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I have roots in Tanzania (Click here to read my grandfather' biography): My grandmother on my father's side (Ladha Khaki family - I want to make contact with them) was born and bought up in Zanzibar; my mother was born and brought up in Tabora, Tanzania. I was born and brought up in Jinja, Uganda. In January 1971 I spent a couple of weeks in Mombasa at a cousin's flat, with an overnight excursion to Malindi. By the time I left for UK on turning 18 years, my Kiswahili had taken firm roots, although it is Ugandan-style Kiswahili, not as refined as the coastal Kiswahili.

I always wanted to visit Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, and re-visit Momabasa. I must admit on this trip I could not remember anything about Mombasa except vague recollections of the old post office at Makadara Street, Fort Jesus and the tusks at Moi Avenue. I could recognize nothing about Malindi.

I felt Dar es Salaam was much smaller (and too run down) than what I had imagined the capital city of Tanzania would be. My four hours walk about in Stone City, Unguja, Zanzibar was not sufficient for me to get a proper feel of Zanzibar life. Although, it looked like a run-down version of Mdina in Malta (the Arab capital when they ruled there around the 13th Century, 700 years ago) with narrow streets and houses around courtyards.

During my five weeks trip, I had a great time eating the lovely fruits, admiring that tree with red flowers in full bloom, spotting the occasional baobab trees, nice weather although a bit too humid at times, the strong sunshine and the banter in Kiswahili. They could tell I was not local because they said I look "pale" and when I opened my mouth the accent and limited vocabulary gave me away. The people in Mombasa were so hospitable, lively and energetic. Dar es Salaam people were hospitable, gracious and easygoing.

Those anti-malaria tablets gave me such side effects that I gave them up after a week. Although I was bitten a couple of times, I did not get any malaria since I took care to wear long-sleeves in the evening and apply eucalyptus and lemon natural oils on exposed skin.





Zanzibar Media

Daily Travel Diary Notes & Photos (December, 2004 - January, 2005)

 Diary Notes & Photos

Photos (January, 2004):



The in-face full moon around Christmas was amazing. Watching those twinkling bright stars sitting at Bamburi Beach at night in a sea breeze was lovely. Seeing those well-worn off-road vehicles gliding past was great, compared to seeing their polished counterparts in London used as a fashion statement. And then after sunset there was street barbecue with the thick smoke billowing down the street. And "Mubeens" in Mombasa is an experience and a half, a combination of sizzle smoke, sitting on a bench at a table with a ditch behind you and those rush-hour matatoos racing past behind you. Take great care not to tip over!

I lost some weight in the right places, as you cannot eat all that much in that humidity although it is so tasty, fresh and affordable. Going to those quaint KSI mosques is such a pleasure. Only I felt in Mombasa they stare at strangers a bit too much. That music, old Hindi songs with Kiswahili lyrics was just fascinating, such fusion jazz with a difference!

Overall, it was a lovely travel experience. The East Africa coast is a great place to visit for those who have spent some time out there in their past life. I want to be there in the end and beginning of the year again and again. Meet me there


Last updated October 2007 Copyright Mahmood Fazal 2005 - All Rights Reserved

Created By Husain Fazal