the farm or to leave Africa. I was told that I must do so by the people round me, all of them reasonable men; I had letters from home by each mail to prove it, and all the facts of my daily life pointed to it. All the same nothing was further from my thoughts, and I kept on believing that I should come to lay my bones in Africa. For this firm faith I had no other foundation, or no other reason, than my complete incompetence to imagine anything else.”

Unlike Karen, I would never leave Africa. If, next week, my fate is decided and I have to pack my bags, I will head to the southern most tip of Africa, not leave her. But my stay in Tanzania has come to represent a CERTAIN Africa for me. An Africa so different to my childhood.

I grew up in the Boland, surrounded by wine farms and fruit orchards. It is green, lush and beautiful. Summer days are filled with glasses of crisp Sauvignon and winter evenings with a sultry Merlot. In South Africa everything works (ok, most things but compared to here – everything!) and there is a Woolies food around every corner. Most importantly, there is my home, where friends and family gather around a large wooden table and talk long into the cool evenings.

But here, in Tanzania I have fallen incurably in love with an Africa much wilder, much more exotic, much more chaotic, much more intoxicating. You will either hate living here, or lose your heart forever in the dusty corners of Dar. I have done the latter and this blog is partly a testimony to that. If you have been journeying with us, you would have discovered some of the reasons that people come here for a month or two, but end up staying years.

At this stage, I can only hope that my time here is not done. I will know for certain next week. In the meantime my mind is horribly torn between holding on to this place that I have come to love so much, or slowly letting go and embracing the idea of heading home.

Andizi

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Loose yourself in the streets of Stonetown


{images from Hendri Lombard}


The name Zanzibar conjures up visions of turquoise blue water and white hot beaches. This is what travel brochure advertise, what they don't advertise is the history and magic found in the narrow cobble streets of Stone Town. Driving into Stone Town for the first time you feel that time have truly stood still. Built around 1830 it was the centre of trade between Asia and Africa. Stone Town's main exports was spice (in particular cloves) and slaves. It had some famous inhabitants and exports. David Livingstone used Stone Town as his base for preparing for his final expedition in 1866 and it is also the birthplace of Freddy Mercury lead vocalist of Queen.


Stepping into the streets of Stone Town is like stepping back in time. Narrow streets with amazing architecture and small shops selling treasures of times passed. Look out for amazing jewelry and the famous Zanzibar chests with hidden compartments. Be sure to visit the night market in Forodhani markets for fresh grilled seafood and sugar cane juice. Don't miss the fish and meat market(not for the faint stomached) and see the different tropical fruits like jack fruit and custard apple. Have a sundowner at Mercuries and see the sunset as the dhows sail past.



{food market}

{haggling for some scarves}


While staying at one of the fancy beach resort we met some South Africans who found Stone Town to be 'old, dirty, full of black people that are poor and there is nothing to buy'. It's a Unesco World Heritage site(old), its in Africa and yes the people are poor but they will share their food with you. And why could we barely walk with all the things we bought? So do yourself a favour and have a spiced chai(spiced tea) and mandazi(sweet vetkoek) next to the side of the road and buy some beautiful khangas to take some of the magic of Stone Town home with you.



{sunsets and dhows, the narrow streets}


{the friendly people}


Places to Stay:

Cheap: Shangani Hotel

Mid Range: Tembo Hotel

Pricey: 236 Hurumzi


Places to Eat:

Cheap: Night Market at Forodhani Gardens

Mid Range: Archipelagos (No alcohol)

Price: 236 Hurumzi


Things to do:

Walk the shopping street

Visit Doreen Mashika for amazing handbags

Visit the market

Tour the Slave Church

Go on a spice Tour


Place for Sundowners:

Mercuries

Africa House Hotel


Best Coffee:

Zanzibar Coffee House


~maisha


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Its too hot to sleep...and a little too loud...


The beat of  Taraab Music drifts into our living room, the cadence reverberating powerfully against the walls (as it has for the past 5 hours). Earlier, as our curiosity piqued by this disturbance, Andizi and I ventured forth to the house across the road to see what the occasion was, guessing either a church gathering or a wedding celebration. 

Cars lined the street and as we peered into the driveway, our eyes adjusted to the bright light, revealing a sea of women in beautiful gowns dancing and singing. A dada (sister) walked past us, taking food to a group of men standing outside. She turned around to us and insisted upon us two pajama-clad girls to join in the festivities of a Swahili Kitchen Tea. Her genuine invitation and kindness is testimony to the Swahili open heart and open home. The drums rolled, the women swayed, the smell of food filled the pregnant air, but tonight we would not join..both attire and sleep would not allow...next time, definitly...

