Monday, June 8, 2015

Epic Air Safari: Ruaha to Zanzibar

2nd June

Today we will fly 271 miles from Ruaha to Zanzibar.  We have flown 6,268 miles so far, and we are nearing the end of our journey.  We leave the beautiful Ruaha National Park with a great game drive among elephants, kudus, and a hyena.  The flight is scenic over the Ruaha River.  And it's quick, too -- just under two hours.

We are back on the ocean now and a very beautiful ocean at that.  The drive to reach the boat that will take us to our private island, Mnemba, is charming, even if on quite a rough road.  Bread trees, nim trees, mangoes, bananas… all is green and lush.  We arrive on the fishermen beach and I see some fishermen struggling to bring their boar ashore above the tide line.  I help them to push it, and they are a bit surprised but smiling and happy!  A quick boat ride and we land on Mnemba, escorted first by a dolphin.  The hosting team awaits us on the beach.

I think about my friend Alfredo Pelizzoli, who created this beautiful lodge two decades ago.  It is now run by AndBeyond.  We all feel a bit confined by the corporate management and hosting but are all in love with the beauty of the place.  Bill, Lisa and I rush for a dive, while others take it a bit easier.

Sundowners on the tip of the island with the full moon rising over the ocean, sushi, and sashimi… how can you beat this?





3rd June

Mnemba Island is a nice cove for the doves, who came here to sleep and mate.  I like their cooing, but for some of us it is a bit overwhelming.

We go for a dive, which turns out to be really superb.  But the highlight of the day is the afternoon swim with the dolphins.  We are lucky to find a small family that is happy to have us around them.  They accept us, and we swim together for half an hour.  Really an unforgettable experience.




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