Journey to Tanzania

Entry #4 – Anticipation –

It’s a fact that anticipating travel can bring even more enjoyment than the trip itself. The planning stages of the trip yield the biggest boost in happiness because we’re looking forward to the good times ahead. The anticipation phase of travel has always been exciting to me. Prior to an adventure, especially somewhere I’ve never been before, I try to immerse myself in the destination, culture, people, etc. I’ve found the best way to do that is through books, movies and music. With less than eight weeks to departure I’m in the thick of immersion and this entry in Journey to Tanzania is focused on just that.

Note that some of the book and movie links below do not link properly to Amazon. I’m including them more as a visual reference than anything so if they don’t work, please disregard.

In true over-achiever fashion I’ve checked out way more titles from the library than I can possibly consume in three week sprints. The books on my nightstand currently include:

Lonely Planet’s Tanzania Guide
By: Mary Fitzpatrick, Stuart Butler, Anthony Ham and Paula Hardy
Book Synopsis from Amazon:
Lonely Planet Tanzania is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Watch East Africa’s greatest natural dramas play out on the Serengeti plains, sip sundowners near Mt Kilimanjaro, or explore the narrow alleyways of Zanzibar; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Tanzania and begin your journey now!

Dark star safari: overland from Cairo to Cape Town
By: Theroux, Paul
Book Synopsis from Amazon:
In Dark Star Safari the wittily observant and endearingly irascible Paul Theroux takes readers the length of Africa by rattletrap bus, dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, ferry, and train. In the course of his epic and enlightening journey, he endures danger, delay, and dismaying circumstances.

Gauging the state of affairs, he talks to Africans, aid workers, missionaries, and tourists. What results is an insightful meditation on the history, politics, and beauty of Africa and its people, and “a vivid portrayal of the secret sweetness, the hidden vitality, and the long-patient hope that lies just beneath the surface” (Rocky Mountain News). In a new postscript, Theroux recounts the dramatic events of a return to Africa to visit Zimbabwe.

1,000 Places to See Before You Die*
By: Schultz, Patricia
Book Synopsis from Amazon:
Introducing the Eighth Wonder of travel books, the New York Times bestseller that’s been hailed by CBS-TV as one of the best books of the year and praised by Newsweek as the “book that tells you what’s beautiful, what’s inspiring, what’s fun and what’s just unforgettable everywhere on earth.”

Packed with recommendations of the world’s best places to visit, on and off the beaten path, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die is a joyous, passionate gift for travelers, an around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of beaches, museums, monuments, islands, inns, restaurants, mountains, and more. There’s Botswana’s Okavango Delta, the covered souks of Aleppo, the Tuscan hills surrounding San Gimignano, Canyon de Chelly, the Hassler hotel in Rome, Ipanema Beach, the backwaters of Kerala, Oaxaca’s Saturday market, the Buddhas of Borobudur, Ballybunion golf club-all the places guaranteed to give you the shivers.

*This book is always on my nightstand. I’ve started writing the dates in the margins when I’ve visited a place featured in the book.

In an effort to cram as much literature as possible into my head space I’ve also checked out two audio books:

Green hills of Africa
By: Hemingway, Ernest
Book Synopsis from Amazon:
When it was first published in 1935, The New York Times called Green Hills of Africa, “The best-written story of big-game hunting anywhere,” Hemingway’s evocative account of his safari through East Africa with his wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, captures his fascination with big-game hunting. In examining the grace of the chase and the ferocity of the kill, Hemingway looks inward, seeking to explain the lure of the hunt and the primal undercurrent that comes alive on the plains of Africa. Green Hills of Africa is also an impassioned portrait of the glory of the African landscape and the beauty of a wilderness that was, even then, being threatened by the incursions of man.

This new Hemingway Library Edition offers a fresh perspective on Hemingway’s classic travelogue, with a personal foreword by Patrick Hemingway, the author’s sole surviving son, who spent many years as a professional hunter in East Africa; a new introduction by Seán Hemingway, grandson of the author; and, published for the first time in its entirety, the African journal of Hemingway’s wife, Pauline, which offers an intimate glimpse into thoughts and experiences that shaped her husband’s craft.

West With The Night
By: Markham, Beryl
Book Synopsis from Amazon:
In West with the Night Beryl Markham chronicles her unconventional, free-spirited girlhood in Kenya and her adventures as a rescue pilot, mail carrier, and bush pilot, scouting game for safaris all over Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The book earned high praise upon its publication in 1942 but fell out of print and into obscurity. When it was republished in 1983 the book became an international bestseller and is now considered both a classic of its genre and a significant literary achievement. National Geographic Adventure ranks it number 8 in a list of 100 best adventure books.

Throughout my life I’ve seen thousands of movies. I love the feeling of getting caught up in a story and escaping life for a few hours. My movie education (movie-cation) on films about, related to and set in Africa has been enjoyable and intriguing.

Already Watched:

Out of Africa (1985)
Starring: Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Klaus Maria Brandauer
Directed by: Sydney Pollack
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
Meryl Streep is a married woman in Kenya who falls for charming adventurer Robert Redford in this 1986 Best Picture Oscar(R)-winner.

Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
Starring: Sigourney Weaver , Bryan Brown , Julie Harris
Directed by: Michael Apted
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
Based on the true story of anthropologist Dian Fossey, whose travels to the African wilderness began as a study of the rare mountain gorillas.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Starring: Don Cheadle , Sophie Okonedo , Joaquin Phoenix and Nick Nolte
Directed by: Terry George
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
The film chronicles the true story of Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), a brave hotel manager who risked his life and those of his family to take in more than 1,000 refugees during the 1994 genocide of the Tutsus by Hutu militia.

