Category Archives: Zanzibar

Reflections on Africa

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Well, the dream is over and the adventure is nothing but a memory. I’m back home in Australia, it’s about nine degrees, and I can’t help wishing that I was still exploring strange lands on the other side of the world. My two months travelling through the Dark Continent have come and gone, and the astonishing landscapes and beautiful people of Africa are now thousands of kilometres away, but the things I experienced and the people I met will always be a part of me.

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Africa was never a place I really wanted to visit, largely because the Australian perception of the continent is one of death and violence and chaos. Even leading up to my trip, I kind of felt like it was a place I should visit, rather than one I was actually passionate about seeing. That changed the moment I stepped foot in Africa. For that reason alone, it was the most surprising place I’ve ever been to – and my journey through Africa turned out to be the most enjoyable overseas trip I’ve ever had. If you’re tossing off up about going, just book a flight over there and go for it. Where else can you climb a mountain, dodge a carjacker, get chased by a lion and get smashed on great beer in the same afternoon?

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I was very aprehensive about what would welcome me in Cape Town, and was worried about even making it from the airport to my hotel. The slums that slid past the bus window as I stared out in wide-eyed wonder did nothing to ease my apprehension, but it didn’t take me long to fall in love with the city. It’s certainly troubled, but it’s also overflowing with incredible hiking trails, lovely beaches, top restaurants and pubs, and some truly special women.

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They call Cape Town the gateway to Africa, and it was the perfet entryway to the place. After renting a shitty Hyundai that even a sex offender would be embarrassed to drive, I found the rest of SA to be even more incredible. The rugged coastline, the misty mountains, the freaky animals, the beer, the dried meats, the gigantic fruit – dude, the place rocks. And despite having a reputation for being knob-jockeys, I found the Saffas to be the kindest, most helpful people I’ve ever met. Of course, I’m not black, which might have something to do with it.

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Through the remote mountains of Lesotho, across the rolling hills of Swaziland, past the wild waters of Zimbabwe and shambling dead of Zambia, the beating heart of Africa entranced me and caused me to fall madly in love with the place. It’s no wonder that people have been travelling around the world to explore the wilds of Africa for so many years. It’s the sort of place that draws in the adventurous, the open-minded, and the lost.

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In Malawi I found a special place surrounded by mountains, where the water is crystal clear and full of neon fish and lethal parasites. On the beaches of Cape Maclear I found peace and happiness in a place where few people have ever been. I visited so many memorable places in Africa, but the Cape tops them all, and the memories of the week I spent there will always bring a smile to my face.

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After living amongst poverty and desolation, it was strange to end my journey on the tropical beaches of Zanzibar and Mauritius, where most people are most definitely tourists and not travellers. It would be wrong to call these places let-downs – they’re incredibly beautiful and I highly recommend both destinations – but it was disappointing to be back in civilisation, having given left the remote backwaters and interesting people that are inevitably drawn to them.

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It was a privilege to cross paths with people having their own adventures in strange lands, and I cherish the friendships I made with people I’ll probably never meet again. It’s surprising how strong the bonds between travellers can be – when you’ve got nothing and no one to tie you to your normal life, that dude or dudette you bumped into at the hostel can feel like a lifelong friend. And that’s what travelling is really about – meeting people from different backgrounds and becoming a part of their life for a day or two.

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Oh, and what happened to Prince Imotep, the Nigerian royal who sent me an email asking me to help him move his millions, thus kicking off this who adventure (before promptly being forgotten)? I dunno, let’s just say he came through, sent me the money, and I’m now so rich that I own a helicopter and one of those fancy Japanese sex robots. How that for an awesome through-story with a satisfying and believable conclusion? I really should be a Hollywood screenwriter or something.

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I wandered through Africa for two months, but it’s only since returning home that I’ve truly felt lost. There’s a line in the Third Eye Blind song Deep Inside of You that goes, ‘I’d walk with my people if I could find them’, and I think that for a while I was in-step with people I have something in common with.

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Oh well, there’s no time to wistfully ponder my time in Africa – I’m heading to Bali in a few days for a month of paragliding, drinking, and being awesome. What can I say, it beats sitting in the office.

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Monkey Magic!

Paje is famous for it’s beaches, but that’s not all this Zanzibarean delight offers. The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is all that’s left of the island’s indigenous vegetation, and is home to thousands of zany monkeys. As a primate fancier (no, not in that way) I was determined to head out to the park whilst staying in Tanzania. As I’ve been living on beer and pizza for the past week, I decided to ride a pushbike out there, and asked for one at my hotel’s front desk.

