gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 2816 posts, RR: 12 Posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8586 times:
Africa 4: Fly 540 ZNZ-DAR. Hopping across from Zanzibar to Dar
Hello, and welcome to Part 4 of my African series. Part 3 left off on arrival in Zanzibar after my very pleasant flights with Ethiopian Airlines from Kigali to Addis Ababa via Entebbe then Addis Ababa to Zanzibar via Dar es Salaam, both in Business.
This reports flight is the short (45 miles) hop from Zanzibar back to the mainland:
And zoomed out a bit, including some other cities I’ve visited (will stop at) this trip
To start from the very beginning though, you’ll have to check out Part 1 which explains what I’m doing.
Swiss, Dar es Salaam-Nairobi-Zurich, First A333
Swiss, Zurich-Athens, Business A320
Aegean, Athens-Larnaca, Business A320
British Airways, Larnaca-London, Business B767
So, first some photos of Zanzibar….
The lovely Danish/Zanzibairan guesthouse I stayed in in Jambiani, Dudes Guesthouse (the guy was called called Dudé)
The beach – it’s not all white sand, but had a lot of character. There were very few tourists, and lots of locals, giving the place an authentic feel.
Unfortunately not my hotel pool
The best place I found for food was the Pink House – very tasty stuff there! Lots of fresh fish
Night-time on the beach. There were frequent power cuts, but this only added to the amazing ambiance. One evening I went moonbathing, which was a pretty cool thing to do. The stars were also really clear (and thanks to Google Sky Map on my phone, I was actually able to tell what they were)
One day, I did the obligatory “Spice Tour”
Half eaten guava and cinnamon
This guy was great at making things out of leaves
My crown and jungle tie!
A local ‘spice’ lunch
The next stop was the Jouzani National Park to see the red backed Colobus monkeys. This was the 3rd set of monkeys that I’d met on my travels, and like the others, they were friendly and non-threatening (and unperturbed by humans)
And a quick stop at a mangrove swamp too
After a few idyllic days on the beach, I went over to the capital Stonetown – not quite as nice, but had an interesting Middle Eastern feel to it. Stonetown is Freddie Mercury’s birthplace
How’s that for a GBP 12/night hotel? 4 posterbed!
Reminds me of the Malecon in Havana
Time for one last drink before heading to the airport for my flight to Dar es Salaam
Whilst I had the internet, I thought I should check in for my flight back to Zurich. A nice empty cabin (for now)
I had been umming and ahhing for way too long, and even the day before I had to head back to Dar, I was undecided about airline, or even if I should take the boat. The flights were all relatively expensive, except for the one daily flight on Fly540 (who named that airline??). It was scheduled to be a CRJ (although a -100 series), and was only $60. It also had a more generous luggage allowance than others (23kg not 15kg). I had close to 30kg. after a few misses on the website, I was finally able to get my e-ticket.
I finagled a taxi driver into giving me a lift to the airport. After a document check, I was allowed through to check in. I saw the manifest – I was 1 of 9 people to check in just under 2 hours before the flight. I was charged $6 for my excess baggage, which seemed reasonable.
After security, I was let into the (freezing cold) departures lounge. The views were reasonable though:
I fear my bag would have been too big to fit in a Cessna
The Presidential Fokker arriving
The back of my boarding card
The wait was getting a bit boring now, so I got a chicken pie from a stall – tasted ok
Meanwhile the ET flight from ADD had arrived, along with a Precision Air ATR. By this time it was 1440, over an hour after our ETD. I saw quite a few other orange boarding passes. Others were asking questions, so I guessed if they stayed in the departure area waiting, the flight was just delayed. There was no FIDS.
I did, however, recall seeing a sort of FIDS at check in. I zoomed in and saw that the flight was now (2 hours ago) expected an hour late at 1440, departing at 1500. Nice that the ground crew didn’t say anything!
