On Getting Sick in Africa

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malaria pills

unused box of malaria pills, for next time

Well getting sick while you travel isn’t probably a thing to brag about it. And probably so many travellers never mention this part.

I will tell you. Recent years I was relatively unlucky with health matters on my travels.Specially last visit which was supposed to be permanent visit turned out fiasco in terms of health so  I decided to come back home to get well and see whats next.

And I am not talking about diarrhoea.:D

Last year I my goal was to stay in Tanzania and Rwanda for four months. Trip was great, until I collapsed two weeks prior my departure in hotel on Zanzibar. I was taken to the hospital and they found i got typhoid fever. Of course the stage of illness was quite progressive as i didn’t pay attention to my symptoms that occurred weeks ago – from loosing weight, to skin rassh for which i thought was perhaps by bed bugs to many dizzy moments which i assumed was my intolerance to heat and strong sun under equator in Rwanda. I was shocked because i was vaccinated against typhoid and was 100% that i cant get it if i had a jab. So, after three days of delirium in my nice room on Zanzibar i got better although weak but strong enough to fly home and get further medical examination at home.

Even though you were vaccinated, you are not fully protected.

Last September, I planned accordingly with my unfortunate typhoid experience and arrived to Africa with a big pack of all sorts of antibiotics, just in case. Soon after i arrived I started to feel nausea, problems with stomach, feeling fatigued. Many locals told me not to worry its just a change of food diet probably and attitude change, I was in Arusha.  I didn’t want to panic, so i just accepted the advice and hoped for problems to go away. But they didnt. Then there were a couple days I would feel better and again days I would get worse, chills, temperature, blurred vision,… the list of symptoms was endless.

Finally I decided to see a doctor. Got tested for Malaria and Typhoid. Both test were negative and doctor sent me home with words: Maybe tomorrow you will feel better. Dont worry. OK, doctor should know. Days and weeks passed by. In the mean time i had also some other problems with abscess on my gland so i had this little operation. had to take 4 different antibiotics 2 weeks every four hours. My immune system couldn’t bare that, i felt so tired and still sick. To skip my lab visits every two days as they couldn’t find whats wrong with me,  i pushed the doctor  again to make all possible tests as i was pretty certain something is really wrong with me. Finally after  two months they found several parasites in my body.

Parasites. I was shocked! I have never had a parasite in my whole life. Besides I am known as obsessed with cleanliness person! And relieved at the same time to finally know the reason for my awful wellbeing and jaundice. In addition he also assumed i had Malaria, but is not yet visible in blood tests. For better medical examination I was told to go to Nairobi. yeah right. I spent about 400 EUR for taxis, lab tests, medications and now should i spend more money on going to Nairobi. It was cheaper to fly back home and get a decent western medical attention. I admit. I got scared. Although doctors were really kind in their African way, medical resources are basic at least in Arusha. So I was happy to fly back and continue my treatment in hospital for Infectious disease.

I had Antaamoeba Hystolica and Fasciola Hepatica

Am I spoiled? Probably. I am used to small Ljubljana where medical help is within few minutes away, we have ER, etc…  But once you feel so weak and shitty as I did, I got scared for my health. I dont regret returning home where I was able to recover and after four months I am happy to have my weight back ( had 48 kilos on my arrival home) be healthy and feeling well.

Am I going back?For sure! Later:D

PS: Dont want to sound paranoid but my advice is:

Make yourself a favour and test your self in a country of travel. Local tests are much quicker than those at home. Slovenian test took almost a month to deliver results. In Africa you get results in 45 minutes!

Medical Centres in Arusha

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Well this post is actually a consequence of personal and friends health problems.Through circumstances we were forced to do some research about where to find good doctors and health services in Arusha.

Like any city also Arusha has better and not so good health centers.

This post hopefully it will help to those who need at some point to get to the good doctor. We have checked few of centers and also pharmacy stores.

malaria test arusha

I will mention only the good medical centers according to my and friends experience. I will not mention in which center she got wrong diagnosis and wrong medicine!!

Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre - known and also recommended by expats in Arusha. My friend got second opinion on her medical condition where they found out that she got wrong diagnosis in previous centre as well as wrong medicine. Looks like many people trust to Dr. Muhammed, he is only reachable if you know a local who has record with his practice – this way you get waiting number in the waiting room. Loong waiting time, but my friend was relieved after getting the accurate info and treatment directions about her health condition.

