Why come back to Tanzania?


jody cole“Anyone who knows me knows that my thoughts expressed are never short, especially when it comes to the topic of Africa. Stories of my long love affair with Tanzania, in particular and her wild side, could hold you captive for far too long. You see, I’ve been traveling to Tanzania for over 18 years. Continue reading

The Cure for 21st Century Life


As Tara Mtuy, Simon’s wife, observed, “I’ve never seen Simon so relaxed as when we were on Chumbe.” Any place that can get Simon to relax and unwind must be working miracles!

Chumbe Island bungalows from the lighthouse (Hal Thompson)

Chumbe Island, just off the main Zanzibar Island and a few miles as the crow flies from Stone Town, measures about 1km by a couple hundred yards and is covered mostly by a dense coral rag forest. No roads. No power lines. Just seven guest bungalows, an open-air dining, lounge and reception area, a lighthouse, and a crumbling old mosque. Chumbe is a privately-managed marine protected area and a place to relax and explore one of the most pristine coral reefs in East Africa, containing more than 400 species of fish and 90 percent of all the marine biodiversity in the region. As such, there is no fishing, no scuba diving, and no shell collecting. Continue reading

Pole Pole! Go Slow and Connect


Those who have climbed Kilimanjaro know the mantra of our mountain guides: pole pole (po-lay, po-lay), which means slowly. Walking slowly up the mountain and keeping your heart rate low is the tonic that helps your body acclimate better and reach the summit. Pole pole is also the way of life in Tanzania (“no hurry in Africa!”) as people understand the value of taking life slowly, savoring the moment, the people, and the place where you are here and now.

slow travelWesterners are only beginning to adopt this “slow” mentality in some areas of our life in order to combat the 24/7 non-stop wired and electronically tethered world that drives us crazy but we can’t seem to get away from. Yes, we are deeply connected, but that connection is filtered through a device to a virtual community. Slow connectedness is to those people, places, and events in the immediate world that surround you – connected to the “here and now.”

One recent development that is starting to gain traction within the overall “slow movement” is Slow Travel (or, as we like to say, Pole Pole Travel!).

Continue reading

John Magafuli, New Tanzanian “Bulldozer” President


John Pombe Magafuli, 56 years old, won October’s Tanzania presidential election with 58% of the vote and took office in early November. Since then he has not hesitated to roll up his sleeves and take decisive steps to set Tanzania on a course of good governance. His work ethic and swift action has gained him a popular following among many Tanzanians, as well as a few detractors. Citizens of neighboring countries (in particular Kenya and Uganda), whose attention he has earned, look on with envy as this seemingly indefatigable activist ethical leader is changing what it means to be an African politician.

Continue reading