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Published: December 1st 2017
Our next stop was Zanzibar, the spice island. After clearing customs and immigration once again we started our visit with a tour of stone town. Stone town is laced with so much history - old forts, ancient buildings and even a slave market. I was surprised by how much history was remaining, especially compared to many other places we've been where the history is lost to modernization. Stone town is also a predominantly Muslim area, dating back to the days of trade with Arab traders. This means the city is bathed with the call to prayer, a sound I quite enjoy hearing. This does also mean that tourists should cover up out of respect, which some clearly had no consideration for! The tour ended with some shopping in the local craft shops, followed by sunset cocktails and dinner at the night market. Unfortunately the night market wasn't too appetizing, with meat sitting around pre-cooked on sticks, and the worst falafels I've ever had...but it's always good to give these things a chance!
The next day started with a visit to the former slave market site, which now houses a slavery museum. The museum was extremely interesting and informative, and I wished
I'd had longer to read everything and take it all in! It was also refreshing that the museum didn't put all the blame on foreigners, and accepted the large part in slavery that Africans took too. In Zanzibar the slave trade was with the middle eastern countries, where slaves were often traded for quantities of spices the were shipped over.
After the slave market museum we headed off on a spice tour of a government spice farm that provides a lot of employment for locals. Here we saw many spices growing including cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, curry leaves and cloves. We also saw fruits such as bananas, pineapple and jackfruit - which we later got to taste. Spices were not native to Zanzibar, however it provides a very suitable growing environment so they thrive here.
After our tour and fruit tasting we headed off for lunch at our tour leader's house, where we were treated to a variety of local dishes made with fresh spices, and yet more fruit to finish! Finally with full bellies it was time to head to the beach.
The next day I headed out scuba diving (I couldn't pass up the opportunity!). The diving was absolutely
beautiful, there are many varieties of both soft and hard coral which are very colourful, as well as a very healthy population of fish. We were very lucky to find a seahorse on our second dive! These aren't very easy to find, but he was seemingly happy to be photographed and looked at. We also found some cuttlefish too, which I managed to see changing colour right in front of me before darting off.
After eating lots of curry (which I've been missing a lot since I've been away) it was unfortunately time to leave Zanzibar the next day. I definitely could have spent much longer here!
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