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Baraka Natural Aquarium

Baraka Natural Aquarium is located in the northern part of Nungwi. As with everything these days, I originally saw it on the gram and was very pleased that it matched up to my expectations 😻😻.WE LOVE TO SEE IT 🗣⁣

Baraka is a turtle rehabilitation centre run by local people; the turtles here have been rescued from fishermen capture. They are then nursed back to full health before being released back into the wild. You can wade through the shallow water in the low tide, and swim with fish and other small marine animals.

Price: $10 to get in and the seaweed needed to coax the turtles closer is provided. If you would like to snorkel, you can hire gear in destination.

Here are some tips for making the most of your time:

  • No prebooking – just arrive turn up and you will be directed to the location.
  • Arrive early just as they open to get a shot without other people – I say early rather than later because the sunlight hitting the water is something special.
  • The turtles are just trying to eat, so you can very easily bribe them with the seaweed provided 😂⁣
  • Seaweed is salty; so bring a towel and water to wash your eyes out. (I learnt the hard way 😂)
  • There are showers on site – so you can bring a change of clothes
  • It’s by no means a whole day activity.
  • The turtles will bite! Once they know you have the seaweed they’ll swarm.
  • The turtles have a rubbery texture and they don’t seem to mind you stroking them (follow any instructions given by the guides).
  • Don’t put on too much sunscreen if you plan to go into the water, it will contaminate the water and we don’t want that for the turtles.

Photo op tips:

  • When you walk in, find the cove to your right and coax turtles with seaweed. It’s a good point for a photo with no one else in.
  • If you want a picture on the podium in the middle, you’ll need someone high up to capture it for you.
  • If you’re a confident swimmer, go further out and again use the seaweed to coax the turtles

Most importantly, have fun! It’s an amazing experience.

As always, keep up to date with us on @trippinwithsj // @sarahambitious x

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Nungwi Beach

Nungwi Beach is one of the main areas you will find information about online when planning a visit to Zanzibar, and for good reason. It has powdery white sand, turqouise blue water that simply looks unreal – I remember standing in awe. I never get tired of looking at beautiful water.

Nungwi is all you expect from a tourist beach front; restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, water sports and regular party boats that include food, bottomless drinks and music you can groove to. I even got some beautiful henna done.

Here are 10 reasons you should visit Nungwi if you go to Tanzania:

  1. It’s an island paradise(!) 😍 (hyperbole?, yes but no)
  2. It’s warm all year round. Zanzibar is located near the equator and gets sunny weather most of the time, so tan me up please! (Averaging up to 32°C & 9 hours of sun) 🌞😎
  3. Beautiful sunset views. Again because Zanzibar is on the western coast at the top of the island, its perfect to get your insta moments and have people wishing they were laying up there too. You can enjoy a drink on a rooftop as the sun sets or get on a sunset cruise on a dhow. (Did someone say baecation criteria being ticked?) 🌅
  4. Experience nature up close. Baraka Natural Aquarium is a conservation site run by locals, but that deserves a blogpost all of its own. So keep an eye out 😉
  5. Nightlife! As the sun sets, the beach comes alive. Visit Cholo’s Bar – it’s the oldest in the village. 🥂
  6. Enjoy local flavours. There are countless restaurants that will cater to your tastes, you have everything from French inspired to classic Italian in addition to local flavours. 🥘
  7. Build a dhow. You won’t actually do the back breaking work yourself, but you can get a personal look at how it’s done. Dhows are used to catch fish and other seafood in Zanzibar, and some of the fisherman will give a ‘Dhow building 101’. 🚣🏾‍♀️
  8. Walk, walk, walk. Locals are used to tourists walking around, but please be respectful of the local culture and cover up – shoulders and knees. Try the village market and get the best in local fruits and veg. Try the local faves; date nut bread, fried plantains and octopus! Spice galore again – so much to take back home for friends and family.
  9. Melting pot of cultures. Nungwi beach is in Zanzibar which is an important location for the spice trade, trade always brings people together and as people pass through they leave bits of their culture behind. Asian, European and African cultures, can be seen in the religion, values and cuisine.
  10. Beach boys. The souvenirs will come to you, or maybe it’s a dhow cruise you’re after? Water sports? A picture. The Maasai people will try and sell it all, but they are not overbearing. A firm ‘no’, and they will leave you alone.

There are many beautiful beaches in Zanzibar, but Nungwi stays top 5 no debating. Nungwi has so much hustle and bustle, but you still feel secluded; I don’t know but it’s beautiful. 🧘🏾‍♀️

Best time to travel: All year round; June – October, January and February are the driest months

Places to eat: Le Macis Zanzibar

As always, keep up with us on @sarahambitious // @trippinwithsj x

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New York

With the news of a travel corridor between New York and London flying around the internet scape, we may as well give you some top tips for exploring the Big Apple like a true New Yorker! 


