Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Internet woes

Rains are here! Everything is turning green, it is incredibly beautiful here now, it doesn't rain constantly and the sea is still and totally clear as is the beach. In fact it's possibly the nicest time of year providing you can cope with the heavy downpours when they do come. We are contemplating remaining open during next years rainy season as the runway will have been completed and planes will be able to land in all weathers.

Of course, just to help, the internet is down! I was having to travel to town to answer emails etc but have manage to rig up a rather Heath Robinson contraption with a Vodocom dongle, not great due to the weak signal, but better than nothing

We are hoping that Vodacom will come good and supply a booster/repeater so that we have a decent mobile signal at Ras Mbisi, this will have the knock on effect of internet access for guests (and us), it has to be said though that Voda are not exactly proactive with regard to keeping us informed so we may yet have to resort to contacting one of their competitors, we don’t want to as we have had Voda mobiles for over 5 years and all our 40 staff also use Voda, but if it becomes necessary the change will have to happen. Regardless, we are NOT going to continue to pay AFSAT thousands each year for zero customer service, 1gb of download a month and constant grief! (by which I mean the connection is down more often than it’s up and working) Had they been just a little reasonable with a small amount of ‘give’ we would have upped our allocation and had a second connection for guests, they would have made a lot of money through ‘on demand’ internet access payable via our 3G VISA provider. Being told, ‘it costs this much xxxxx, oh there is a problem with your connection, no we can’t advise you, you must pay $5000 for an engineer plus more for new equipment’ isn’t good, especially when Voda can provide 1gb for less than $30 a month!!!!!!!!!!! Basically they have not just priced themselves out of the market, their customer service is really bad, even for here! Our current mobile signal ‘drifts’ partly due to all the coconut trees (full of water which distorts the signal), and also we are 18 kms from the nearest tower. Lets just hope Voda sees the value of all those roaming customers and gets it sorted, hopefully in my next blog I’ll be able to tell you it’s all up and working!! For bookings, don’t forget you can book online with credit cards for no commission charge and know that your booking is secure.

Exciting news kept for last. Tribes have awarded us with a 3 globe rating for our Eco and Social awareness, despite the fact that we do not push our ‘eco’ or sustainable side as there is as yet no substantive international charter it is lovely to have it recognised by such a high profile Fair Trade agent.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

All New!

All new things happening at Ras Mbisi. We've hit the end of the season (again), renovations and additions now underway - so excited about all the new things happening for next season, some real treats in store for all - and next season is looking BUSY!! Which is great, all the staff have worked so hard alongside us to make Ras Mbisi a success, and now as shareholders they get to reap the rewards.

Some shopping Tanzania style photos for you this time - enjoy xxxx

p.s. still waiting for the Wedding photos - hoping to get them soon

Shopping Kilindoni style

Kilindoni main market

Waheedis - source of good fabric, if you look hard enough, I buy linen and silk jersey to make into trousers and tops

Mitumba stall - 'tree boutiques' as we call them, second hand clothes, I've found everything from Primark, through Banana Republic & Gap to Jaeger on these stalls (photo credit for Mitumba stall - MangoTree Musing)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

By Scarlet (when she was 5)

Sunday funnies! I found this on my old laptop when searching for some lost files - bless her, the spelling is 'interesting'!


Ras Mbisi lodge is a nice famly lodge on mafia island east afrca Tanzania
It has got a pool a byotfool bech and wen you arif at you bandr there will be sam coconut juice and wen its tiem for lunch you will get lovle madup mils
Mad by michelle vickers bot cocd by the cichin staff and lovle grdons
With butffool flowers


Mafia lodge you can go diving wen ever you wont to you can see fishes. If you wont to go snocling there are a fyoo reefs .
At lunch you will get bad food the ries is hred and the rest is just tast los


Tawn is a nice plac wife nice popl there is a plac cold rshedes it’s a shop wer you get swets a nice man cold rshede ons it .


