All the places I slept when I visited Africa for 11 days
In November of 2016 I visited Tanzania and Kenya with my parents. We saw beautiful sights, formed great memories, and learned about the world and each other. Yet, the most memorable experiences were about where I slept every night. Below is a night by night breakdown of where I slept.
I arrive in the Tanzanian airport after 30 hours of traveling at 3 am. I don’t have enough money to pay an entrance fee to the country. I’m told to go outside and search for an ATM. All the ATM’s aren’t working. I’m told to wait. I wait. Finally, they write a note on my passport. “Owes $100.” It’s for when I leave the country. I leave the airport and the shuttle that our airport has promised is not there. I wander back and forth asking the people who hang out at the Tanzanian airport at 4 am if they are with “Hotel Safina.” Most ignore me. Finally, I hop into a taxi who assures me he knows where Hotel Safina is. After a long dark ride we arrive at Hotel Safina. It’s a tall modern-looking hotel in the middle of an intersection of dirt roads. All the lights are off (it’s 5 am). I knock on the door and beg the taxi driver to wait. Finally, a sleepy man opens the door. I’m let in. The hotel is quiet. I go to my room and sleep.
My parents arrive to Tanzania and they get their own room in Hotel Safina. We start to realize we’re the only guests in the hotel. We also realize that when we eat at the hotel restaurant and order food, one of their staff leaves and buys the food and brings it to the kitchen to cook it. For example; we order chicken. A man leaves and comes back with chicken and takes it to the kitchen. They cook the chicken. We eat the chicken. We also notice the employees are excited to see us, it seems like they don’t see many guests. We haven’t seen any other guests either.
We head to the beautiful island of Zanzibar. Due to booking errors and misunderstandings we don’t land on the island until late. We’re in a small bus and the bus drives for almost 2 hours and stops in the middle of a beach. It’s dark and all we see is moonlit beach. We find the hotel where we made reservations. We notice all the guests are couples. My parents get a room and I get a separate room. I walk in and there are roses on the bed.
Alone in the honeymoon suite again. I push the roses off one side of the bed and go to sleep by myself.
We return to Hotel Safinas (we had booked all these places before). We are still the only ones in the hotel. It’s a bit creepy now.
Our first night of a safari. I sleep in a tent next to a building where other tourists going on safari are also sleeping but in actual rooms and beds (tent was cheaper). I’m outside of an exit. At one point, I hear an intoxicated voice say “wait…is someone sleeping in that tent?” Someone is. It’s me. It rains most of the night and my belongings get wet. My parents tent stays dry.
We’re in tents again. It looks like it might rain and I’ve learned my lesson so I decide to sleep in my parents tent with them. Somehow, I fall asleep in between my two parents but I know I will stay dry if it rains. I have a hard time sleeping but I know I will stay dry if it rains. It doesn’t rain.
I’m back in my tent. The night is really cold. I’m wearing 3 shirts and using 2 other shirts as pants because it’s so cold. Those are all the shirts I brought. I wish I were in between my parents.
We stay at a great hostel in Arusha, Tanzania. It’s fun!
We stay at Khweza Bed and Breakfast. It’s in a rough part of town. A really rough part of town. We have an incident where we feel unsafe. We all go to sleep feeling rattled.
We booked another hotel to not spend another night in the rough part of town. It’s really rough. The hotel places us in a room that was clearly a locker room until very recently. Lying down in the middle of the bed, I can reach to my left and open up a sliding glass door to my shower. It’s actually that close. I sleep fairly soundly and roll out of bed directly into my shower and then leave to catch my flight.
That’s where I slept during my 2016 Africa trip.