Blogs from Zanzibar City, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City January 19th 2024

Given all the sitting we’d been doing over the past week, it was obviously important that we mixed things up a bit and did some lying. Our flight to Zanzibar was quite cool as we had a very clear view of Mount Kilimanjaro out the window - its snow capped peak towered above the dark plains below and the peak next to it had a thunderstorm, together with lightning brewing overhead. We were assaulted by the wall of heat and humidity that greeted us as we left the airport but were luckily in our airconditioned transfer before too long and headed for the beach. The plan for the next few days was just to relax on the beach with some books, some cocktails and dips in the pool. Oh, kittens, play with lots of kittens. And ... read more
Our spot in the sun
And the pool
Tough to take

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 24th 2022

Literally. No metaphor here. We visited Zanzibar before, and now have visited Zanzibar again. Here are some highlights of the trip. - We stayed at the Dhow Palace Hotel (got a great deal by calling direct even when the booking sites said it was all full). This was literally the palace of a man who built it in the mid-1600s. His family kept it for about 200 years before it was taken over by his clan. Now it is a private hotel. Very cool place with lots of quirks, secrets, and fun antiques on display. - We found a great community shop run by this Rastaman. It's all local arts and crafts for sale to tourists like us. Some special stuff in here. I got the boys new shirts and gifted the owner with a portrait ... read more
Rad old mirrors
Community shop
Rastaman connect

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 24th 2022

Zanzibar is a place that is immensely photogenic. It’s not all pretty. Some of it is exceedingly beautiful, but some of it is ugly and dirty and pitiful. Even those parts are photogenic. I saw tropical beaches and antique palaces, I saw mangy street cats and overflowing garbage bins. I wanted to take pictures of all of it. Appropriately—for someone like me with the artists eye, the photographers love of the natural subject, and many years of training and practical experience in photography—I brought along a great camera. Most of the pictures I’ve been posting on my blog have come from my iPhone. It’s not the new one and I don’t really care. I didn’t buy it for the camera, it just happens to be one as well as being all the other things it is. ... read more
Door 1
Secret Garden
Pretty Woman

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 24th 2022

According to some things that I have read, Zanzibar has been continuously occupied by human beings for some 30,000 years. According to some other things I’ve read, the earth was created less than 8,000 years ago. I wasn't there for either, I just read about it. Either way, people have been living on Zanzibar island for a very long time. The name Zanzibar comes from the Arabic words for, “land of the blacks”. They named it for the African people they found living there, whom they called the, “Zanj”. The Arabs mixed with the locals, forming the Swahili peoples, who built thriving trading cities over the past 1500 years or so. Inviting the Persians, Indians, Chinese, Indonesians, and others to join the trade in ivory, precious metals, and enslaved humans from the mainland, they built up ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 16th 2022

Last night, instead of bird song to lull me to sleep, it was voices and clatter in the narrow street below, coming through the slatted windows. Did not keep me from going to sleep immediately. Our walking tour of Stone Town started at the hotel’s door, a few steps from the Old Fort . Taib related its history: the Omanis had already established a dynamic spice trade in Zanzibar by 1503 when Vasco da Gama defeated them. For 200 years the Portuguese controlled the country until about 1699 when the Omanis reconquered Zanzibar. Power went to the strongest navy in those days; both Portugal and Oman, being small countries, suffered from not being able to hold on to what they had conquered. The Old Fort was built by Omani Arabs as a defense against future Portuguese, ... read more
Studded carved door
Cross is a tribute to David Livingstone
Fish market

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City August 9th 2019

I had to pinch myself that Alex and I were actually about to land in Zanzibar. We were looking forward to this exotic spice Island, not just for the dream destination but for a rest. After many one night stops, fourteen flights, and early morning bumpy game drives, this was our first four night stop. Our hotel was located on the beachfront so we were able to enjoy the seabreeze each evening having a sundowner from our balcony. Zanzibar had a very colourful history of Portuguese and Omani Sultan rulers, a British protectorate followed by independance then a revolution and eventually joining with Tangayaka. Zanzibar even had the shortest war in history lasting between 38 and 45 minutes. We wandered the maze of streets and narrow alleyways in the mornings, lazed by the pool in the ... read more

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City November 13th 2018

Za danes sva si naročila prevoz v Zanzibar mesto, oz. Kameno mesto/Stone city. Glavno mesto, ki je včasih bilo pod Omanom oz. ga je osvojil Sultan iz Omana, kjer so držali sužnje in jih po 10 000 dnevno deportirali v Oman; zraven vseh drugih stvari seveda, ki so bile tukaj – hrana, zemeljske dragocenosti, dragi kamni; Vidi se vpliv Arabcev, kasneje Britancev – vozijo po levi, štek doze in vsa elektrika je identična, kot v Veliki Britaniji še danes. Pa vpliv Evrope, a najbolj je viden arabski vpliv. Mesto je res zmedeno, konfuzno, ulice niso ravne, kar zavijejo, ozke, vse enake. Ko naju je šofer odložil na takem punktu, ko je veliko turistov je nekak vhod v mesto; tu se je takoj nalimal t.i. vodič. Najprej sva bila v dvomih, če bi ga vzela, potem pa ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City September 22nd 2018

The ferry port at Zanzibar is something Glyn described as a well oiled machine. This is sarcasm, as sheer chaos with a lack of information and people blocking the entrance as they swarmed to get through immigration is not oily. But it is sweat-soaked as the heat was intense stuffed with packed bodies and luggage. It was a necessary evil to get us on our way home. Earlier I put a cleanish tshirt and deodorant in my hand luggage so I don't stink too badly on the plane, but things aren't looking hopeful and pity the poor people sitting near Glyn and myself. After packing, we had time for a last wander around Stone Town, buying essential souvenirs and tat before doing a self tour. We were stuck in there for ages getting lost, having gone ... read more
Stone Town
cat in souvenir shop
Stone Town Kitten

Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City September 22nd 2018

Tanzania day 14 Lost in Stone town, my name is Taxi and a summary of Tanzania and Zanzibar Homeward bound today so it’s time for the usual conversations after we’ve visited somewhere. Things like could we/would we live here, would we come back and would our cat Cosmo like it? We wouldn’t live on Zanzibar; the attitude to women is far too oppressive and we like holding hands when we are out and being able to give each other a hug. Simple things but in a sexist society they are things that can get you hurt. The only reason we would come back would be to revisit Cheetah’s Rock or, even better, work there. We have enjoyed it here but seen nothing else that would make us rush back-we still have lots of places to see ... read more
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Africa » Tanzania » Zanzibar » Zanzibar City September 21st 2018

Tanzania day 13 Three adventures in one day including giant tortoises on Changuu, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa. We had a bit of a shock this morning when some hot water came out of the shower. It didn’t last long but we have called the relevant authorities and the Garden Lodge will hopefully be dealt with accordingly. Claire was so disturbed she threw the toilet roll into the toilet. We failed to sleep though to a 7am alarm despite staying up late last night writing about what an exciting day we had yesterday. There was no noise-we have seen no other guests where we are-but we were both awake by 6:30. After breakfast up on the roof, this time even better as they had avacado, it was time for another trip. Today was our rest day and before ... read more
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