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First Time Outside Nigeria! NaijaSingleGirl Shares Her Zanzibar Holiday Experience

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Two weeks ago,  I was in Zanzibar for a short trip. Being my first time outside Nigeria, this trip was special for me in many ways. I travelled via Ethiopian Airlines, transited in Addis Ababa for two nights and spent five days in Zanzibar. A quick summary of my experience during my short vacation.

Lagos Airport
When the immigration official at the airport said, “Virgin passport. Are you are a virgin too?” I knew my trip was about to get interesting. My virgin passport and I were asked the most random questions.
“Tanzania? Why you no go Dubai?”
“Sure you are not planning to run from Nigeria?”
“Does your father know you are travelling?”
“Is it your boyfriend that sponsored your trip?”
“Your face resemble person wey sabi that thing well.”
The immigration officer said he wasn’t going to release my passport until I found him something for his own vacation. He kept to his word one thousand naira later.

The last security check at Muritala Mohammed International Airport, was where I was thoroughly searched by a woman. She kept whispering into my ears, “You no go find me something?”
I said, “English, no speak.” After all some of the officials kept asking me if I was a Nigerian or Tanzanian so where unnecessary tips were involved, the only language I was going to speak was Swahili.

Flight to Zanzibar
As much as I enjoyed my first international flight experience, certain things did not bring my happiness to the fullness.

– I expected WIFI onboard but didn’t get any.

– My co-passenger was a bush girl!

– I had a window seat but my co-passenger in the middle kept sliding up my windows to look out as if we were in Lagos danfo. Only God knows what she was looking for outside even when it got dark. Oh I remember. She kept asking me questions like, “Wey that wey been dey there? That thing you don snap tire?” ‘That thing’ meant the wings of the plane and the clouds when it was 8pm!

– My co-passenger had BO. It was terrible.

– My co-passenger woke me up to lay my tabletop for food by slapping me in the groin. It was painful.

– I ordered white wine. My co-passenger asked if my wine was ‘sweet’ and before I could respond, she was ‘tasting’ from my cup. I told her she can have it all.

– My co-passenger took my Orbit gum without permission.

– My co-passenger wouldn’t let me rest until I captured the perfect shot of her while she ate. I took 12 photos to get it. She said, “When the food is about to enter my mouth, SNAP!” And I thought I was the JJC here?

– My co-passenger was a copy copy. Each time I took a photo of the clouds, she did same. She watched the same movies I watched. Ate in the same pattern I did. Went to the restroom each time I did. I kept wondering, who sent this girl Jehovah?

– Finally, I had panic attacks each time the plane shook. I was the only idiot that kept screaming, “Jesus! Jesus!” During our landing at Addis Ababa, the plane suddenly went on full speed upon hitting the runway. Kuku kill me. The Nigerian in me thought it was brake failure.

Zanzibar
Zanzibar was fun. I stayed at Kendwa, Uroa and Stonetown. Thankfully transportation cost was reasonable enough to move from one town to another. I spent most of my time at the first two locations, playing with sand in ways I never did during my childhood – since there was nothing much to do on an Island.

I was told the population of tourists were few due to Ramadan. I partied, went on a boat cruise, went on tour about town in Tanzanian danfo known as dala-dala, went in search for local restaurants on Tanzanian okada known as boda-boda, snacked on Tanzanian agege bread, visited their local market, made friends with locals, toured prison Island and went snorkeling which turned out to be a disaster.

Quick tip regarding snorkelling, Zanzibar might not be an English speaking city, but ensure your snorkeling guide or fisherman like I was given understands English. Even if it’s only the word ‘HELP!’’ especially if he intends to take you alone to the middle of the Indian Ocean in your snorkeling equipment to demonstrate, “In! In!! In!!!”
Mba! I refused to go in.

Food

I have a newfound respect for Nigerian cuisine since I returned to Lagos. One of my biggest challenge was feeding while I was in transit, and in Zanzibar. I knew I was in trouble when hunger had me licking my margarine like ice cream after I finished my main meal on the plane in less than three minutes. Why are airplane meals so small?

Travelling on a budget meant I couldn’t experiment or gamble with local Tanzanian dishes all the time and only a few pricey restaurants were open due to Ramadan. My breakfast at my hotels were mostly pastries and it wasn’t long the Nigerian in me started longing for jollof rice. A restaurant I visited swore they had something similar to rice and stew. I asked for it and got served a plate of white rice, lime and freshly blended tomatoes.

Flight to Lagos
A Nigerian girl and her friend at Addis Ababa Airport walked up to my seat at the boarding area and said, “You be Nigeria?”


She was still wearing a hair net at 8am for an international flight. They were the upgraded version of the girl I had as co passenger en-route Zanzibar, so I quickly moved away since I wasn’t ready for any ‘My Naija sister’ relationships.