Top tips for enjoying NYC like a local: 

  • Speed up!

Similarly to Londoners, New Yorkers hateeeee slow walkers. Don’t walk at snails pace, taking in all the tall buildings and billboards. Find a space and keep it moving. 

  1. Look, Look, Cross

Don’t wait for the traffic light to stop flashing. Newsflash – it won’t. When the green man is flashing, take a calculated look and cross the road. 

  • Change shoes, then pose

Wear comfortable shoes or bring a pair to change into. You’ll do a lot of walking around the city, so it just makes sense. (If you don’t have a pair handy, there are many discount stores you can grab some on the cheap from.)

  • Public transport

Get the subway or walk. Don’t rely on yellow taxis or Uber, you’ll get stuck in traffic and lose a heap of time. We recommend getting your yellow taxi 🚕 fix at night, when the roads are quieter. 

  • Stop for a treat

Get an amazing Belgian waffle 🧇 from a stall on 35th & 6th 🥺😍 you won’t regret it. 

  • Don’t stay in Manhattan

Don’t stay in Manhattan. Yes, Gossip Girl. Yes, Sex and the city. But no to the inflated cost! Stay in Queens, Brooklyn or Williamsburg. 

  • walk the bridge

Walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Plenty of photo opportunities and a way to add some calm to your time in the busy city. 

  • visit central park

Take a walk around Central Park. So many of your favourite movies, series even music videos have had cameos here.  

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Breaks close to home

Not being able to travel internationally doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some well deserved #RnR 🧖🏾‍♀️. 

Here’s our list of local destinations we think you should try out: 

1️⃣ London – Why not stay close to home or drive/commute down and stay at a 5* star hotel. We recommend the Landmark as they always offer an amazing service 👌🏾 

Breakfast in bed? A spa treatment? Get the holiday feeling without getting on a flight. 

➡️ if you’d prefer a day service why not try the Montcalm or one of the many Bannatyne sites? Their massages are amazing and they offer access to their swimming pool and spa services. 

2️⃣ The Cotswolds 

The Cotswolds have been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). They are truly picturesque. They cover 800 square miles across 5 counties. It’s a gateway to some amazing cities; Bath, Oxford for example and the chefs at their gastropubs are top tier.

We could go on but then this post would get really long 😉 Look into it and make a weekend or longer of it.

3️⃣ Cornwall – St. Ives, Penzance, Newquay, Torquay. Getting to some of these places will really make you feel like you’ve left the UK. You will have a lengthy drive or train head ahead of you but the destination is more than worth it.

https://www.visitcornwall.com

4️⃣Edinburgh, Scotland 

There are nearly more castles than people (not really but there are a lot of castles)! Gothic vibes, castle vibes, cobbled street vibes. Edinburgh offers a lot of vibes, if you’re feeling even more adventourous why not head to the coast and take in some of the beautiful coastline 😍

**Please check local lockdown/covid restrictions before booking anything**

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Tourin’ Athens

If you go on a trip and don’t eat something new or see a new site, you didn’t really travel. And that’s on life!

So with that being said, here are my top things:

  • to do
  • to look out for
  • to try in Athens. Enjoy 😉

DOING UP TOURISTReasons to visit Athens:

  • Ancient Greek ruins
  • Greek cuisine 
  • Sculptures
  • Taverns 
  • The Acropolis 

You can pretty much see all the architectural sights in one day if you’re up early and up for walking. A pass costs around €20, unfortunately there’s no longer a cheaper student option to access the sites. You can also go on an inexpensive walking tour and use this as an opportunity to meet people or go it alone! 

Trippin’ tip: if you’re being a Scrooge, you can see the sites from the outside (apart from the Acropolis) so you don’t need to pay anything 🙈

**NOTE: Most sites are closed on Sunday and all close around 5pm (except the Acropolis which stays open until 8pm)**

Top Trippin in Athens tips 

Watch out for pick pockets! – The little kids that you think are cute may be up to no good. And that gentlemen that lets you walk in front of him as you walk down the stairs from the acropolis…he’s watching your pockets! 

Walk everywhere! – Athens is somewhere you can easily get your steps in! 

Foodie? – Eat like a local. For tips on good food places, ask the locals, they usually have the best hidden spots! 

For brunch: I visited Ellyz Athens which is a cute little pink spot serving up good vibes and pancakes with that readymade Insta aesthetic. 

You can find it on the back streets behind the flea market, before you reach the Acropolis. It can get very busy though so prepare to queue! 

For dinner: A visit to a rooftop bar is a MUST whilst in Athens. Electra Rooftop Garden has the most break taking views of the city. The food personally was a bit underwhelming, but the cocktails were sensational. 