The Lion King (1994)
Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas , Matthew Broderick
Directed by: Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
Celebrate the glory of The Lion King as this magnificent coming-of-age masterpiece takes its rightful place as the reigning star of the acclaimed Walt Disney Signature Collection!

Holiday in the Wild (2019)
Starring:Rob Lowe, Kristin Davis, Fezile Mpela
Movie Synopsis from Netflix:
When her husband abruptly ends their marriage, empty nester Kate embarks on a solo second honeymoon in Africa, finding purpose — and potential romance.

Up Next:

The Constant Gardener (2005)
Starring: Danny Keogh , Hubert Kounde , Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz
Directed by: Fernando Meirelles
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
Ralph Fiennes stars as Kenya-based English diplomat Justin Quayle, whose wife is murdered, along with a man she’s suspected of having an affair with.

The First Grader (2010)
Starring: Naomie Harris and Oliver Litondo
Directed by: Justin Chadwick
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
An 84-year-old Kenyan man decides to enter school for the first time.

Skin (2009)
Starring: Sophie Okonedo , Sam Neill , Alice Krige and Tony Kgoroge
Directed by: Anthony Fabian
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:

Tsotsi (2005)
Starring: Presley Chweneyagae , Terry Pheto , Kenneth Nkosi
Directed by: Gavin Hood
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
A South African hoodlum named Tsotsi (Presley Chweneyagae) lives by a code of violence, and he and his gang of thugs prowl the streets of Johannesburg day and night, attacking those who fail to give them what they want.

Queen of Katwe (2016)
Starring: David Oyelowo , Lupita Nyong’o , Madina Nalwanga
Directed by: Mira Nair
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
A Ugandan girl’s life changes forever when she discovers she has an amazing talent for chess in this celebration of the human spirit.

I Dreamed of Africa (2000)
Starring: Kim Basinger , Eva Marie Saint , Vincent Perez and Liam Aiken
Directed by: Hugh Hudson
Movie Synopsis from Amazon:
A bored Italian socialite (Kim Basinger) abandons her jet-set lifestyle for the rigors and rewards of rural Kenya in this true story, based on the best-selling memoir by Kuki Gallmann.

I’ve got some work to do on the movie front!

When thinking of Tanzania there wasn’t music specific genre that came to mind like there is in, for example, Jamaica with Reggae. Boy was I wrong! Thanks to Google I quickly went down a rabbit hole of learning about Bongo Flava (love it).

Wikipedia Description: Bongo Flava (or Bongoflava) is the nickname for Tanzanian music. The genre developed in the 1990s, mainly as a derivative of American hip hop and traditional Tanzanian styles such as taarab and dansi, with additional influences from reggae, R&B, afrobeats, a combination that forms a unique style of music.

Here are a few of the artists I discovered.

Diamond Platnumz
Wikipedia Overview:
Naseeb Abdul Juma Issack (born 2 October 1989), popularly known by his stage name Diamond Platnumz, is a Tanzanian bongo flava recording artist, dancer, philanthropist and a businessman from Tandale, Dar es Salaam.
Check out DP’s Channel to watch his music videos. One of my favs is below, Diamond Platnumz Ft Koffi Olomide – Waah!

Wikipedia Overview: Rajab Abdul Kahali (born 15 March 1991), popularly known by his stage name Harmonize, is a Tanzanian Bongo Flava musician and music entrepreneur.
Check out H’s Channel to watch his music videos. One of my favs is below, Ushamba.

Wikipedia Overview: Ally Saleh Kiba (born 1986), known by his stage name Alikiba is a Tanzanian singer, songwriter and footballer.
Check out A’s Channel to watch his music videos. One of my favs is below, Chekecha Cheketua.

After a few hours of research (I’m telling you TOTAL rabbit hole) I was thinking, “aren’t their any female Bongo Flava artists?” Google helped me once again…

Wikipedia Overview: Faustina Charles Mfinanga (born November 9, 1992), popularly known by her stage name Nandy is a Tanzanian singer and songwriter.
Check out N’s Channel to watch her music videos. One of my favs is below, Number One – Nandy Featuring Joeboy.

Ray C
Wikipedia Overview:
Rehema Chalamila (born May 15, 1982 in Tanzania Iringa), popularly known for her stage name Ray C, is a musician from Tanzania. Her genre of music is afro pop specifically bongo flava.

Check out R’s Channel to watch her music videos. One of my favs is below, Unanimaliza

Lady Jaydee
Wikipedia Overview:
Judith Wambura Mbibo (born June 15, 1979), known by her stage name Lady Jaydee also referred to as “Lady JayDee in town” or “Lady Jay Dee”, is a Tanzanian singer. She specializes in the R&B, Zouk and Afro Pop genres.

Check out LJ’s Channel to watch her music videos. One of my favs is below, Good Vibes

Check out the other Journey to Tanzania blog entries:

Entry #1 – Six Months to Departure

Entry #2 – Home Away From Home

Entry #3 – Wild Things

Lynn Clark is the owner of Journeys Travel Group, Inc. dba Travel Leaders located in Southeast Wisconsin. She is capturing her Journey to Tanzania through a series of blog posts that chronicle her experience leading up to the adventure in October 2021. Lynn has spent nearly three decades working in travel for industry leading brands including The Walt Disney Travel Company, Carlson Companies and Funjet Vacations. In 2017 she cast off the Corporate America lines and set sail for a new adventure, owning a travel agency. Her goal in life is to connect people and ideas in the pursuit of transformational experiences which most often come in the form of travel.


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