Finally at our plane landed, and we were allowed onto the tarmac at 1446. To avoid the Precision Air ATR we had to walk very close to the ET plane
Zanzibar (ZNZ) – Dar es Salaam (DAR)
Fly540 5H 532
Scheduled: 1340-1500 (0h20m)
Actual: 1501-1518 (0h17m)
Canadair CRJ-100 5H-YAH
I was welcomed aboard, and told to take a seat. There were already a few people on board, so I guess they flew in with the plane from ….Mobassa? Not sure. I took an empty pair in front of the wings. Load was about 30%. With not much ado, the safety demo was done, and we pushed off.
My bag belted in
Off we go, over an hour late
The kettle’s on, but no service today
Before long the mainland came into view
Not the newest of planes
Approach. A good 25% of properties seem to have only have the walls built. Is there a reason why so many buildings are unfinished?
I was very surprised to see a BA 767 on the tarmac. BA usually operate LHR-DAR overnight, with the return departing DAR around 0900. This was obviously a technical issue.
Another surprise, LAM
We disembarked, and then waited around 10 minutes for a bus to come, affording some nice shots
Finally, the bus arrived
The Precision Air that left ZNZ before us, had already dumped her load at arrivals. Our bags came out first though
Once I’d picked up my bag, I found a travel agent office to look after it (there’s no left luggage office), and caught a taxi into town.
I was expecting a sea-facing beach in Dar – got this instead. Not the best.
After about 10 seconds of walking down the road, I was accosted by lots of locals waiting to “talk”. I ended up spending quite an interesting few hours walking about the local travel industry over a few Tuskers.
With the Tuskers gone, I bid adieu to my friend, and went across to the Kempinski Hotel for a slightly nicer, and much more expensive “last drink in Africa”.
And some chips
My last sunset in Africa. It was 32C when I took this. The next time I saw the sun the next morning, I was walking around Zurich and it was -17. That’s a 49C difference overnight, quite a shock to the system!
I’ll leave this part here. The next bit will be up in a few days (hopefully) covering my very comfortable flight with Swiss in First from Dar es Salaam back to Zurich via Nairobi.
So, what of Fly 540? Well, they were cheaper than the competition, but they were late, and didn’t do anything about it. The flight was so short I couldn’t really comment on it, other than I arrived safely, and with all my luggage.
sultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1410 posts, RR: 31 Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8053 times:
Another nice short episode on your Africa adventure. Man, what a hideous livery that Fly540 plane has, it's even worse than easyJet's flying carrott! Very nice pics of Zanzibar and alike. I guess by now you must've seen enough monkeys?
Nice variety of aircraft in DAR as well, all exotic ones to me.
deltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1060 posts, RR: 7 Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7974 times:
As usual a great tripreport, I'm very much looking forward to the next part with LX F!
Seems like you had a good time in Africa!
Your ride on the Fly540 CRJ-100 seemed ok, at least the planetype isn't the most common one in Europe.
lukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1071 posts, RR: 32 Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7846 times:
Again hints of the familiar and an enjoyable read.
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter): The beach – it’s not all white sand, but had a lot of character. There were very few tourists, and lots of locals, giving the place an authentic feel
You are lucky to have not found that many tourists. When I went it was totally swamped. There can be no doubt that the character of Zanzibar has been slightly tarnished by the tourist industry. Still a beautiful place with pockets of magic.
That is an excellent deal given that Zanzibar hotels have to pay a hefty levy to government. Did you find this on the streets?
Fly 540 look, to me, a rather unattractive option. That orange makes them look more LifeJacket than Easyjet, the price (on the whole) isn't that great, and as you showed, it is a tardy sort of operation. Still, great to experience it and kudos to them for pioneering budget flights in the EA Region.
Kempinski! You and me are on different budgets me thinks! I could only afford breakfast there - but it was wonderful! Bar looks groovy. Not a great fan of DAR, but avid fan of your reports -
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8): That is an excellent deal given that Zanzibar hotels have to pay a hefty levy to government. Did you find this on the streets?
