July 1, 2016

getting to zanzibar

i don't have a resident visa but remember that Tanzania driver's license i got?  well, i can sometimes use that to bluff my way into getting a resident rate on things that they otherwise charge obscene amounts of money for.

moshi airport

there is a small airline that flies around the country and it's called coastal.  they have really small planes, like the kind where everyone gets a window seat.  i stopped in to ask about some cargo rates and requested to get on their flight to Zanzibar which is direct from Moshi without going the 45 minutes to Jaro Airport.  i had already put down my business card and they could see my dl so when they said you have to wait until tomorrow for the resident rate i said ok.

so round trip to Zanzibar was $120 while the tourists were paying $350 [i know this because someone in our group could not get the resident rate].  i went on business but timed it so i could spend the weekend on the island with some friends.

the plane
like other places i've been they just have  a few airplanes and they make a circuit each day around the country like a bus would on a circular route.  

moshi from the air
so they start in the morning in the Serengetti, then stop Arusha, Moshi, Tanga, a Plantation, Zanzibar, Dar and then back to the Serengetti.  each leg is less than an hour flight but i was still three landings for me to get to Zanzibar.

it was really pretty cool to see the sprawling metropolis that is Moshi from the air.   there are about 100,000 residents and i don't think anyone has counted the muzingas but there are probably almost a thousand in the region.

first was Tanga, a coastal town and then a stop at a sisal plantation which is a hoot as the runway isn't even dirt it's more like a grass strip.  Then finally onto Zanzibar which has been in the news because of some very undemocratic like practices in the last election.  they like to think they are a separate country and the politicians run it like it is but the people don't care.  they'd rather have the protection of Tanzania and it just causes problems like you have to have a passport to enter Zanzibar. 

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