Tanzania: Dar Es Salaam, Mafia Island
We had arranged to spend Christmas on Mafia Island with Josi’s Danish cousin and family and some close friends of theirs who had moved to Dar earlier this year. We would be 12 people in total and we were all excited to be heading to this marine paradise for the holiday season.
A small 13 seater plane brought us to the picturesque island of Mafia and we made our way to *Kinasi Lodge*. The lodge was welcoming and, with freshly cracked coconuts on arrival, we knew we were in for a good few days. Our room was also an upgrade from the many days of sleeping in the tent, and we were pleased to be having a break from driving! The lodge was situated inside the highly acclaimed National Marine Reserve and we made plans for some snorkelling, cultural visits, swimming with whale sharks and even a private lunch on a remote island.
Each day the weather was glorious and we were all out on a boat drinking in the best that Mafia had to offer. All the villagers we met on the various islands were both hospitable and curious. All the fish and corals displayed a huge variety of colour and all the shells that had been washed up on the shore demonstrated how symmetrically perfect these ocean life forms can be.
For Christmas itself, we celebrated the Danish way with a good long meal on the 24th but ended the evening in a more unconventional way – by jumping into the pool!
For New Year’s Eve, we headed back to Dar Es Salaam and spent those few days with the friends we had got to know on Mafia Island. We celebrated in style at their house – sampling the local lobster and sharing the mandatory champagne.
After the break from Tonka, we were excited to press on with our busy agenda. We now had a few goals on the horizon – John was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and we were soon to be in Kitwe in Zambia to meet Henry & Joyce at Wukwashi Wa Nzambi… the time pressure was on!