Time and Spice in Zanzibar
Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
129Trip End Dec 22, 2013
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Where I stayed
Sunset Bungalows Zanzibar
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
We arrived in Stone Town which is the main town of the island. Being founded by the Arabs there is a very Arab feel to the town and reminded me a lot of Morocco. The massive wooden doors on many of the buildings however were something I hadn’t really seen in Morocco and were beautiful. Stone Town’s history includes having a very active slave market in the early 1800’s. The market area still exists, including the holding areas for the slaves. We did not get a tour but our leader told us about it and I have enough sense about the poor conditions the slaves endured. For sunset we meet at the Africa House Hotel, a posh hotel where they have a rooftop patio to enjoy the sunset and a drink. Afterwards we went to the night market which is much more manageable then the one I experienced in Marrakesh. There was lots of seafood to be had and the famous Zanzibar pizza. Upon advisement to go easy on the seafood and one guy having had some rancid tuna, I opted to try a Zanzibar pizza. It’s basically a very thin pastry with another small piece of pastry in the middle to hold the filling
The next morning we drove to the spice plantations and got a guided tour that give us an opportunity to touch, smell and taste the various fruits and spices that are grown. Our guide’s name was Ali-G, and he had been well taught on the Ali-G we all know as Sacha Baron Cohen, so he was quite quick with Ali-G sayings It was quite comically at times. We also were able to drink various teas, my favourite being the lemongrass with a dash of vanilla and had the freshest citrus fruit I think ever. I also got to taste jackfruit; it’s an acquired taste for me I think. After the tour we head further north on the lsland, were we had 2 nights at Sunset Bunglows, which was a really nice beach front resort. For the first afternoon I just swam in the ocean and enjoyed the beach and bar. The next day about half the group took a Dho boat out to Mnemba Island (about 1.5 hr away) and went snorkeling. We went to two different spots to snorkel and had a guide with us to help spot and identify fish and other creatures. The coral was amazing and the water was so clear. There were scuba divers in our area as well and they said further down the coral reef the saw turtles. So I was close. Guess I need to gather up my courage and learn to scuba dive.
Obviously it’s with mixed emotions to leave such a beautiful place but there will be more beaches to come. Heading back to camp on the mainland was a day’s effort and the heat of the sun on sunburns was not making anyone a happy camper, including myself. I also think the next four days of 10-12hrs driving each day is weighing heavy on everyone’s mind. Lake Malawi get ready here we come.
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