A family trip through the eyes of a 12 year old

During the COVID19 outbreak it was quite hard to travel as every country had different precautions, for example in the UK you had to quarantine for 14 days or quarantine for 5 and get a test.  However, in Tanzania they didn’t believe in Coronavirus & therefore you didn’t need a negative Covid test to enter the country.

 

One of the reasons we went there was because Mum wanted to show that it was okay for families to travel to the hotels that she does the marketing for – her clients. Mum did this by posting on her instagram to get people to see her clients and encourage people to go there. Also we wanted to get away from the madness of COVID19 and we knew that Christmas wasn’t going to be the same anyway, as we couldn’t see anyone.

 

The impact of Covid19 on the tourism industry was massive as nobody was going there so they didn’t get any money throughout that period. With no income the people working there didn’t get paid this has a huge impact on communities. Countries likeTanzania get a lot of their money from tourism and if nobody is going there the government can’t give away any money to help people.

 We flew on the 10th of December at 14.30 from Heathrow, to Doha in Qatar on Qatar Airways. It was a seven hour flight and we got to watch movies. On the connecting flight we flew from Doha to Dar es Salaam, we slept on this flight and it was five hours long. We arrived at Dar at 7.30 in the morning and collected our bags and went on a 20 minute flight to Zanzibar which is an island off the east coast of Tanzania. After an hour’s car journey to the south east of Zanzibar driving through derelict and poor villages, we arrived at Zanzibar White Sands in time for lunch.

 

During our stay at Zanzibar White Sands we did Kitesurfing, Kayaking, Snorkelling, Cave snorkelling and we went to see Stone Town and learnt about the slave trade and also visited some shops. We spent most of our time playing table football and going swimming in the main pool which was very fun. Even though I got stung by sea urchins I really enjoyed snorkelling and we saw some cool fish. The sea at Zanzibar White Sands was very turquoise as it was very shallow and it was very tidal there. We stayed here for six nights. 

After Zanzibar White Sands we went to Pongwe on the east coast of Zanzibar and there we did loads of snorkelling. We even swam with 3 pods of dolphins off Mnemba Island. I loved swimming with dolphins as they were so energetic, they were wild and they came of their own accord. I also liked their pool as it looked out onto the open sea ahead. We stayed here for four nights.

As Siwandu was on mainland Tanzania we flew to Dar es Salaam and then got a 40 minute flight to Selous. When we arrived on the dirt runway there was a safari vehicle waiting to take us on the bumpy road to Siwandu. Our guides were John and Gracious. On the journey there we saw eland, giraffe, impala and lots of birds.

On the first five minutes of our first game drive we saw a very energetic leopard which is very rare in Siwandu, it was chasing a squirrel and scratching a tree. We also saw a buffalo being eaten by a pack of lions. There was also a dying giraffe, we think it slipped when trying to drink, sadly she was also pregnant. When we visited it on the last day there were only bones remaining and a few fat vultures. On Wednesday we had a surprise breakfast in the bush, in the evening we went on a boat safari and we saw lots of Crocs and Hippos. On Thursday we had a goodbye lunch on the boat. At 3 o’clock Gracious took us back to the runway, we said goodbye to Siwandu. We stayed at Siwandu for three nights.

We then got onto the plane and the pilot said we were going to Zanzibar, this wasn’t right as we were supposed to go to Dar. We then went to Zanzibar and then flew back to Dar to catch our flight. As we had some down time we went to a revolving restaurant, someone asked the Manager to stop it revolving because they were getting dizzy. We then went to Dar and caught our flight to Doha. We had breakfast in Doha and then went back to London (we arrived on Christmas day) we then came back to the house to find that our neighbour Caroline had decorated the house and made lots of meals for us.

I loved our holiday to Africa as it was both relaxing and full of fun. My favourite part was swimming with dolphins as it was so exhilarating and fun jumping in to catch a glimpse of them. I really hope I’m lucky enough to go there again!

Courtesy of Milo Powell

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