​”I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like,” sang a very camp black man, pushing an old-school fixed gear clunker out from the shadows. “It’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good. I’d give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it.” Whilst oddly phrased, I thought it sounded like a good offer and started to say yes, when my new mate cut me off.

“You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world. I’ll give you anything, everything if you want things.” The conversation had become uncomfortable, so I took the fucking bike and got out of there.

It took me about three seconds to realise the pushie was a piece of shit and was probably built back when the world was still black and white. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s first owner was a triceratops. If you know anything about my sex life, you’ll be aware that I refuse to ride anything that’s banged up and older than me, but I didn’t have any other options, so I rode that clunker 17km through farms and forests, up hills and around villages. I don’t reckon Lance Armstrong could guide that thing to see dealer, but I made it all the way to the legendary Jozani Park. Go me!

The jungle is as thick as an Arabian’s pubes, and I couldn’t wait to get amongst the trees and start tracking down monkeys. My plans were scuppered, however, when I was informed that I’d need a guide to take me out there. As an Australian, the thought of paying some dude to help me walk through the bush makes as much sense as paying some dude to root your girlfriend, so I told him that there was monkey on fire behind him, and ducked into the jungle when he turned around. It was far from the first time an imaginary flaming monkey has saved me.

Jozani is definitely pretty, with all sorts of ancient ruins hiding amongst the almost-impenetrable jungle. The paths are poorly signposted and meander through the vegetation, often disappearing into the swampland, so it wouldn’t be hard to get lost in there and end up having to marry a monkey. Actually, that sounds like a nice life; monkeys are always gobbling bananas, so they’d probably give great blowjobs. I bet a monkey’s never forced their husband to watch Orange is the New Black, either. Any monkeys out there, get in touch.

After traipsing through the jungle for half an hour, I stumbled into a clearing and realised that I was being watched by dozens of pairs of tiny eyes. Red colobus monkeys were perched in every tree, and a swarm of shifty-looking Sykes’ monkeys were hootin’ and hollerin’ and pullin’ themselves off. It was an incredible, and I felt like I was in a nature documentary as the wildlife lived wildly around me. 

Of course, that didn’t last long. I was sitting a metre away from a colobus and feeling at peace with the world when I heard gutteral screeching coming from the bush. I thought it might’ve been a herd of wildebeest, but it was something much worse – a bunch of Germans! They smashed through the bush, squawking away in their grinding voices, scaring all the monkeys away as they rushed to take selfies of themselves. My monkey friend gave me a worried look and then disappeared into the green while a fat, sausage-guzzling German ran after him. The moment was lost.

I left the krauts to continue their blitzkrieg on the bush, and crept through the bush on my own, finding monkeys everywhere I went. I’ve seen elephants, rhinos and giraffes over the past couple of months, but this experience was special because I was able to become completely immerses in the monkeys’ culture. After an hour or two I felt more simian than man. I was sitting in a tree, sharing a banana with a cute little critter named Kirk and contemplating dropping out of society, when the monkey placed his paw on me. He looked into my eyes, and I into his, and the message was clear. As much as we both wanted to spend our days in the trees together, I had to go back to my world. We were just too different.

I hugged the monkey, wiped a tear from my eye, and climbed back to the ground. I was miserable, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I looked back at the monkey and waved as the sweet sadness of departure washed over me. And then the contents of the monkey’s bladder washed over as the dirty bastard pissed into the afternoon sun. That’s the last time I give my heart to a fucking monkey.

Fish, fish, everywhere!

The water off Paje’s eastern coast is a bit like a Russian chick’s skirt; it looks brilliant, and any self-respecting bloke wants to see what’s underneath it. So today I grabbed my snorkel and went down below for a few hours. Oh, I’m talking about snorkelling, you sicko! And as you can see from these really, really, really great photos, I had a wonderful time in a place that looks like a computer screensaver.

I paid a dude a few bucks to take me out to the appropriately-named Blue Lagoon on his traditional fishing boat, and I felt like royalty as I lay back to relax while he struggled against the wind. By royalty I don’t mean that I felt like an inbred, just that it was nice to have someone do everything for me while I bludged around and looked out at the crystal clear water.

After docking, I dived into the ocean and was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of fish. Seriously, there were thousands of the bastards, and they weren’t shy. I swam right in the middle of a huge school and the fish kept bumping into me and trying to swim down my shorts. It jumped straight into my top five snorkelling experiences. If you’re a fan of aquatic magnificence, Paje is somewhere you really should check out.

There’s a massive array of fishes in all sorts of neon colours. Blue, red, green… alright, I guess you’re aware of the concept of colours. The water is incredibly clear, and splashig around off the coast of Zanzibar is an underwater encounter I will never forget (along with that time I porked a mermaid, of course).