The star fish banc is a sand banc fool of star fish that are vere prity and all ovor the place . They hav bytfal calors .


The islands of ras Mbisi are very ciose 1 is closer then the othr the cioser 1 is cold
Abarcony a rlacsing pesfol plac wer you can rlacs in pes and cwiot the othr 1is cold shongonbile it to is rlacsing becos of its byutfl bech and sea.


The lite house is the tall ist bilding on mafia and just desid is a jrman rooin
And you can clim the rocs


Chola island is a little island close to chola bay. chola island olso has a lodge to .


Polapola is a nice lodge wif nice strff.
You can go wollcing froo the mangrov if you wont to.


Changooma is a village wif very nice pople you can biy fish and clams and venchaballs.


Its clawd with a slit chrnts of sam san.


The lost book of bests blongs to a girl cold maddie and she wos locing ever wer for it but she codont find it becoz she is blind and deth but har little sistor
Wos tacing all the books of the book shelf and she grabd it bi acsadont and
Wen I went to clen it up I graved the book of beasts then shawted the book of beasts I hav ben locing ever wer for that book.


To day I wos fling a cit and plead bas bull to gather with my dad it wos fun.


Its going to be a sane and hot day.


Ones a pone time there wore three kids that live in englond they cap on getting strang letors but one day there dad fawnond awt abawt it so they movd to a far
Away plays wer nobody can send letors.
But on the frst night they hord somebody nocing on the door “ ill get it said 1 of the
Grles but there dad did not let her opon it “ go to bed he said.
The porson at the door whos a wizod “ I am hir to tak your doorts “ tak mi doorts ! ok ill get them up he said “ komon kids your going on a night trip he said


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Friends and links and things

Long overdue this post, I/we have had so much support from friends ‘in the biz’ or with links to it I think it’s about time I tell everyone about them

Richard Chanter of Chanters Lodge, Livingstone, Zambia - @livilodge was one of my first followers on Twitter and a staunch supporter of the Ras Mbisi ethos, we love him and can’t wait to visit – also he used to run one of my fav places in Malawi, Nkapola Lodge, I have yet to dare ask him if he remembers a 6 year old and her 3 year old brother attempting to head out onto the lake on one of the pedalo’s!

Rachel Hamada of Mambo Magazine – Mambo is an online mag for coastal Tanzania in general and the islands in particular and it’s FAB, she is also a travel journo a former political journo and has an involvement with Mustaphas Place in Bwejuu, Zanzibar – we have met a couple of times in real life and she is a fun person to spend time with as well as being quick and well informed on her specialist subjects (not to mention vocal on any subject you care to mention)

Sally Mckenna from a great resource for TZ residents and tourists alike, Sal-gal has bigged us up, given us exposure, put us up and generally been an all round good egg

Matt Bell from we luurve Matt (and Adam) they maintain our website, explain complicated internet stuff (well ok not complicated just make it simple for idiots) and run our reservations system.

Ulric Charteris and his team from Roots Marketing, Dar es Salaam, the AV, the brochure all their work, we don’t just love them we want their babies 

Elizabeth Cook Tell ‘em PR in Nairobi another Twitter mate and the first to visit Ras Mbisi – we first met over (many) a glass of wine in the Level 8 bar at the Kempinski in Dar – btw I still have your mates swimming costume lovely.

Jane Alexander @exmoorjane on Twitter, follow her and read her blog, her pieces in the Telegraph, The Lady et al, she has done so much to raise awareness of us and has earned a special place in our hearts – I am still trying to combine a tour of the specialist beer producers plus ‘alternative’ health destinations in TZ so we can get her and hubby here to visit in a ‘work’ scenario 

Stay tuned – we are waiting for the photos of last Saturday’s wedding here at Ras Mbisi – an amazing and beautiful day such a treat to be involved (although I did have a few sleepless nights!!)