Have you been to Athens before? What was your favourite part? Here’s what 15 seconds in Athens looks like…

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Lasgidi Baby…

The plane lands and everyone erupts in applause.

You walk off the plane and as the doors open, the heat engulfs you.

You make your way outside of the madness that is luggage claim and immigration; although the skyline is darkening, the streets are still so alive.

The short walk to the carpark has already caused a bead of sweat to fall down your forehead, you manage to slide into the car just in time and the ice cool AC is a welcome embrace.

Like play, like play…you’re home.

Lagos, Eko, Gidi; whatever you choose to call it – I do think you’ll have a soft spot for it and will be looking forward to returning.

I hadn’t been back to Lagos in over 10 years, so coming back as a young woman the experience was much different from how I had experienced it as a child. This trip was for the funeral of my Grandmother, she left behind 7 kids, 21 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren and an even bigger hole in our hearts. In true Naija style her funeral processions were a true celebration of her life and a welcome opportunity for many of us to come back home after being away for so long.

I took a week prior to the funeral processions to explore some of the sites Gidi had to offer me, and although it was mid-June – I promise you Gidi really doesn’t sleep.


Here’s a list of 10 things that are a must do:

Home to the longest canopy walkway in Africa, it’s a protected icon of nature conservation and a pearl of ecotourism. The fact that you enter another world just off of Lagos-Epe Expressway is a feat in itself.

Pack on the insect/mosquito repellent, slap on the sunscreen and beware of the cheeky monkeys.

Entry Cost:

Adult – N1,000/£3/$3

Children (1 -17 years) – N300/£1/$1

Canopy Walk Cost: N1,000/£3/$3

  1. Nike Art Centre

The Nike Art Centre is full of a variety of sculptures and paintings by Nigerian artists. It’s spread across 3 floors and if you fall in love with a piece there is a chance to buy something and take it with you.

You may catch Ms Nike herself, she frequents the grounds and is so accommodating with a lovely story to tell.

Entry Cost: Free

If you are interested in seeing some Nigerian theatre and learning about the history of the Theatre, this is a great place to go. You can get a good few hours out of exploring here there are cool photo ops, a mini art gallery and a restaurant so you can chop until your belle full! I took the opportunity to try some Palm Wine – I’m not fond of it but sometimes you gotta do it for the ‘gram.

Entry Cost: Free

I love the feel of old books, films, records – I blame Love Jones, so being able to step into somewhere like this in Lagos was magical. There are old prints from concerts, vinyl copies of records, it’s all so very ‘alté’ and I was living for it.

Entry Cost: Free

The decor here is absolutely beautiful inside and out, situated on a secluded street you are transported away from the busy streets. Alara is bringing your traditional favourites with a sophisticated angle.

Price: Meals start from around £23/$20

  • Balogun Market

I wouldn’t recommend going here without a local 👀 it’s BUSY, BUSY. So you need to be fast to cross, be sharp to not get pick-pocketed and it’s probably best to just look so your accent doesn’t fully give you away and get you bumped 👀.

Anything you could be looking for you can find here; waist beads, fabric, soap – you name it.

Farm City is the location for shisha, a cold drink, vibes and some serious fish 😍. If you’re not a fan of seafood then there are other menu options but if you do love seafood you won’t be disappointed.

Farm City I want to run to you, miss you 🥺

Price: Meals start from around £10/$15

There are a range of clubs on the Island, so you can club-hop to your hearts desire to find the right location, however if you want to party until the early hours Quilox is the place to go.

Entry Cost: Free, you’ll need to buy a booth to get somewhere to sit down but if you don’t mind standing just get a drink and catch a vibes.

With all the stress of day-to-day life and being stuck in Lagos traffic and you will get stuck in Lagos traffic!

Being able to have some R&R is so important, I love the Oríkì vibe and they offer a great service; pedis, manis and a range of massages.

Entry Cost: prices can be found on their website

  • Owambe

An ‘Owambe’ is the name given to a Nigerian party; a wedding party, a birthday party, any type of party. Whether rain or shine you are guaranteed to find one happening; do I start on the food? the money spraying? the live band?

The vibes are unmatched. Dress to impress and be ready to dance.

Entry Cost: Free


Flights

Direct: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic

  • Low season (February – June, September, November) ≅ £450 – £540
  • High season (December – January, July – August, October) ≅ £800 – £1200

Accommodation

Air B’n’B – ranging from £40 p/n to £150 p/n

Hotels:

  • Radisson Blu – £
  • Eko Hotel & Suites – ££
  • Lagos Continential Hotel – ££

Transport

Haggle, haggle, haggle is the way of life however if you’d rather not, the best way to get around is Uber/Taxify.

Danfo/BRT = Public bus

Keke Napep/Marua = Tuk-tuk

Okada = Motorbike

Danfo