Total Care Arusha  – place known for quick lab tests. If you are in doubt weather you have a malaria, or typhoid, here you get results in about 45 minutes!

Cost of  full blood test, vidal test and malaria is around 25 000TSH. If you want to consult the results of test with doctor, add another 15 000 TSH. Staff is friendly. They also have pharmacy, but according to my experience staff speaks poor English and price of same medicine is different each time you come… If you are willing to go to the Arusha city, there is pharmacy that has perfectly speaking staff and is also cheaper Moons Farmacy about 500 meters from Arusha clock tower on the road in direction to Shoprite.

And for ladies seeking a good gynecologist in Arusha

Since i had some female problems, i found out there is a serious lack of gyn doctoros in Arusha. Through recommendation of few local friends and expats I was directed to Mother Medical Care Arusha, its opposite Impala hotel. I had a little surgery , accompanied with some prejudices of local healthcare but they treated me well and cant express how happy i am i found this private practice. They also have private ambulance car.

Kilimanjaro Still There

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This weekend went to Moshi just to chill out and wander around the city. Its only 80 kilometers from Arusha but it takes  local bus two hours to get there. Since it was last minute plan, none of my friends  in Moshi were home ( this happens when your friends are Kilimanjaro guides, most of the time guiding climbs to Kilimanjaro).

Well for me it was enough to see Kilimanjaro from far in the  early morning time.

kilimanjaro mountain

Nursery Class in Kibowa Orphanage

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arusha volunteering in school

Today i had a chance to accompany my friend who is volunteering in Arusha in Kibowa orphanage. This self made nursery program is enrolling local kids from neighborhood, whose parents don’t have a lot of money and can not afford real kindergarten. I think its really nice from local teachers that they established this program as otherwise children would be on the streets while parents try to earn some money.

volunteer arusha nursery

So I spent a day with lovely vivacious kids and couldn’t resist to take few photos.

volunteer arusha school

arusha kibowa nursery class

Kids learn English, Math and Swahili. Rotating lessons each day. I admit me and my camera were a little distraction in the class:)

during nursery class

kibowa orphanage arusha

arusha volunteering with children

Bananas In The Backyard

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Not much going on for now. Been busy lately with work and am basically stuck on the outskirts of Arusha.

After almost a month spent here i can finally say, i calmed down, no stress like i was used from home. The beauty of it is definitely the banana garden and tranquility we have here.Birds singing, local kids playing on the playground just around the corner, Mt. Meru seems so close and on a clear day i can also see Kilimanjaro peak in the distance.

Although i love bananas at the backyard, and papaya, aloe vera and other fruits growing on our backyard i am slowly planning to move around soon. This weekend going to Karatu town.

Some near future trips planned for now are:

  • Njoro forest
  • Kikuletwa  hotsprings
  • Marangu waterfalls
  • Mwanza and Rubondo Island national park on Lake Victoria
  • Lushoto again, want to do some hiking as i sit too much in front of my laptop:)

But for now banana tree from our backyard:)

banaana  tree

 

 

 

My Favourite Taxi Driver on Zanzibar

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Looking for cheap and reliable taxi driver on Zanzibar? Read on. I am a type of person that when traveling and meet cheap and reliable as well as honest taxi driver, i take his number.

Travelers that come with tour operators to Zanzibar have usually expensive transfers included in the price but those on the budget will be happy to know that its possible to find cheap and reliable taxi on Zanzibar.

I met my taxi driver on Zanzibar two years ago, he was recommended by local friend and since then i am using him for all transfers around Zanzibar.

I am happy to help and recommend him, as I am always happy to support local people when they prove to be honest and willing to work.

So, my taxi driver on Zanzibar is called Ali, a father of four children. He is driving a car licensed for four people. He is always somewhere in Stone Town center and after you arrange a time and place or pick up, you can be sure he will pick you up on time, be it on the beach or Stone town. His car is in good condition, Ali doesn’t drink.

cheap-taxi-zanzibar reliable-taxi-zanzibar

His rates are – transfer from Zanzibar airport to Stone Town: 10 000 TSH, which is a little less than 7 USD. Usually prices charged for this route by others are between 15 to 20 USD.

Transfers from Stone Town to any place on the beach on Zanzibar is 40 USD.

Here is his phone number: + 255 777 46 1320

If you are in a hurry to go to the beach, add about 20 minutes to your schedule, as taxi drivers have to pick up some sort of permit before leaving Stone Town. You will stop on the way to arrange this paper which is essential for driving out of Stone Town. This permit is usually required on a couple of check points on the way to the beach.

