Zanzibar is beautiful. Oh wait, allow me to rephrase, the beaches of Zanzibar are beautiful. The inner land was heartbreaking. But the beaches were beautiful enough to warrant a blanket “Zanzibar is beautiful“.
We went there as a group of 5 girls. Let’s just say we got a great deal from Dream World Adventures (http://dreamworldadventures.co.za/). A 4 night, 5 day adventure. And after a short 3 hour flight we landed. It was my 2nd visit to another African country and I was surprised to find flight schedules written in chalk on chalk boards. The entry was uneventful. Really the best thing that you could ask for visiting another country. We all got in without issues and our transfer was ready when we got through immigration. A couple of us were traveling for the 1st time so we had lots and lots of “oh my word” moments along the way. One of the most special ones was hearing Loyal by Chris Brown come on rotation. A friend that was common to all 5 of us loved it. And we had had his funeral 10 days prior. The grief was still raw but we screamed and sang our lungs out when that song came on.
I observed a few things driving through the island:
- All the school children (from different schools) wore the same uniform. A blue skirt/pants and white burka/shirt for primary school, swapped for a black one for highschool. The skirts were fairly long.
- It was so green. Everywhere. And blessed with banana trees. They even use the leaves as shelter from the sun. The way you’d use an umbrella.
- Most of the homes were made of mud and windows made of mesh wire instead of glass.
- Most concrete buildings were dilapidated.
- There was one main tarred road running through the island but luckily not a lot of traffic.
- Traffic police were stationed everywhere along the road stopping every car that passes for this that and the other.
We got to the hotel a few moments later, Amaan Bungalows. It was cute, they had left our beds decorated with white towels and red flowers. A valentines theme in August. I liked it. The hotel was right by Nungwi beach, the restaurant lapa overlooked the water. In fact during high tide, you couldn’t walk on dry sand, the water would be right by the stairs.
Besides the really tall lean Masai men, the other thing I loved about Zanzibar was the magic in the waters. The waters were unlike any others I had seen. A very light blue with beach sand the closest I’ve seen to white. I loved the seafood fest as well as the spirit of the countrymen. Everyone was awfully positive and on hustler mode a 100% of the time.
So this is what you can look forward to in Zanzibar:
- Really really beautiful beaches
- Festive sand islands that get swallowed by sea water halfway through the day
- Boat rides pretty much everywhere
- Snorkeling in clear waters
- A seafood feast (PS: Don’t eat any burgers in Zanzibar)
- Fruit for days. Coconut water must be a national drink
- Spice gardens with kind men that make you jewelry from reeds 😍
- Stone town, with a lot of rich history. A familiar variation of the slave story
- A place that’s very enthusiastic about quotes
… but one day I’d like us to talk about why the wealth and beauty of the beaches never reaches the inside of the island. That’s the question that remained in my heart as we left the island on Saturday morning.