Zanzibar

On Friday night we stayed in a campsite on a beach near Dar Es Salaam. There wasn’t much else special about the campsite apart from the beach, but it we arrived early afternoon, so there was time to sit on the beach and have a swim. We also had a feast that night with 2 grilled fish and lots of different salads and other sides. This feast was shared with the group from the other Absolute Africa truck, who will be joining our truck after Zanzibar.

The next day we headed in to Dar Es Salaam to catch the ferry to Zanzibar. Not much exciting to say about the ferry. It took 2 hours, was completely full and quite stuffy inside. The only good thing was that they showed The Italian Job during the trip which kept me occupied for the whole duration.

Once we got to stone town in Zanzibar, we went on a spice tour. This consisted of a very rushed tour round 4 buildings, lunch and a tour of a spice farm. The buildings were the old fort, house of wonders, slave markets and the sultan’s palace where he kept his 14 wives. Unfortunately this part was far too rushed to really appreciate any of it. Lunch was ok, but the spice farm was very good. We got to try lots of different spices and teas, learnt about traditional remedies made form the spices and saw how they climb coconut trees.

In the evening, we ate at the apparently well known food markets in Stone Town. The market consisted of many different stalls selling all sorts of meats, fish and other foods. Most of the meat and fish was cooked on skewers as we ordered it. The lobster was comparatively expensive, but one of my favourites. There were also stalls making Zanzibar pizza, which is difficult to describe, but very tasty.

After the food market, we went out to 3 bars. The first bar, called Mercury’s, was very lively but also expensive. The live music was cool, but it felt very touristy – almost all mzungus inside. The second bar was recommended by our guides. It was nice, but very empty. Apparently it would have filled later, but we wanted something a bit more exciting, so we went to a local night club. The club was really big and on a rooftop, which was pretty cool. I didn’t like the music much at all, but the beer was cheap, the place was full of locals and it was a great night overall.

The next day we traveled an hour to the northern beaches where we will stay at the sunset bungalows for a total of 3 nights. The resort is one of about 10 along a beach which I think was called Kendwa. Each has a nice bar located right on the edge of the beach with chalets behind. Our chalets are basic, but have beds, so they are at least better than tents!

Earlier today, I went on a day trip snorkeling. The boat ride to Mnemba Island was long, but it was nice to be out on the water. Among the people who had been snorkeling before, some said it was really good, and others disagreed. As my first snorkeling trip, I really enjoyed it. The most interesting fish I saw was yellow with black spots and looked like a banana.

While we were snorkeling, 6 of the guys hired a boat to go game fishing. They were slightly disappointed with the experience, but they did catch a large tuna fish. They got the fish cooked at the resort restaurant and there was plenty to share around.

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