Exploring Africa Part 1: Nairobi to Zanzibar
I can vividly remember a time when I never thought that I’d visit Africa. I remember thinking that traveling was for the rich and from the little that I knew about the continent, I didn’t think that I would ever want to visit. Those were my childhood days and I’m happy to report the growth. I just accomplished a goal of traveling to the Motherland. Yay! *enter applause*
My trip started in Kenya. The first thing that I noticed when landing was how thick and close the clouds were. I noticed how the Sun danced on my skin. It was not what I’m used to which is getting scorched, deep fried, or bacon burnt in Qatar. It was refreshing to see all of the life flowing there. Trees and greenery are in each direction and as far as the eyes can see. The beauty in the culture could be seen as soon as I stepped out of the airport. People were singing and dancing with anyone that would join them. It was a very warm welcoming. The driver met us there and took us to our accommodations. I traveled with my husband and another group member showed up at the same time. We stayed in a cozy hostel with a fire restaurant. This is where I decided to throw away my clear skin and morals and eat whatever my shady little cravings desired. First of all, our server was also the cook as well as the plug for late night rides through the city. Let me tell you, this mans food knocked my wig cap back blue. Everything that I ordered was cooked and flavored to perfection. I stayed there eating for several hours enjoying what ever he brought me. This trip had started out on the right foot for sure.
The next morning we were scheduled to meet up with the group that would be traveling with us through Kenya and Tanzania. Our first car trip was from Nairobi, Kenya to Narok County, Kenya which took about three hours. During the drive we stopped at tourist sites and local shops to support the economic growth while we visited. I had planned to support the communities each time I got the chance. The problem that I found happened to be that it was hard to find things that I would use ever when I left. So instead of buying, often I would simply leave a donation or tip well whenever I was offered a service. I managed to buy three pieces of art and some crystals to bring back home by the end though. #supportblackeconomicgrowth
Finally, we made it to our first campsite. It was peaceful and comfortable when looking back on it. As we pulled up though, it was a tent in the woods. I couldn’t believe that I had spent my money to come sleep where, “monkeys might try to steal your belongings,’’ my trip leader kept reminding us. We dropped our things, had a look around and got ready for a group dinner. The dinner was amazing (shouts out to Mrs. Ann) and after eating I became a happy camper. Because food makes me happy.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
We began our game drives in the Maasai Mara National Reserve over the next few days. This part of the trip was special because The Maasai Mara people are still living in and around this the reserve. I was lucky enough to meet a small tribe. In the 19th century, the Maasai people resisted slavery when the British came and began to settle for trading. They traded slaves and ivory in and out of Kenya and Tanzania, where over 2 million of the tribe still live. The Maasai people fought back. These tribes were essentially left alone by the british, arab, and black slave catchers, porters and owners because of their strength, determination, and willingness to die to stay free. They are said to follow their traditions to this day by living as nomads. A lot can be learned from these people and their ancestors.
I visited their village analyzing how I could use what they do to create ideas for when I get back to the modern-day slavery that is my life. Luckily, I live in and more privileged setting. Having those thoughts left more questions for me. How is it that such fertile land not producing the most privileged people? That may not be a problem that I’ll find the answer to on vacation. So, the game drives we’re like a real life fantasy playing out in 4D. The visuals were mind blowing as I tried to capture in these photos.
Serengeti National Park
For one night we camped out in Serengeti National Park and got the chance to listen to the sounds of the wild under a beautiful moon. The Acacia Africa tour has some of the best cooks that I could have hoped for. So, after the game drive, a lovely dinner, and beers with the camp we decided to get ready for bed. On our way to the campsite bathrooms, my flashlight met with the eyeballs of a huge buffalo who was less than 10ft from the entry. I’m ‘ret-ta-go’’ and start heading back to my tent which is the only place to run. A tour guide from a different team assured me that it was ok and escorted me towards the bathroom again. Needless to say, it took a lot of slow breathing to relax throughout the night after that. At nearly 3 a.m. I hear a buffalo screaming out in pain, later I hear Hyaenas around the camp. I tried to sleep through it like nothing happened because what can you do right? When we got up we got confirmation that there had been lions in the camp and vultures flew around and ate on something near by. Chyy, I was so happy to move along to Ngorongoro. Not before I buried my favorite crystals and my intentions in the earth at the Seren- damn- geti. Now, that’s POWER!
Ngorongoro was equally as beautiful. We also got some dope shots out there. The campsite was obviously home to some very large animals because you could barely step without stepping in poo. We had one night in a tent and two game drives from the. One game drive was into the crater. This was the best game drive of them all. I’ll let the photos explain.
Stonetown is the older part of Zanzibar, known as ‘’history rich,’’ this city was amazing to see. One of the highlights of my trip and the also the hardest part was visiting the Old Slave Market. I spent hours reading up on the history of Arab traders coming and using slaves from East Africa and selling them to countries like the one that I live in now. Seeing this re-ignited a fire in me.
There was so much beauty in Zanzibar. We left Stonetown and stayed two nights in this dope beach resort. This was the perfect way to end such an incredible tour. After a week of jumping campsites, riding for hours and hours each day, and fast life living; it was nice to finally have down time to relax and actually enjoy being there. We got lucky enough to get a sunset boat ride, more commonly known as the ‘’Booze Cruise.’’ Our group drank until they were falling over and we all had a lot of fun. We ended the night with a local live band and concert while dining on the beach enjoying an Africa Night Buffet. I heard that some people travel there specifically for Africa Night. After attending, I completely understand why. If I didn’t say it enough, the food was always amazing.
To sum it all up, exploring Africa part I was a trip of a lifetime. Prior to traveling there I have already been supporting black business and black economic growth. I do so because I believe that loving and healing self is the true key to changing the world. Until we get there as a whole, taking care of home is priority for most of us. I already knew the history of how the cards have been stacked against us for centuries, whether it be because of race or financial status. However, I was not prepared to see how badly Africa was hurt. This is a such beautiful and fertile land. I traveled in Kenya and through Tanzania stopping and immersing in what local culture and community we had the opportunity of meeting. The local community accepted us as family. A continent that has money literal growing from the ground, STILL. I am dedicated to changing this for myself and every black person that I’m blessed to be able to inspire to tune in.
SUPPORT BLACK BUSINESSES :
In Tanzania, I hopped out onto the beaches rocking my new Bad Gyal Tings top that you can find on www.riceandtees.com
I looked and felt fabulous rocking my Mental by Netiera Denise jacket. Shop her dope collection at www.mentalbynd.com
This tour was booked through Acacia-Africa. I rate the tour a 5 out of 5. Prepare for a fast paced real-life experience. It’s definitely not for the ‘prissy’ although they will do their best to accommodate you. The tour guides are professional and knowledgeable. There was never a time that I did not feel safe or comfortable with Acacia. Tell them that the Garcia’s sent you.
Photography by @fenixx_simone ft. @iamgerry803