I visited Zanzibar for 5 days in September of 2016. I vividly remember when I first landed; it was not too hot or too cold. The sun was out in a flirty dress. The sky was intense blue such that it was captured clearly on the Indian Ocean. If the earth was turned upside down, it would be difficult to tell that the sky was just a reflection on the water.
I lived in Paje, a small village in the southern part of the Island. If you prefer a quiet zone, then this region is your best bet. The area is less touristy compared to say, the northern part of Zanzibar.
The place I stayed is called Demani Lodge. It’s very affordable and they have a party once a week where one gets to interact with fellow travelers. Rental cars are available upon request and you may choose to book activities via the owner of Demani.
I had only five days, and this is how I chose to spend my time.
I flew to Dar es Salaam, spent a few days there then took the ferry to Zanzibar. I recommend exploring Dar, as the locals refer to the capital of Tanzania before heading to Zanzibar. It is at least 2 hours to cross to Zanzibar by ferry. Otherwise, one may opt to fly from Dar es Salaam. The ferry I rode in was made in such that it was a home away from home depending on the class of ticket you pay for. There are three classes, Royal, VIP, and economy.
A Visit to Stone town
Stone town is the main town of Zanzibar. It is where one gets to interact with the Swahili culture. The architecture reflects the diverse influences of the Arabs, Portuguese, and Indians. You get to relate and negotiate with the Swahili people face to face. 98% of the population are Muslims and hence you will see women all covered up. It is important for female tourists to respect this and cover up when roaming about stone town. Please save those short shorts for the beach. You do not want to attract the wrong attention. Stone town is also home to the slave market. I got a chance to learn about the slave trade and even see the chambers and chains formally used to hold the slaves.
Venture To Blue Safari- Kwale Island
You are required to set a full day aside for this trip reason. I left my hotel at 9 am and I was returned at around 5 pm. We crossed the oceans with the boats such as the one captured below. It took about two hours to get to Kwale Island. The island is gorgeous what with the snow white sandy beaches. This island is all about getting tanned, snorkeling and enjoying a variety of seafood prepared by the guides hired to take you. I arranged this trip via the hotel. Please remember to carry lots of sunscreen and your own alcoholic drinks should you need to. There are no restaurants in Kwale.
Eat At Rock Restaurant
Rock restaurant lies on Michamvi beach. I was literally the only tourist on that beach that day. Okay, plus two others. Do you get my point? There are no beach boys and it is as quiet as it can get. The restaurant is surrounded by water and is accessible on foot. Please wear sandals on that note. They allow visitors from outside but one has to make reservations about two weeks early. Yes! I had to make the reservation for a late lunch from home. It is an experience you do not want to miss because you do not get to see a restaurant surrounded by an ocean.
Formerly a prison holding region, it is now a tourist site and home to the biggest tortoises I have ever seen in my life. According to the guides there, the oldest tortoise is 152 years old. They allow tourists to feed them with vegetable provided at the entrance. Prison island is also surrounded by the ocean hence the need for a boat to cross over.
Have you been to Zanzibar? Comment below! If not! Please visit this paradise. You will love it!
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