Published: September 9th 2008August 10th 2008
Kellie arrived safe and sound on the 9 of July but not without problems with immigration. One many things that I will never understand is why they insist that you put a local address on the immigration form. If you are a tourist then most likely you will stay there for one night and then move on. Kellie didn’t know which place we would stay in Dar and was too honest to put in a fake name. Luckily the immigration officer was very friendly and let her use his mobile phone. Welcome to Africa.
We took the Zanzibar ferry the next morning which brought us to Zanzibar (duh). Strangely Zanzibar is part of Tanzania but then it’s also its own state and once arrived we had to go through immigration (yay another stamp) and customs again.
Zanzibar is a bit like Ihla De Mocambique just a lot bigger, more [populated and with nmicer strands (which also do not double as toilet!). It also has a stone town albeit it is a lot bigger and busier than on Ihla. We wandered through the small alleys, marveled at the ornate door frames, wondered how it must have been 500 years ago
and had great food.
Now for the history lesson. Mainland Tanzania was until after the first world war a German colony “Deutsch-Ostafrika”. That was in "good old days" when the Europeans thought they owned the world. The English, Germans and other European nation divided up Africa amongst them and Germany got the right to have what is now Tanzania. The English were very keen to have Zanzibar as base for their trade to India and so they offered Germany a little island called Helgoland in return. Helgoland is by far not as big as Zanzibar nor is or was it rich but its not far off the German coast so the Kaiser agreed. Germany still has Helgoland so I guess it was a good deal ;)
Zanzibar is and was also known as the spice island and therefore you cannot avoid foing a spice tour in which you finally see what the plant/seed looks like before its ground up and stuffed into a glass jar which you can buy at Woolworths. Very interesting indeed.
It has also one very prominent ex inhabitant called Farrokh Bulsara which might be better known by his stage name of Freddy Mercury of
Most doors in Zanzibar’s Stone Town were a work of art in itself
Queen fame. He left pretty much after he was born but thats no reason not to mention him.
After all the sight seeing and pice tours we went off for a well earned R&R (for Kellie not me) to the beaches on the east and north coast of Zanzibar. Not really a beach fan myself but I have to say that the sand is one of the finest I have ever seen and the beaches look great with palm trees in the background. That’s exactly what half of Italy must have thought as they were all here. Have never seen more Italians in one place. A nice side effect is that the pizzas and pasta is excellent. No more chicken and chips! It all got royunded off with a bit of snorkelling and a full moon party.
There are more photos below