I love to kayak. I love to take people kayaking. I love to explore in a kayak. Did I mention I love to kayak?
This past August when I was in Africa I had two unique opportunities to go paddling in Africa. The first was when Infinite Safari Adventures brought a multigenerational family of 11 on safari. After their wildlife viewing, the whole clan came down to the coast of Tanzania and a group of them (including 2 kids – Lucas and Danae) went paddling with us in Moa Bay. What better way to explore the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, mangrove tributaries, local villages and bird life than by kayak! The children quickly became expert paddlers.
Then we all traveled to Zanzibar. I had learned that there were some kayaks on the Island and I had to check it out. I thought it would be easy, but it was like searching for the owner of a rare artifact. All I had was an address. First it was a short taxi ride near the center of Stonetown. Then down a narrow alley and around a corner to the Kholle House hotel. At the hotel I asked for Rashid. He was not there but the clerk called him on his cell phone and I was told he would be there in about 10 minutes. Rashid did show up and took me to a nondescript door with 6 locks on it. Inside he revealed 6 quite nice plastic kayaks with paddles. By then it was too late to go for a paddle and I was scheduled to leave the next day at around 9.
Never one to pass up a chance to paddle we made a date to meet again at 6:30 the next morning. Well we did and on the water we went for a short 90-minute paddle around the port of Stonetown with a view of Prison Island (also known as Changuu Island), a sanctuary for giant sea turtles
Rashid was an enthusiastic paddler and eager student. I gave him a quick lesson on sweep strokes and leaning your boat.
I promise to return soon and do a longer paddle around the islands. It looks beautiful.