Explorer Mikael Strandberg

The Gentlemen´s Expedition; Chilling in Zanzibar

A Gentlemen´s Expedition in the eyes of Kensington Tours owner, Jeff Willner, is full of dramatic challenges. Like now, when we have pretty much reached the end of a 12 day tour, I feel as always – extremely run down! But happy! Just like on any Expedition I have ever been on. Even though these Expeditions which are organised by somebody I see is my brother, have a very luxurious touch, they´re really demanding. Two days ago, as always for me, I was down and out! Well almost. It is the enormous quantities of good liqueur, the long talks about life, complete lack of sleep and absolutely no time to recover, no personal time for reflection which knocks me out! On the other hand, I always return home wiser, happier, with new friends and have changed some perspectives of my way to look at life. On this Expedition, set in East Africa, the group consisted of 6 individuals who went under the names of the Eland, Giraffe  Warthog, Hippo, Impala and The Common Goat. During a series of 5 articles, I will show you readers what a Gentlemen´s Expedition with Kensington Tours consists of.

Chilling in Zanzibar


Mikael Strandberg

“This is cocoa!” our guide said, smiled and showed us a fruit that looked anything but what he said, and than added; “The gem of the spice tour of Zanzibar!”

Even though it was my second Zanzibari spice tour, I really enjoyed it. It is a fascinating tour into the world of spices and it gives a wide perspective on what they can be used for, like for example medical purposes. Jeff had picked up a cold and immediately stuck a couple of red chilies up his nose, which did wonders.

It was great being back on Zanzibar, not only because it is such a laid back paradise of sandy beaches and nice people, but also because I heard some Arabic spoken again and having been in Yemen for awhile, and Oman, I saw the influences all the way down here still today. Not only the doors in Stone Town, but the less nice legacy, the slave trade. And, if one can call this enjoyment, I saw the less developed part of Africa. Kenya had just shoot of and built up a middle class, but this important development aspect seems very far off in Zanzibar. For me, it was the Africa I remember from back in the year of 2000. Good memories most of them. Africa is such a diverse and lively place and going from one end of this long island to the other, well, most of it was still a crappy potholed tar road, but full of interesting villages and the closer we got to the most populous part, the more of life were on offer.

Stone Town was a nice stroll. Few people know that Zanzibar was kind of the place were all early Africa explorers collected their equipment, planned their routes into the interior and Sir David Livingstone´s house from this time, is still on view on Stone Town. Although I think the liveliest place are still the markets!

We stayed at Palm´s in Zanzibar. Same place which also had hosted Rwanda´s president Paul Kagame and one of the richest human beings on earth, Bill Gates and his wife. All of them had the pleasure to enjoy the owner´s company, Ante Raguz, who is half Swedish, which made me very proud and happy. The Palms is really a paradise in every way. The food, especially the selection of sea food, is superb, as is the service and closeness to the Pacific. It was really a great place to finish off ten marvelous days in the company of the Giraffe, the Common Goat, the Impala, the Eland and the Hippo. Yes, I was the Wart Hog!

And believe me, after 10 days of partying i felt like one at the end!

I already miss Africa. There´s something with this continent, which sets it apart from the rest. I think it is the feeling of it being genuine.

Photo Gallery from The Gentlemen´s Expedition in East Africa 2012.

Earlier Gentlemen´s expeditions

Congo and Rwanda 2009

Iceland 2010

Luxury Cruise in  The Med 2011

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