No, on hostelbookers, Jambo GH, top rated, and I see why.
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 8): Kempinski! You and me are on different budgets me thinks! I could only afford breakfast there - but it was wonderful! Bar looks groovy. Not a great fan of DAR, but avid fan of your reports -
Well, I only went for a drink and chips!
Quoting The777Man (Reply 9): Thanks for another great installment in your Africa series!
Quoting The777Man (Reply 9): Bad of Fly540 to not even mention the delay but that's Africa I guess so not too surprising.
Yeah, I'm not shocked!
Quoting The777Man (Reply 9): I tried Tusker when I flew KQ a few years ago and it was pretty good.
CaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 656 posts, RR: 21 Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7066 times:
again a great report with some very nice pictures. Sansibar really looks impressive, looks like you had a wonderful time there. Nice range of exotic and colorful airlines there in DAR. And for sure a great experience to fly with an exotic airline like Fly540, even though the service wasn't that good. And a planetype which is getting quite rare in Europe.
Knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1538 posts, RR: 18 Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7054 times:
Just wanted to let you know I'm really enjoying your African adventure. You took some great pictures of some really beautiful looking places.
What I particularly like, from an aviation perspective, are the pictures of Precision Air. When I worked for SWISS I had one client you traveled extensively in Africa working for NGOs. Very often he needed to travel with Precision Air. The only problem was the SWISS had no ticketing agreement with them, which meant that I usually made a call to their head office and would have the tickets deposited for collection at the SWISS counter in NBO or DAR. In any case, I was always very impressed by how professional and reliable their staff were. And always very friendly and nice to chat to.
In any case, thanks for posting. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 14): Sansibar really looks impressive, looks like you had a wonderful time there.
It was a lovely place to chilll out for a while
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 14): Nice range of exotic and colorful airlines there in DAR. And for sure a great experience to fly with an exotic airline like Fly540, even though the service wasn't that good. And a planetype which is getting quite rare in Europe.
Yeah, I'm glad I added it to my list, but it wasn't the best!
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 6823 times:
A short, but sweet experience on Zanzibar. A place which was never covered on A.net. I am very touched to see through your eyes how people live there with their hospitable, charming and utmost friendly attitude.
eastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 610 posts, RR: 12 Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6687 times:
Very job again, Africa doesn't have anymore secret for you.
great to see the so called EA low cost carrier. It is interesting to see that you've boarded a Tanzanian metal, which has a worn-out interior too like one in the Kenyan fleet.
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 2816 posts, RR: 12 Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6657 times:
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 20): Very job again, Africa doesn't have anymore secret for you.
Thanks - still lots more to see in Africa!
Quoting eastafspot (Reply 20): great to see the so called EA low cost carrier. It is interesting to see that you've boarded a Tanzanian metal, which has a worn-out interior too like one in the Kenyan fleet.
I was surprised to see that it was actually Tanzania metal - I thought it was a Kenyan Airline
signol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2962 posts, RR: 8 Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6586 times:
Excellent Gabriel, thanks!
Dare I say it, but your "destination" photos were more of a highlight in this report than the "flight" photos! Not that fligth was commonplace of course - a hand-written FIDS for one thing is a rare thing to see nowadays! Zanzibar looks spectacular (I've seen my sister's photos from her visit last year), Dar es Salaam looks, well, like an African city.
717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 10 Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6521 times:
Hi again Gabriel,
Another great African adventure! Seems like I am getting used to your treats so I guess I will have a hard time coping with the fact that even this amazing series of reports will come to an end at some point..
Also very interesting to read about FlyNumbers (yeah, that's a better name for them!) and as always some nice photos to go with it.
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter): Night-time on the beach. There were frequent power cuts, but this only added to the amazing ambiance. One evening I went moonbathing, which was a pretty cool thing to do.
Now you've made me really jealous...
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter): I had been umming and ahhing for way too long, and even the day before I had to head back to Dar, I was undecided about airline, or even if I should take the boat