4 March 2013- Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
A few photos from our Zanzibar holiday. Zanzibar has a fascinating history- a history of sultanas, British rule, slavery, spice and great wealth.
Stone Town (the old area) is a maze of hundreds of small alleyways twisting all over and is a rather intoxicating mix of the colours of Africa and the culture of Arabia. We spent hours getting lost- passing old elaborately carved doors, delicious smells, hearing the call to prayer echoing out from the loudspeakers, being passed by children on bicycles ringing their bells frantically to warn us and scooters zipping by so close we could feel them as they passed. Hearing ‘Jambo’ (a casual greeting) called out as we walked along. Its been so hot and very humid so we have gone back to the guesthouse a few times a day to cool down in the a/c before heading back out again. Heaps of places sell delicious fresh juice (many places don’t sell alcohol) so we have had fruit juices of every kind to cool down as well.
We decided to stay in one area and really explore rather than venture to other areas for the amazing beaches Zanzibar is known for (we have been lucky to have a good dose of amazing beaches in Australia) so instead we spent yesterday afternoon on a boat trip out to a nearby island for a swim, snorkel in the coral garden and a look at some giant tortoises that were brought to Zanzibar from the Seychelles a hundred years or so ago, we heard they were there but were both shocked at their size! They were brilliant to see and watch and give them a little scratch on the neck, which they loved!
We had heard Zanzibar is full on from as soon as you get near the ferry in Dar and while over there- people selling things, wanting to guide you, tours etc as well as having to barter for a lot of things. We found it fine. When you are really really hot it can be testing but Africans must be the most entrepreneurial people anywhere, no thank you (over and over again) works and after a bit they start to recognise you and sort of stop. Most people took no for an answer and just said Hakuna Matata as we walked away. We always try to remember its just people trying to scratch out a living, cant begrudge that.