Whilst I enjoyed myself, a fellow snorkeller didn’t have quite such a pleasurable morning. The wind picked up and my little sailor man beckoned me back to the boat, paddling it impressively against the awful conditions. As we chopped through the waves I could see some dunce swimming straight towards us, obviously on a collision course. I tried to shout out to him but he was underwater and couldn’t hear, and had no idea the boat was there until the side wing of it bounced off a wave and clonked down on top of his head. I laughed. So if you’ve got a family member who’s in Paje and isn’t answering their phone, uh, sorry.

All up, it was a brilliant day in the sun, checking out one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been lucky enough to explore. Zanzibar is a big tourist destination for Europeans and (rich) Africans, but isn’t really on the radar of most Australians. It should be. This island is a mix of the old, untouched Bali that so many people fondly remember, and the still-unspoilt Sri Lanka that a lot of people are just finding out about. In short, it’s as lovely as what’s under a Russian girl’s skirt… well, maybe not that lovely, but it comes close.

The Most Wanted Man in Zanzibar

As Sinbad fought through a massive crowd, flowers in hand, just to be with me, I realised it was the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. Sure, there was that time a chick sucked me off in the toilets at the Chinese restaurant in East Gosford after my brother’s birthday dinner a few years ago, but this was something even more moving than that. I also realised that I didn’t want Sinbad’s monster cock anywhere near me – and certainly not inside me – so I dived onto the Zanzibar ferry and prayed it would leave before he could climb aboard.

I’m not a religious man, but my prayers were answered when we pulled out quicker than a married man in a crack whore and Sinbad was left sobbing at the dock, having lost the love of his life. Whatevs, dude. With the pervert stuck on the mainland, I was able to enjoy the 90-minute ride out to Zanzibar in peace. The bright blue water, whimsical fishing boats and unspoilt beaches that we passed were just what I needed after three days of arduous travelling, and the only thing that could’ve made it better was a cold beer in one hand and a hot lady in the other. I had neither, so I just enjoyed the view.

The ferry docks in at Stone Town, which is Zanzibar’s capital, and it’s a great place to explore because it’s built around the remnants of an ancient Portuguese fortress. My first thought on walking into it was how similar it is to the fort in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka – only bigger, better preserved, and full of people selling magnets, carved figures, garish t-shirts and other shit. Lovely place, but 10 seconds without being offered drugs or a taxi ride is considered peace and quiet in this part of the world.

Tanzania is a hot place and I was thirsty, so I fronted up to a bloke with a cart full of apples and asked him if he could get me a beer. He looked at me like I had my dick hanging out of my shorts and told me that no, I couldn’t have a beer. I quickly forgave his rudeness and asked if there was somewhere I could get a hamburger and chips, and he shook his head again. I looked around and couldn’t see anywhere with food or drinks, which is weird for an overly touristic town like this. I grabbed a little bloke in a funny hat and asked him what the fuck was up, and he told me it was Ramadan, when the muslims don’t eat or drink during the day, so everything was closed. I felt more heartbroken than Sinbad.

As I walked through the narrow alleyways of Stone Town, dodging burkha-clad women and  blokes in long white dresses, becoming weaker with every step due to dehydration and malnutrition, I started to understand why the mussos do the things they do. If I had to go all day without a feed, and a whole lifetime without getting pissed, and only have some woman with a fuckin’ bag on her head to root at the end of the night, I’d start blowing cunts up, too. Sure, there’s the 72 virgins thing to consider, but virgins rarely give good head, so it’s a moot point.

I finally found a beach bar that serves beer after sundown, and relaxed under a tree to get pissed. I was on my third bottle of Kilimanjaro when I saw a commotion down where the fishing boats dock, and fuck me dead if Sinbad wasn’t in the middle of it all! The prick still had the flowers in his hand, and he didn’t drop a single rose as he was tossed off the boat onto the sand. That bastard must have the world’s best eyesight, too, because he spied me straight away and came rushing over.

“I stow away on fishing vessel so that I can see your gorgeous face one more time,” he said, as his pants fell down to expose his oversized penis. “Oceans cannot keep us apart. Angry fishermans cannot keep us apart. Your attraction to ladies and not Sinbad cannot keep us apart. My love, I am here for you.”


Sinbad handed me his roses, closed his eyes and puckered up for a kiss. I took the crimson flowers, handed them to an attractive Danish chick sitting next to me drinking cocktail, and told Sinbad I’d catch up with him when I was done in about five minutes. To make things worse for the big fella, I accidentally trod on his big cock as I stepped over him.
“You see what I do for you?” I told the Danish girl. “I got that bloke to bring you those flowers all the way from Dar es Salaam. Now, your backpackers hostel or mine?”