Zanzibar Island

Zanzibar Travel Blog

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Slave chambers in Stonetown
We had a slightly later start today as we were in no rush to catch a ferry to Zanzibar, which was scheduled to leave at noon.  We first had to catch a small ferry back to Dar es Salaam harbour which was chaotic and we had to be so careful of our belongings as it was a prime pick pocketing area.  We then caught a three hour ferry to the island of Zanzibar.  Zanzibar wants to be recognised as a separate country to Tanzania and so have their own immigration control.  This meant we had to get our passports stamped when we entered the island.  As Tanzania do not recognise Zanzibar as a separate country we would not have to get our passports stamped as we re-entered the mainland.
Crab on the beach
  Another example of African politics.

Our destination for our first night on Zanzibar was Stonetown.  We did not have accommodation booked but we had a map and knew where we wanted to go.  As soon as we left immigration four or five touts started offering their help, which we politely refused as we were not going to pay them.  They continued to follow us, however, and this really got on my nerves.  At the hotel we made sure to point out that the touts had not lead us there as we were afraid the hotel would pay them commission, which would obviously mean we would end up paying more. 

Our driver and guide, Tim, had not travelled with us so we were on our own in Zanzibar and we soon found out how hard it was to organise things for 15 people.  We finally checked into a hotel for a reasonable price and got something to eat.
Theatre in stonetown
  For the rest of the day we wondered around Stonetown then ate food from a huge food market, which was amazing.  The only dampener was that we were constantly hassled to buy things from street vendors and the would continue asking even after we had said no numerous times.  Sometimes they would even get quite nasty when we refused to buy things from them.

The next morning we did a spice tour and ate lunch in a small African village sitting on rugs on the floor.  We then got a transfer to the north of the island to Kendwa beach.  We checked into a hotel then hit the beach.  We had three days here but unfortunately most people came down with stomach pains and diarrhoea so our time on Zanzibar was somewhat wasted in the end.
Stonetown food market
  It annoyed me to think that in what was essentially a wealthy resort basic hygiene standards were obviously not present.  I did manage to get in a few runs along the beach at sunset which was really nice.

On our last day in Zanzibar we did the reverse of the journey that we took to get here, which started with us all cramming into a 'chicken wagon' to get to the ferry port.  At one point we got stopped by the police who wanted money for us to pass.  After much shouting between the driver and the police we turned around and went another way, racing down the road so fast that we could feel the back end of the van sliding out on occasion.  Not wanting to end up in a serious accident we told the driver to slow down.

We arrived back in Dar es Salaam mid afternoon and jumped into tuk-tuks to get back to the campsite.
African houses
  About half way back the one I was in broke down, leaving the three uf us feeling very vulnerable as we knew we were in a dangerous area.  A local in a van pulled over and our tuk-tuk driver told us that this man, who spoke not a word of English, would take us back to camp.  I was a little worried about our situation but there didn't seem any other option.  Walking back was certainly not an option given the area.

That evening back at camp, there was a little unrest in the group as some people didn't think the standard of the food we were being given was good enough and Tim was insulted by this.  Personally I had no problem with the food and it was much better that what I had expected anyway.  Once we leave Dar es Salaam we would be buying our own food, as a group, anyway.

The next day we had planned on going on boat trip (with alcohol) but people were still feeling unwell so we passed on this.  I went back into the main town for a look around the shops then spent the rest of the day lazing around at the campsite.  In the evening we celebrated Joli's birthday with a cake and alcoholic slushies.

Stigen says:
Although touse touts sound a bit annoying...It`s just one of those things you have to endure in some parts of the world..
Posted on: Oct 02, 2010
Stigen says:
Zanzibar is a must !
Posted on: Oct 02, 2010
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Slave chambers in Stonetown
Slave chambers in Stonetown
Crab on the beach
Crab on the beach
Theatre in stonetown
Theatre in stonetown
Stonetown food market
Stonetown food market
African houses
African houses
Lizard
Lizard
White sandy beach
White sandy beach
Sunset on Zanzibar
Sunset on Zanzibar
Zanzibar
photo by: tirsomaldonado