Unfortunately, the chatty Igbo guy I had as seat partner was no different. He wouldn’t stop asking the air hostess for an extra can of beer – even after the 5th can, before announcing to me. “Maka make I go pee oh.”

When lunch was served, he expressed his disappointment on why a Naija girl like me was using cheese on bread rather than some of the beef sauce meant for my rice on the bread. I told him I am Ethiopian. He apologized for his wrong assumption. I said, “Hakuna matata.
He said he prays one day Nigeria can have their own airline like us. I said, “I pray for you people too.”

Post Vacation Blues

My week in Zanzibar was the shortest of my life. I still tell people that I may be physically present in Lagos but spiritually, I am still in Zanzibar. I may not have visited a country westerners consider as developed but they were organized enough to get me wondering how I have been able to survive the madness in Nigeria, especially when you compare the professionalism in Nigerian Airports against the others. At least no one at Addis Ababa Airport and Zanzibar Airport asked me if I am a virgin.

Travelling has made me an Oliver Twist and I haven’t gotten tired of documenting my experience. A large part of my leisure time is now spent on looking up affordable flights and reading up on more tourist friendly nations in Africa and the rest of the world generally. My faith is saying this is the start of many more travel experiences to come. Until then, Kwaheri.

44 Comments

  1. Agu

    June 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    This is lovely i hope more Africans travel within each others countries on business, vacation and etc it will bring us all much more closer in many ways.

    • Ema

      June 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      It was funnny o. The “snap when it is about to enter my mouth”, The hairnet at 8am girls and the co passengers.?????
      The writer must have added salt and pepper to it though.

  2. Las

    June 30, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    ? too funny.

    This is certainly not your first try at writing because you write so well. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experiences. Congratulations on becoming a world traveller.

    • wondergirl

      June 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      my ethopian sister…. lmaoooo

    • naijasinglegirl

      June 30, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Amen 🙂

  3. Joy E. Ojo

    June 30, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I enjoyed your story, it was quite interesting. I love traveling, it’s such a huge deal for me. Its always good to experience other countries.

  4. Ms B

    June 30, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Lol! Those your seat mates are hilarious sha. I’m glad you played the non Nigerian card jere ☺☺ nice read!

  5. Ms B

    June 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    P.S. please show us the way as to cheaper flights and hotel bookings too biko. Ose

  6. Tolulope

    June 30, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Interesting experience.
    So like how much did the trip(flight, accommodation,feeding etc) cost you?

    • naijasinglegirl

      June 30, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Tolulope. I think N260k for flights, and N140k for hotel accommodation for four nights. $300 dollars took care of my feeding , cabs, sim cards, boat cruises and all my tours.

  7. meelikey

    June 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    An interesting read,this is something I have not been able to convince myself to do alone. Thumbs-up girl.

  8. horpsy

    June 30, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    Oh mine! i really enjoyed your write-up. You were showing not telling, i could easily make up pictures of each scenario. I had some good laugh. Btwn do you have the look of an Ethiopian? i keep wondering why that guy couldnt tell. Thanks for sharing the way you did.

  9. Anonymous

    June 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    The part about your co-passenger….sounded exagerrated to make it interesting.

    • Nikky

      June 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      Because you were there now? Right? Isi okpo. I have learnt not to assume things when I don’t have facts and believe me I have met a few people like that passenger and was shocked to the bone marrow. Get our more and meet people who don’t feature daily in your life and you will be surprised that very amusing creatures exist on this earth

    • naijasinglegirl

      June 30, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      You have no idea. This was a lady that disembarked with two airline blankets and three sets of the airplane headsets.

    • FasholasLover

      June 30, 2017 at 7:30 pm

      [email protected]“Does your father know you are travelling?”
      Nigerian immigration officers be fondling you in the name of a search!

  10. Berry Dakara

    June 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA @ your co-passenger!!!! No she didn’t actually help herself to your wine!!!

    • Dame

      July 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

      My co passenger on my trip to south africa did. she helped her self to my wine and the tomatoe they put on the food as garnish. i tire lmao

  11. Mummybobo

    June 30, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Lime, fleshly blended tomatoes sauce with white rice, mbanu. This your title eehn chairlady of all single lady’s in Nigeria hmmmmm

  12. Sam

    June 30, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Lol…interesting read! Inviting you guys to join us for a TweetChat next Thursday, July 6 by 4pm; Topic: How To Plan A Low Cost Family Vacation. Guest: ‘Funmi Oy of @tvpadventures.
    Jump in on the hashtag #NigeriaTravelChat

    • Travel Junkie

      June 30, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      Sam.

      Planning is not the problem, it’s paaaaaying. ??

      Right now, I’m in dire need of a trip anywhere.

      Even to Ghana sef, I don’t mind.

      Wipes brow delicately.

  13. Josephine

    June 30, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I love your writing!