Killing Time in Stone Town

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As I was back to Stone Town I still wanted to chill a little and at least swim in a swimming pool. Me and my Zanzibari friend Irene spent a nice afternoon in Zanzibar Beach Resort.

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This resort isn’t exactly a place to spend your holidays in Zanzibar, of course you will go to the beach. But for an afternoon, when you don’t want to pay a fortune to get to any of better beaches, its a nice shelter, peaceful place, which has more employees than guests:) zanzibar beach resort

A large swimming pool, entry to use the pool for non guests isi 6000 TSH. In order to enjoy the time next to awesome swimming pool, we ordered some cocktails and just soaked into the sunshine.

cocktail zanzibar

Relaxing last day in Stone Town.

killing time in stone town

How Was my First Day on The Zanzibar Beach?

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Hot, very hot!!

So i finally manage to come to Kendwa sunset, not even unpack, go to the beach for some lunch and dip in the beautiful sea… As i lay on the magical beach i see in my hotel some very big smoke, and turns out hotel was on fire. i go to my bungalow, as i was on beach bungalows quite far from actual fire which was going on on garden area of hotel, thinking shall i take my things out or shall i stay here as it didnt looked so bad from what i seen in the distance. But it was a windy day, and fire just exploded and became fast, i could hear sound of breaking and some explosions… i check neigbour hotel white Sands also on fire. At this time i got a little panic, i started gathering my things and left to the beach. The problem was, there was no evacuation plan or something, each guest was on their own…

so much for my beach time on Zanzibar. I am back in Stone town.

IMG_3452

Up in The Air

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As I am posting this I am already comfortably sitting on a rooftop terrace of Zenji Hotel in Stone Town, drinking coffee and enjoying the laid back vibes:)

greetings from Zanzibar everybody, I am heading to Nungwi today for some beach time.
Turkish Airlines

Somewhere in Usambara Mountains

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I really don’t regret time and effort needed to arrive in the heart of Tanzanian   Usambara Mountains. If you happen to be in Tanzania, dont skip this place, because its amazing. Little or almost zero muzungu tourists, beautiful mountain views surrounded by forests and the most friendly people I met so far.

A view from my room in Irente Cliff Lodge

Room With A View in Usambara

Irente View Cliff Lodge

Cloudy mornings
Lushoto

Lushoto

Lushoto

Lushoto

Baby Chameleon Usambara Mountains

Irente Viewpoint Lushoto

Ad also a place where i got hooked on avocado:)

Avocado Salad

Hanging Out With Hadzabe Tribe

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I had a chance to visit Hadzabe tribe during one of my previous safaris in Tanzania. While being in Lake Eyasi region.

They live in the bush, really off-road on secluded parts of the land. before you scroll down to see photos please note, if you are vegetarian, some pictures might be unpleasant, but i am posting them anyway, after all this is how people live.

During the visit i guess it was time for lunch and they had small dik dik  – little antelope prepared to put on fire. I will never forget the smell of blood while they were preparing the animal for grilling.

Hadzabe tribe visit

Hadzabe tribe visit

Hadzabe tribe visit

Hadzaba boy

Hadzabe tribe visit

Hadzabe tribe visit

Men were cooking while ladies were chilling in the bush shadow.

Hadzabe tribe visit

Hadzabe tribe visit

After the lunch my fellow traveler was invited by Hadzabe men to try shooting with bow and arrows. I wasn’t allowed, wrong gender:D

Hadzabe Tribe

Hadzabe tribe visit

Merchandising:D

Hadzabe tribe visit

Hadzabe tribe visit

And home decoration

Hadzabe tribe visit

Welcome To The Jungle

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Zanzibar

Well, looks like a jungle but actually its rainforest.

Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park or shorter version Jozani Forest is the only national park on Zanzibar. Very small, only 50 km2 (19 sq mi) but a beautiful place to visit!

This forest is a natural pharmacy, an amazing source of natural remedies! Every plant or tree cures something. It also know for rare red Colobus monkeys a very rare monkey species unique to Zanzibar.

The forest is divided by a road into two sections. To protect the wildlife it is not permitted to walk off the road without an official guide. A network of various nature trails leads visitors through the forest. The main trail begins at the park entrance and takes about an hour at a leisurely stroll.

A mangrove boardwalk gives tourists the possibility to have a view into the special mangrove habitat which was really enjoyable.

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Zanzibar Jozani Forest – Red Colobus Monkey from Nina Malina on Vimeo.

