Published: September 6th 2011August 24th 2011
Accommodation: Diamonds Dream of Zanzibar
Flew from Cayman via London then via Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar. It was a good place to chill out for a day or two to get our bodies on African time.
The island is predominantly muslim as its history was influenced by the Arabs and Indians. Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of the United Republic of Tanzania, in East Africa which comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometres off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones Unguja (the main island, informally referred to as Zanzibar), and Pemba. Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Island, are sometimes called the Spice Islands
Unbeknown to us, Zanzibar is also a very popular place for Italian’s to vacation, with direct flights from Rome and Milan. I would go so far as to say based on our brief stay that 90% of tourists are Italian, many of the hotels are owned by italians and many only accept italian guests.
The short end of the
In the heart of Stonetown
story is that Zanzibar has a nice beach and at low tide allows one to walk out a mile or two to the reef. The low tide also allows the seaweed harvesters to collect the seaweed (I meet a local guy from the village beside the resort and spent a couple of hours assisting with the harvesting of seaweed). As day turns to night, the tall traditionally dressed Maasi villagers (better known as sunglass wearing hawkers) turn to playng a game of soccer on the beach. The hawkers are not overwhelming, they do leave you alone and provide a bit of entertainment and souvenir shopping.
Spent a couple hours in Stonetown, a Unesco World Heritage Site. A couple hours is really all one needs to take in the local market (veg, meat, clothing, arts etc.), the narrow streets lined with tall crumbling buildings, minarets that resound with the sonorous call to prayer, and carved doorways through which a lifestyle unchanged for centuries can be glimpsed.
After spending (3) nights, one to many to be honest, we were excited to begin the Safari leg of the trip - Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengenti & the Masi Mari. However leaving Zanzibar
was no easy feat as the the airport is a complete gong show do to there being no separate terminals for international or domestic flights. This results in the hundreds of Rome & Milan bound tourists jocking for position to get through security with those Safari bound tourists - said another way, passengers with flights on 767's with (3) hours before their flight not cooperating with the Safari bound tourists whom need only arrive (20) mins before their (12) passenger Cessna plane departs for some grass or dirt airstrip somewhere in the Serengeti.
There are more photos below