Have you been dreaming of deserted, white sand beaches and crystal blue water? Then, let me take you on a tour of the beautiful and exotic island of Zanzibar!
Day 1: Arrival, Stone Town
We arrived in the late afternoon and went straight from the airport to the old part of the capital, Stone Town. We checked into our charming little bed and breakfast, sipped on a Lion lager on their breezy rooftop terrace, loaded up on bug spray, and headed out for dinner. We were told to walk to the Forodhani Gardens, a vibrant food market where you can savor mouthwatering Swahili barbecued seafood as well as other local treats. We weren't prepared for the feast that was to come! I insisted that we circle the stands first, to figure out what we wanted, look for the freshest seafood, and most importantly for these Western tourists - monitor the hygiene and food preparation methods. We ended meeting a very friendly local named Hassan at one of the stands. He helped us load our plate with octopus, calamari, barracuda, prawns, and other goodies while we ate by the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
Afterward, we wandered on-foot to Taperia (The Post). We relaxed on their second floor balcony overlooking old Stone Town and enjoyed their signature G&T's, until the lulling sea breeze called us back to our cozy hotel.
Day 2: Stone Town
We got up early in the morning and went on a walking tour of Stone Town. Our heads were filled with history as we meandered through the labyrinth of narrow streets and fragrant open air markets. We ended our day at Christ Church, one of the few christian places of worship in Zanzibar and one of the most prominent examples of early Christian architecture in East Africa. The altar is said to be in the exact same place that the "whipping post" of the old slave market used to be. Stone Town was the last place where slave trade was held openly, until it was officially abolished in 1873. Just outside of the church is a monument, containing five life-size statues bearing original chains; a sobering reminder of the horrors of human trafficking.
Days 3-5: Nungwi
Next, we departed for the beach! I originally wanted to just take a "quick detour" to dine at the Pin-famous (I'm officially coining this phrase), The Rock restaurant. Once our driver informed us that it would be a 3 hour detour, my darling husband forced me to abandon that dream - anxious for sand and sunshine.
When we checked into our eco resort and looked towards the sea, this was the view from our balcony:
And the views only got better from there... Not only was this the most picturesque beach I'd ever been to, but we rarely saw other people during our entire trip - the only exception being the local fishermen that went out every morning. I've never been more thankful for a lack of air conditioning and WiFi, as this is the most relaxing vacation we've ever been on!
We like to think that our travel accessories are always on-point....
Asante, Zazibar! Until we meet again...