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Zanzibar

Making Coffee on the Slopes of Kilimanjaro

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The best coffee i had ever in my life:D

About 20 minutes drive out of Moshi, walk through banana forest and voila, we visited a locals home where they kindly showed us how to make a coffee from a scratch. This was of course paid tour, but since this money goes directly to locals i was happy to participate and visit lovely humble home in stunning hilly area on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Kilimanjaro Tours

Preparations For Becoming an Expat in Tanzania

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OMG time passes by too quickly and this blog got a little bit neglected. Lots of things happened. Since i am leaving my home country for unspecified amount of time in order to be able to live in Africa, this gap time was very busy and stressful for me.

Although  there is about 30 days left to leave Slovenia, i already feel butterflies in the stomach:D Although i am sure i made right decision and will probably fullfil my long time  desire to live abroad, there are still sneaky doubts  coming up occasionally. But i guess this is normal?

I have never imagined how much stress will it take to move abroad, but finally i am resolving final errands before my leave in September. From having revaccinations that expired, gathering documents, quitting my regular job here in Slovenia, renting out apartment, moving out of apartment, working on future projects that will continue in Africa.

vaccination africa

Right now my  top worry is how in the world will i pack all i want  to take with me in 20 kilos??:-)

Anybody else living abroad? i would love to hear your story and advice.

Volunteering in Arusha – Child Orphanage

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Well, if you were thinking about volunteering in Arusha, eagerly want to work with african children, then read on. This post is about Kibowa Orphanage, that is sponsored by Shadows of Africa, Tanzanian tour operator who dedicated to help local  community. what is more, if you search volunteering opportunities in Africa, you have probably already discovered that many of organizations charge ridiculous prices to potential volunteers!

Kibowa Yard

I have been to this center, personally and can tell you from first hand that here children are on the first place. Within couple of years with dedicated support from  Shadows of Africa, this orphanage that counts 44 kids many hiv positive, have gained many goals with support of people who visited Tanzania either for holidays as well as some amazing volunteer help. Two years ago these kids had schooling in Tanzanian local school with no english language, today all of them with help of international sponsors are attending private ESSA school. Getting better educational grounds with opportunity to learn English from Early age is huge bonus for these kids. As much as it may be considered for granted in Western world, here education is still privilege and luxury for many Tanzanian children.

The only water supply

In addition to better education Shadows of Africa arranged regular safe daily transport to school and back, providing daily meals, money for uniforms, shoes, clothes and with kind support that is always appreciated kids from now on can learn computer skills on donated laptop.

Though for you sitting in front of computer somewhere in a cozy place, this things may appear very simple.

Free Time

In free time Kibowa orphanage is accepting volunteers that want to help kids in free time after school, to help them with homework, practice english, teach them crafts or any thing that could help them to gain new skills.

By help of volunteers the Kibowa orphanage has little garden where they produce crops, chickens, goats….

Kibowa Orphans - Arusha

So if you are looking for fair volunteering, i can recommend Kibowa orphanage where your help will be more than welcome and what matters most – your help will go directly to benefits of children and orphanage! Not to mention sweet kids, full of life and eager to learn new things!

Play time in Kibowa

More about volunteering in Arusha: http://www.kibowaorphanage.com/en/

or even better – show appreciation and support by liking their page:

https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerTanzaniaOrphanage

Travel Bucket List

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Decision is made. Going back to Africa in September and I don’t plan to go back home to Europe anytime soon. in a way starting new chapter in my life. I was thinking since I will not be limited by travel time what I want to see and experience in the future. List is definitely not complete, probably just a rough list of activities I plan to do… but have to write them down otherwise I forget.

This time I plan to visit:

Victoria lake, Tanzania – since my base will be Tanzania, I definitely plan to discover more and travel to less visited and popular places. Lake Victoria  is the largest lake in the world / approx. 60 000 square kilometres

Climb Kilimanjaro - not 100% sure, i am afraid of attitude sickness

Lake Tanganyika remote Gombe Stream  National Park, hopefully to meet Jane Goodall and have a pic with her, that would be really cool.

Lake Turkana in Kenya – remote place hard to get there, but i think it pays off, the world’s largest desert lake – makes life possible in parched northern Kenya. The lake is home to the world’s largest population of Nile crocodiles, healthy populations of hippos, and hundreds of bird and fish species.

lake turkana

Volunteering in Malawi  – I have found really affordable volunteering opportunity from a small organization that is obviously not greedy in terms of prices, cant wait to be there. More about it when I actually come there.

