Pamela MacNaughtan

Our drive from Mto Wu Mbo to Marangu was only about 3-4 hrs long, which was fabulous. I swear the best part of the drive was stopping in Arusha for snacks and such before pushing on towards Marangu.

Our camp for the night was at the back of a hotel in Marangu which is a village at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Shortly after our truck rocked up (literally) to our designated campsite everyone got to work on setting up their tents for the night. Once that was done, I grabbed my roll of toilet paper and headed for the bathroom.

This time the bathrooms were unisex, but thankfully most of them had doors on them. I found an empty stall and locked my door, or so I thought that was the case. Naturally, as soon as I was going about my business one of the women whipped open the door to my stall as if she were about to charge in.

“What the hell?!” I snapped -mostly due to the shock of the situation.

“You should have locked your door.”

“I DID lock my door!!”

With that, I heard her clang the metal around outside my bathroom door and then there was silence. A few minutes later I went to leave the stall to wash my hands, that’s when I discovered that she had locked me in. I started to bang on the white wooden door with my fists.

“Hello?! Will someone let me out, please!” I shouted. There was no answer.

I continued to bang on the door, but nobody was coming. Every time I attempted to get someones attention from camp and was greeted by silence my angry would flare. I couldn’t believe she had locked me in.

At last, I heard voices and decided to start shouting and banging again.

“Hello?! Can someone let me out of this f-ing bathroom!!!!”

Lisa opened the door and at that moment I could have kissed her. I stalked out of the washroom and into the cool dark night.

“It was an accident.” was all I heard as I walked over by the tents. I didn’t respond, all I could think was “If the first thing you say is ‘it was an accident’ and I didn’t even say anything to you, then why the hell did you leave me locked in the damn bathroom?”.

If she had come and let me out after she heard me banging and realized that she had locked me in, then this would be a rather funny story. The fact that she stood outside, where she could hear me banging and did nothing…well perhaps I should just leave it at that.

The positive point of the day? A morning game drive followed by shopping in Arusha for snacks.

Low point? Being locked in a bathroom and left there for 10-15 minutes.

Traveling in Africa, solo can be a scary thought -especially for solo female travellers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with joining a group tour.

For 45 days I travelled from Kenya (Nairobi) to Cape Town with Intrepid Travel. This was my very first group travel experience. At first, I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but as time progressed, I began to relax and fall in love with this type of travel. In fact, I would definitely travel with Intrepid again. 


  • August 15, 2011

    I was soooooo not happy at the time. LOL

  • Jesse James Woods

    August 15, 2011

    haha fail

  • Jesse James Woods

    August 15, 2011

    haha epic fail

  • August 15, 2011

    Eeeeek I would have freaked out!!!

  • Lori - The Unframed World

    August 15, 2011

    Not fun!

  • August 17, 2011

    Having been locked in the bathroom myself on a night train in Thailand, I hear you. Sounds like the positives carried the day, at least! Safe travels and enjoy the rest of Tanzania.

  • Chris Walker-Bush

    August 19, 2011

    The very thought of being trapped in a confined space freaks me out a little. Glad you weren’t trapped in there too long.


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