  14. Moniker

    June 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Laughing galore.
    You denied your identity… I no blame you o.

  15. Moyo

    June 30, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Nice read, well done

  16. californiabawlar

    June 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Lmaooo! I couldn’t hold it together anymore at Hakuna Matata… NSG!! You’re the hottest mess out there! ?

  17. Sherlie Holmes

    June 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I love this chick! LOOOL

  18. aunty

    June 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    hakuna matata killed me …lmaooo

  19. get your eye test done today

    June 30, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    You are a good writer! Kudos! Please keep us posted!

  20. Jezebel

    June 30, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    “When lunch was served, he expressed his disappointment on why a Naija girl like me was using cheese on bread rather than some of the beef sauce meant for my rice on the bread. I told him I am Ethiopian. He apologized for his wrong assumption. I said, “Hakuna matata.”
    He said he prays one day Nigeria can have their own airline like us. I said, “I pray for you people too.”

    This has me in stitches, NSG you’re as hilarious as ever. Snorkeling with a non English speaker, chai see gobe.

  21. Lacey

    June 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I love love! the picture of the beach!!! It was an interesting read!!! Zanzibar here I come, only that when I do the cost benefit analysis, I would always change my mind and holiday in Europe, as I am scared of using African Airlines!!! I hope, I get over the phobia one day!!!

    • Mystique

      July 6, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      You need to bite this bullet. I did and did not regret it for a single minute. Btw, I flew Rwandair and if it’s any comfort they use brand new planes! 🙂

  22. chick

    June 30, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I followed every single detail of it on your blog nsg. I really enjoy your blog, God bless your hussle my dear.

  23. Derin87

    June 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Absolutely loved this!

  24. Dammy

    June 30, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Hi NSG,

    Interesting writeup. I am currently in Zanzibar and having fun. Didn’t go through any hassles with immigration and i have been having fun on my trips. Was able to get a trusted taxi driver that arranged a number of trips for us after we successfully priced in shillings to get cheaper rates. We traveled with Kenyan airways and had a short stop over of 3 hrs. The only things we paid for in dollars was our meal in Kenyan airport, the taxi driver that picked us from the hotel and our hotel bills. We also lived closed to Stone town. We alsomet a couple (wife from Oman, husband from Tanzania) and went on a Jeep tour to Nungwi and ate dinner at My Blue Hotel. My highlight is dolphin spotting at Kizimkazi. This whole week has been celebrations so so much to eat at the Food market in Stone Town. It’s been a fun trip so far.

  25. Dammy

    June 30, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Don’t delete my comment pls. I had written a long espistle to reply and it was deleted.

    I am currently in Zanzibar and this post is a bit exaggerated. I am having the greatest fun of my life with no hassles.

    • Ihatekilljoys

      July 1, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Madam high throne she never stated she didn’t have fun. Gosh! Her experiences and yours were not meant to be same. That you are able to watch dolphins and travelled after ramadan does not mean she exaggerated her experiences. I hate kill joys like you.

      NSG well done jare. This is the start of many more experiences

    • Mystique

      July 6, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Well, those were her experiences and I wouldn’t say they are exaggerated. I also recently returned from Zanzibar and can tell you that experiences vary depending on what part of the island you stay, your budget and activities.

    • Mystique

      July 6, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Well, those are her experiences and you really can’t take them away from her. I also recently returned from Zanzibar and I can tell you that experiences vary based on where you stay on the island, your budget and activities you partake in.

  26. Annie

    June 30, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    guys u can also follow her on Instagram 0n @naijasinglegirl , thats where i found her.. u go girl… “””nsg na baba, say it”’ lol nsg u remember that experience right?

  27. kayla

    July 1, 2017 at 7:52 am

    @Dammy, i think its wrong for you to say its exaggerated. because everyone’s experience can never be the same as a result of different factors. travel agency, cost etc. please dont come and spoil my darling hustle with ur comment. everyone’s experience can never be the same and besides writers, have a right on how their story should appeal their audience. @NSG when am i going to see ur face. its not nice at all

    • o

      July 1, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      Hasn’t she said to the ppl asking to see her face that it wouldn’t be happening any time soon???

  28. Nemyinspired

    July 1, 2017 at 11:11 am

    I totally enjoyed this and I was laughing as I read this alone. Thanks for relating the struggles of an average Nigerian to have a vacation

  29. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    July 2, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I can’t believe how you would just come here and type this. Her writing is so good you think its fiction? Don’t be like that, pls. It even makes your fun sounding trip seem suspicious. Now how does that make you feel? Thought so. Hakuma Matata

    NSG,
    I carry bow for your craze. I is a silent fan. Looking forward to your next trip and the telling of it. Hope you meet someone who would make you retire from your chairmanship next time. Fancy, fancy. Toddles!

  30. Vicks

    July 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    LOOOL this is so funny!

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