Seeing this beautiful country has been one of the most amazing experiences that we have been fortunate enough to have. We were lucky enough to see some of the non-tourist parts of Tanzania, which touched us in a way that we weren’t really expecting. We had some amazing experiences, including visiting an orphanage and teaching in a primary school. But we also visited some of the tourist destinations and their activities, including two safaris, visiting Dar Es Salaam, and hiking up the Sanje Falls!
R U R A L – T A N Z A N I A
Even though we have all seen the harsh reality of poverty on TV when a charity is being advertised, it’s not until you see it in person that you actually realise the scale of it. Before we travelled, we knew what to expect- we knew that we were likely to see poverty, as we weren’t always going to be in built up tourist areas. Despite this, we were still shocked at the scenes we saw, driving through the towns.
As we looked out of the window as we were driving along, we came to a river. It wasn’t a particularly pretty river; in fact it appeared to be dirty and quite grey (very unlike other rivers we had seen). Here is where we saw a mother and her young child cleaning their clothes, and collecting some of the water. To make it worse, there were animals cleaning themselves in that very water, and had probably passing on potential diseases. It wasn’t a nice sight. It really put into perspective as to how lucky we are to have been born where we have, and that we were able to ‘walk‘ away from the river, up to our hotel. This mother can’t leave, she lives there.
It was difficult to look at, but we’re glad that we did. Seeing this sight reminded us of how fortunate we are, and we will continue to donate to charities that are aiming to stop poverty. We only saw a small portion of a much larger problem, but it was enough to effect us.
The benefit of not being in a tourist area, is that we got to see the ‘real’ Tanzania. We visited an amazing food market, selling all sorts of fruit, including Jackfruit. We’d never seen a Jackfruit before, and they’re really unusual! The centre of the fruit was almost meaty, which was really strange- fruity flavour but a meat-like texture! The market was full of colour, from all the fruit and vegetables. There were herbs and spices for sale, and as you can see from the photo above, they had all been hung up for viewing- each in a little bag. Very different to what we are used to!
As well as the fruit and vegetable market, we visited a fish market, which was an experience and a half! Where we were, it’s very unusual for Europeans to visit, as it’s not a tourist area. So, the market security came around with us, acting as our body guard. It wasn’t scary, but it was a bit intimidating!
O R P H A N A G E
One of the most amazing parts of this trip, was the Orphanage. Seeing the children getting excited just to see us, and just wanting to play with us for hours on end, was a lovely feeling. They have very little, but they are all so happy, smiling and running around playing with each other. It was humbling.
With us, we bought bags and bags of toys for the younger children, and sanitary products for the older girls. Everything we bought with us was greatly appreciated- something as simple as shoes. They were all so excited, huddling round to see what we had brought with us.
At the end of the two days that we were there, we paid for them all, staff included, to have dinner with us. Our caterer came to the orphanage, and cooked us all a hot meal. A lovely end to a humbling few days.
P R I M A R Y – S C H O O L
In addition to the Orphanage, we taught at a Primary School for two days. This too was an amazing experience- having 100 children in one classroom, expectantly staring up at you, waiting to be taught. We’re so used to school being ‘boring’ and children not wanting to go, that having so many children wanting this privilege seemed so odd to us. But we of course, understood. We tought a variety of ages, but each age group had the same reaction- excited and eager to learn!
Break time though, was the best bit! We brought some toys with us, including bubbles; and wow did the bubbles go down well! Hundreds of children were running after them as they flew away. We also had parachutes, which supplied hours of fun, as well as just playing with us in groups. An experience we’ll never forget!
S A F A R I
When we moved to a more tourist based area, we were fortunate enough to go on two safaris. We saw a large amount of animals, but elephants are what we saw the most of! We also saw an adult lion, two lion cubs, giraffes, impalas, hippos, and some others!
The safari was a Bucket List moment! It was amazing, to see all of these animals in the wild, undisturbed. There were only a few tours happening at once, with only one or two Jeeps for each. This was a positive, as there was less obstruction and intrusion on the animals, allowing them to live undisturbed.
S A N J E – F A L L S
Sanje Falls is number four in the Top 10 waterfalls of Tanzania, and we could see why! After an exhausting four hour hike, we made it to the top, where the views were stunning. We could see for miles across the Tanzanian landscape, and the green fields and small towns in the distance.
It was hard work, but with a swim in the waterfall at the end, it was definitely worth it!
D A R – E S – S A L A A M
We did of course visit Dar Es Salaam, and it was an interesting place. There was such a contrast in the architecture. One minute you’re looking at a street that appears to be borderline on the poverty line, then your looking at a glass building!
The architecture though, really was quite amazing in places. It was overall, a lovely city, that we would love to return to one day!