I will most likely also come back to Rwanda and spend some time there, what I missed on my previous trip are tea plantations and meet again some dear friends I met a long the way.

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Climb the Nyiragongo Volcano in DR Congo, lets hope political situation gets stable, its on my travel list for long time already.

travel bucket list

Visit my friend in South Africa – Cape Town, been there 10 years ago and would love to see this gorgeous place again.

These are just the highlights, the more i get to know the continent  the more places i want to see and visit:D

I think for a start is enough, if I manage to complete these goals, I would be more than happy.

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

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I did it! Eversince  I saw Ewan Mcgregor visiting Gorillas in Rwanda in Long Way Down, Volcanoes National Park has been on my bucket list. This year i  finally fullfilled my dreams, wasnt cheap i admit, but was totally worth it!!

Gorilla Etiquette:

Tracking guide will tell you more about how to behave when you’re in the presence of gorillas but here are some things to keep in mind:

Dont point index finger into gorillas, they have bad experience with poachers and they might think you want to shoot them

Be quiet

Dont make eye contact with gorillas – can be seen to be aggressive

If gorilla approaches you just act submissive and crouch down, but never run away!

Besides its not allowed to take food, drink with you  – you will leave your backpack and unnecessary equipment, clothes  in a safe place about  hundred meters before you approach gorilla area.

Gorillas in Rwanda

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Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

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My lunchtime while traveling and working from Africa. While living on Zanzibar i used to eat in  my favourite local Indian vegan restaurant where i was the only mzungu guest most of the time.
Indian food / Lunch

Indian Restaurant Zanzibar

But most of the time i used to have numerous delicious fresh salads.

Avocaado Salad

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Malina:

This post will be more interesting for African Art lovers who are based in Kigali, Rwanda. Some awsome paintings from my Rwandan friend i met during my trip to Rwanda`!

Originally posted on Rwandan Art by Augustin Hakizimana:

Solo Art Exhibition in Kigali by Augustin Hakizimana

Looks like i am going to start this blog with invitation:-) Have been very busy lately, having free workshops in Agasozi Art Center in Musanze, working on my latest paintings along with preparing my upcoming solo exhibition in Kigali. Therefore I haven’t been able to update and start this blog as it was planned but I promise to update my blog soon with all the art material I  have created so far.

So if you happen to be in Kigali on Mrch 15th  2013 in Heaven Restaurant  at 6 PM, you are more than welcome to stop by, have a drink, mingle around and look at my paintings.

Paintings  exhibited on Beauty of our culture exhibition have been created in beautiful Musanze.

coming home

collecting firewood

View original

To All My Followers ♥

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First of all thank you to all there in WordPress universe that have chosen to follow my blog and trip to East Africa!! ♥♥♥

Due to typhoid fever i had to return home  sooner than planned initially. There are many photos to sort out but right now i have to get better first. Hope you will still enjoy the upcoming pics! :-)

Still, had an unforgettable time in Africa and also getting sick is part of African experience….

Hospital

Old Soul

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Marabou Stork – Serengeti Standing over 120 cm tall with a wingspan of more than 10 feet, these African birds are scavengers of large carrion, which is why they have featherless heads. They also eat other birds, and have even been known to consume flamingos.
 Marabou Stork - Serengeti Marabou Stork - Serengeti

Serengeti Landscape

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In two days i have probably saw only a pixel of mega big 14,763 sq km Serengeti. Definitely worth a bumpy ride!

Along with wildlife i just fell in love with the endless skies  that looked awesome  just in every part of the day. Hypnotic!

Joined safari with Shadows of Africa 

Serengeti Plains

Cheetah Family - Serengeti

Serengeti

serengeti silhuettes

Lions of Serengeti

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Just came back from safari in Serengeti. There are so many pictures  so i decided to break safari in Tanzania to multiple posts. We had a wonderful chance to observe this amusing lion couple just about 4 meters from the safari car. Lioness was not in the mood for love right a way, but lion was persistent, so finally…. Love is in the air.

This was my second time safari with Shadows of Africa. www.shadowsofafrica.com

safari serengeti

Safari Tanzania - Lion couple in Serengeti

Safari Tanzania / Serengeti

safari serengeti

safari serengeti

Safari Serengeti

safari serengeti

safari serengeti lions

safari serengeti

safari serengeti

safari serengeti

safari serengeti

serengeti lions

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