Frangipani

Silly little message


Photos of the Crater have now been uploaded, and I have learnt a lesson in patience.
Scroll down......
~Hibiscus

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A most delicious bit of information...

From most vantage points around Dar’s peninsula, be it while sipping coffee at Coral Beach Hotel, eating pizza on a Friday evening at the Yacht Club or drinking a glass of wine at Irish Pub at karaoke on a Wednesday, one will notice the somewhat ominous Twiga Cement factory across the bay on Waso Hill. Billows of smoke rise above the giant structure during the day, its silhouette outlined by flickering lights in the dark of night… and once upon a time, an intriguing gentleman by the name of Roald Dahl found himself in this very town as an employee of the Shell Oil Company. Dahl spent two years in Dar es Salaam, and the majestic structure is said to have been the inspiration for Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory in the beloved children’s story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If only a chocolate river bubbled inside…

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lost in a Salvador Dali Painting


The Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

The name alone – Ngorongoro Crater - conjures images of grandeur, a landscape so mighty it takes any breath away. After stepping off the vehicle to absorb our first view of the crater, I could hear us all take in a lung full of air… and as we exhaled the condensed mist moved away from us and over the Crater rim to join the thick white blankets spotted around the edge. I have never known such a natural emerald green – all around us, hills upon hills of rolling velvet. I gave a shudder, slightly overcome by my senses, and headed back to the vehicle for the warmth of my blanket.






It’s an extraordinary thing – a view. It consumes you entirely and embeds itself deep in your memory. An overwhelming sense of inferiority- comparatively, and yet it feels comfortable: as it ought to be. The colour of the crater through an afternoon mist, everything slightly ethereal and intangible. The dark thunderclouds in the distance moving swiftly over the plains on the floor. It inspires a great human emotion – gratitude, appreciation for witnessing such a spectacle.

Meandering down towards the rim’s edge, the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is hidden inconspicuously behind a small boom. The crowds are noticeable on the roads, but as soon as we enter the Crater Lodge grounds all of that is forgotten. Our fabulous French friends remarked “Il est juste comme Alice au pays des merveilles!” (It’s just like Alice in Wonderland!) There is no white rabbit running around mentioning time – time has no place here. This is another world.

The architecture is inspired by the maasai Manyatta – mud and stick homestead style. That mixed with flamboyant fabrics, rich silks and decadent dining is your world here, and every now and again you are reminded you are in the bush by the nyati (buffalo) grazing on the lodge grounds. At no point is reality allowed in the gate.






The game in the crater was, needless to say, incredible. Overstocked with hyena, lazy lions and big tuskers, heavy with ivory. However for me this was not the highlight. The sheer magnitude of this caldera, and the beauty all around is what won me over, hands down.

&Beyond have done an incredible job here; the management and staff are flawless, attneding to your every need and going as far as to advise your footwear for the day, depending on the weather conditions. If you can find fault here, your expectations of African 5 star are seriously out of kilter.

Mind you, who can fault a Dali?

~ hibiscus



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kili(man)jaro Challenge



And so Dada Dawa, Moo and I joined Impi and The General on their Kiliman Adventure Race last weekend in Moshi.

The Kili(man)jaro Challenge (if you are extremely brave) consists of 3 challenges all in the space of about 9 days!

1. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro over 6 days

2. Cycle around the base of Kili in 2 days – 246km

3. Run a full marathon – 42,2km


Brave Impi and The General decided to choose one and do the cycle around the base of our own snow-capped mountain. What a great weekend filled with sweat, dust and gorgeous sceneries!

We all met in Moshi on Thursday the 25th of February at Bristol Cottage, quaint and very comfortable. Dinner was at Indo Italiano (highly recommended) where carbo-loading was in the order of the day. Delicious pizzas for starters and pasta for main course…. We couldn’t resist the odd Kili or 3, just to make sure!

After a restless night in anticipation of the big race and Moo making sure we know she’s also in the room, we had an early start, bikes were loaded onto the car and we were off to the Keys Annex Hotel to start their two day journey around Kilimanjaro.

Moshi was fresh and the cool weather was very welcoming. As per Tanzania style everything kinda went as plan and the guys were ready to go at 07:30 as per schedule……. But……. A few of the participants didn’t have their bikes yet.! While everybody was ready to fire away, these poor guys were loading their bicycles of the truck that arrived, checking tyres frantically and making sure the water bottles were filled up. I couldn’t help but chuckle to myself – there always will be some or other drama!



