Zanzibar has sun, beaches, crystal clear seas, islands, coral, rich and diverse vegetation, spices, giant tortoises, important history and landmarks in Stone Town, and the congeniality of Tanzanians. The Zanzibar island chain probably has something for everybody. Our day on Zanzibar was a great day; but one day does not do it justice; it has so much more to offer. It’s on the list of places to which we would return.
Don’t take it from me, take it from Bill Gates, he rented one of Zanzibar’s out-islands 30+ years ago, for 99 years. Apparently, land cannot be purchased in Tanzania, rather it is leased from the government.
For Queen fans, Zanzibar is the birthplace of Freddie Mercury. His childhood home is about 10 doors from the beach in the above photo. He left at the age of 8.
We sailed on a dhow, swam in perfect temperature water, snorkelled over coral, inspected its fish life, visited Prison Island (which is probably mis-named), we saw and fed among a dozen giant tortoises, one was 190 years old, had a bit of beach time, got a overview of Stone Town. In all, one of our most enjoyable days.
And the Tanzanian congeniality is alive and well here. They echoed many of the same concepts we had heard in Dar El Salaam on the interdependence of its people and cultures, and added the importance of tourism to Zanzibar’s economy. While sailing on the dhow, our guides even took the time to speak with us individually and then they surprised us with a spread of incredibly fresh and flavorful local fruits.
My pre-cruise research on Zanzibar was not all positive. It warned of pick pockets for example; this aspect may be true but, if it is, not any more than probably many other cities; just be careful. Parts of the island are crowded, some people may require a second look, but I would add that individuals in its tourism industry excel on the congeniality scale.
I made a video of Zanzibar, but uploading it to this page over the ship’s Internet is impractical due to its size vs. available bandwidth. I’ll upload it after returning home.