15 minutes later the shot went off and the race started. We cheered from the side and wished our loved ones a safe and adventurous ride!

Months of hard work were about to be put to the ultimate test! No one had any idea what the next 95km was going to be like. What the road conditions were or if their muscles would keep up. So brave, so very very brave!

Dada Dawa, Moo and I went back to Bristol, wrapped up and set about our journey…… With just a few sketchy directions, no GPS and rather ok Swahili we drove out of Moshi to our half way stop – Snow Cap Cottages. All we knew was that is was on the other side of the mountain.

Kilimanjaro was standing proud and clear. It couldn’t have been a finer day!


We had an awesome drive through villages, up passes, through forests and were pleased to find the first riders at Snow Cap when we arrived. Quick lunch and we went back to see if we could find our men.


The General was in top form, but couldn’t wait for the end of day 1. We cheered and informed him with great pleasure that there is only 5km left – yeah!! But I must admit -probably the worst 5km of dirt road I’ve seen in a long time…… and I’ve been around this country! We didn’t ofcourse tell him that…

He finished with a great time and we headed back to find the other half of this cycling party. Tired to the bone, but still strong, Impi also wanted to know how far the end was……. “almost there Love, almost there” was the answer!

What a day! They did so well and we were so proud! We encouraged stretching and went ahead and massaged the sore muscles. After and early dinner everybody was off to bed.

After another restless night with basically no sleep, Impi got up and put on his gear. I couldn’t believe he was actually going to get on a bike for another 150-odd kms! Team Accu-Check made sure their Camelpacks were filled up with water and all the energy drinks, squeezies, dried bananas and other paraphernalia were in place.


Spirits were high as they set off (on time): there were promise of more downhill than the previous day!

Dada Dawa found out that we could follow them and that there is only one road, so we couldn’t really get lost! With Kili to our left and Kenya to our right, we followed the riders.

We passed beautiful sceneries, sunflowers as tall as houses, wheat fields and friendly-faced kiddies running next to the vehicle.

The roads were rough, but I am sure that didn’t matter as most of it was downhill .

We caught up with Impi and then with The General. They were surprisingly looking and feeling good! We wished them good luck and went to the finish line.

The General was first to finish, and Impi followed not too long after covered in dust (I probably had something to do with that! They all shouted and screamed as I passed them on the dirt roads with dust flying!

Beers and cheers were all around ! They finished – which was the ultimate goal!

So brave, oh so brave!!!

~desert rose~

Saturday, March 6, 2010

SAFARI BLUE - best boat excursion on Zanzibar


If you have two days on Zanzibar one should be spent exploring Stone Town's narrow streets and eating at the night market at Forodhani Gardens. The other one should be spent on Safari Blue. A whole day excursion starting out with Dhow sail looking for dolphins. Your first stop will be a sandbank where they set up shade and dish out snorkeling gear. Guides take you to the most amazing coral heads and even the first time snorkeler will  feel comfortable in the sky blue calm waters. After downing a freshly cut coconut its back on the Dhow for a short sail to an island for a seafood braai (BBQ) and fruit tasting. After lunch a tour is organized to see an amazing fallen Boabab and you get the chance to sail on a traditional catamaran. Last stop is a mangrove lagoon for a last swim and then a beautiful sail back to Zanzibar. Definitely a must for any visitor to Zanzibar. Although your Hotel or Resort might offer this excursion we have found it better to contact them directly an haggle with a taxi driver to take you there.

Contact them 
Phone: +255 777 423162, Email: adventure@zanlink.com

Friday, March 5, 2010

Africa Distilled



Font sizeI love a road trip! There is nothing like cruising along a seemingly endless road with good mates, specifically 80’s music and a beer or two – if you are not Designated Dirk of course! So when Hibiscus suggested we go on just such a trip to the north of Tanzania I jumped at the opportunity. Scraping together the cash included selling my couches and making more debt than I care to admit, but I have not been sorry for one minute! Our northern adventure was absolutely unforgettable!

The drive from Dar es Salaam to Arusha took us 9 hours on the dot, but all 600km’s of it was beautiful, lush and green. This is also true of the town of Arusha and more so of River Trees Lodge where we stayed for the first two nights of our trip. The lovely oasis next to the Usa River is described in more detail by Hibiscus on her post "The Green Hills of Africa" – check out.

Since I have never been up north, we took a day to potter around Arusha. I am just a LITTLE bit obsessed with Karen Blixen and Out of Africa so seeing a coffee plantation was an absolute must. Unfortunately there aren’t many working plantations close by, so I had to settle for lunch at the Plantation Lodge where a sudden thunderstorm cooled the humid air. Very Ngong farm like and I was in my element!

Bottles of red wine and a lovely dinner later, we where on our way again, this time via the sky. The flight was short and smooth – just the way I like it and suddenly the Endless Plains stretched out beneath me. I wish I could describe the feeling off looking out over the grasslands of the Serengeti but words fail me and I would just bore you with my bumbling. Having sundowners in the middle of the fields, beautiful and green from the summer rains, surrounded by thousands and thousands of grunting and coughing wildebeest and zebra is quite simply one of the most amazing moments of my life. To me this was Africa distilled to perfection.



Everywhere there are animals and no matter how many times you see a majestic lion or a giraffe with its long lashes or even the nimble gazelle, you cannot drive away untouched by its beauty and perfection. I do not know how you can visit a destination like the Serengeti and listen to a guide explain how a mother wildebeest can find her baby amongst thousand others, how the cheetah interact with her pray, or how the dung beetle find its nest on those endless stretches of land and still wonder – is there a God? The wonder of it all entrances you completely and you cannot see all of this and hear all of this and remain untouched by a sense of something Bigger than us mere mortals.



We where hosted by &Beyond, a company that in my opinion has perfected the art of safari. Look, I am used to camping 4x4 style with a bucket to wash in and a fire to cook over. &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas blew me away! The luxury tents, the shower under the starts, the attention to detail, the food, the wine…pure bliss! On the &Beyond website they say that “you will be taken care of by extraordinary people whose only desire is to ensure that each moment you spend with us is a perfect moment”. It is not often that you find marketing jargon truthfully replayed in real life, but &Beyond was one such a gem and the staff really treated us like royalty! Special mention has to go to Mohammed our brilliant guide, a wildlife fact file on legs and Joseph, our adorable butler. Joseph attended to our every need with the biggest smile and even offered to do our 5:30 wake up call with G&T’s instead of coffee, just because we like it so much! So it was with a heavy heart that we left the Serengeti and the staff behind on our way to the NgoroNgoro Crater 2 nights later. The slight depression was short lived as Irene and her team at the &Beyond Crater Lodge settled us in before the fireplace with a glass of port and warm welcomes...TBC


Andizi

Yellow is the new Pink

Just returned from a inspirational trip to Cape Town to attend the Design Indaba. Wow, what a group of amazing speakers...from Designer (Michael Beirut) who was willing to discuss the project he almost blew, a South African street artist (Faith47) to a Illustrator (Stefan G. Burcher) who draws a monster a day. 3 Days packed full with lectures left us reeling at the end of it.


But through it all I kept on trying to relate what we were hearing to Tanzania and the 'dollar a day' society.


We as advertisers can come up with

THE NEW and THE IMPROVED,

THE FASTEST,

THE BEST,

THE HIPPEST and

THE COOLEST.


But in the end, to a consumer who has a dollar a day to spend on food, rent, school fees, clothes, transport and medical this does no matter. We see it in every brainstorm that we try and crack a unique selling proposition for our cellular brand. People in Tanzania have 4 simcards (We have 4 main cellular providers) and sometimes carry around 4 phones, this is unheard of in South Africa. The Tanzanian consumer is so 'savings savvy' that they subscribe to each of the different price promotions on the different networks. Calling their Tigo friends on Longa Longa and their overseas friends on Zantel's Friends and Family promotion allows them to have more disposable income.


So we can come up with all the bells and whistles and the beautiful pictures, people will look at it, like it but still go for the cheapest options (Well in Tanzania that is). This type of insight will change the face of advertising and the world we know today. It is already happening all over the world with social media (Facebook and Twitter). As Li Edelkoort (Renowned Trendforecaster) predicted people are coming together in different and fluid societies. Groups are becoming more important that individual although you will still be able to identify the individual in the group. Mass societies and aspirations are falling away and smaller niche societies are arising. People are turning inwards to discover themselves, returning to their roots.


{image}


Li, every year presents a Trend Forecast at the Indaba and interestingly enough she predicts 'The revival of African print' as a discovery of roots. The colourful khanga's worn by Tanzanians have stolen my heart with their beautiful symmetrical patterns and bright colours. This trend have been used by designers like Lalesso, a Kenyan & South African collaboration and even our own Stoned Cherrie. So whenever you see African print, don't see it as a commercial gimmick but a search for self.


Last but not in the least, Li left us with the biggest trend tip of all...


Yellow is the new Pink.


~maisha