Zanzibar

After almost four weeks on the mainland, driving 100s of kilometers on dirt roads it's time to wash off the dust and spend the last week of our honeymoon on Zanzibar. We take a flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport directly to Zanzibar. For the first few nights we stay in Stone Town. This is the old part of Zanzibar City with its long and diverse history. Baghani House Hotel has small but nicely decorated rooms at reasonable prices. It is also a good base for exploring Stone Town.

 

The first thing we notice while walking through the narrow streets are the amazing front doors in many different styles. Stone Town is famous for this. Unfortunately a lot of the buildings are in bad state of repair despite the fact that they where built only in the 19th century. This is because they used Coraline Rock which easily erodes. Nevertheless there are some great renovated houses, especially some of the luxurious and expensive hotels. Don’t miss the colorful and noisy fruit and vegetable market and if your stomach can take it also visit the meat and fish market.

A typical tourist attraction on Zanzibar are the spice tours. There are many different companies with similar offerings. We book a tour with the self-proclaimed inventor of the spice tour industry, Mr. Mitu, for $10 per person including lunch. It’s a very interesting tour which gives an introduction to all sorts of different spices, herbs, fruits and other plants. For sure you will never forget the smell of Doriani, the fruit “that stinks like hell and tastes like heaven”. Make sure not to stand under a Doriani tree when they are ripe - it is really dangerous ;-) At the end of the tour we get the option to relax and swim on a beach close to Stone Town.

 

Stone Town also has much to offer when it comes to great places to eat and some interesting buildings such as the House of Wonders. While the actual exhibition is not that much interesting to us we get a beautiful view across Stone Town and across the harbor. In this building we can also see the first elevator installed in a house in East Africa. That is because this was one of six palaces the second Sultan of Zanzibar built in 1883.

 

One night we eat at the Old Fort Restaurant which also offers a dance performance. What impressed us much more however, was eating out in the Two Tables Restaurant. A recommendation from Lonely Planet. To our surprise this is not a usual restaurant but a private place. We are asked to remove our shoes at the entrance and there is no menu. You eat what they cook. Boy was this good. All local dishes from Zanzibar. Could not have made a better choice.

 

Another place to get really good and authentic food are the many food stands at the waterfront. Freshly cooked on open fire in the evening is something we enjoy as well.

 

You can't come to Zanzibar without at least having spent a few days on one of the beautiful beaches. One of the best beaches for swimming you certainly find at Kendwa further north. We’ve been told that at certain times it can be extremely crowded. For the last three nights we do exactly this. At 8 am we get picked up with one of the group taxis and make our way up to a place called Kendwa Rocks. We are lucky and we don't have a lot of tourists. Don’t expect any high standards. However, if you are interested in enjoying a cocktail in a hammock at the beach bar, swimming in the turquoise warm waters of the Indian Ocean or just hanging out at the beautiful sandy beach, you’ve found the right place to be.

 

We arrive together with Sharan, a film produce from South Africa, and Elin, a pharmacy student from Sweden. Although they don't know each other they decide to share a room. We meet them again later at the bar and also go for a joint dinner. There is not much you can do here. We decided to relax that last few days of our vacation, walk along the beach, go swimming, eat and drink. Hey, what els do you need in paradise.

 

We really love this place but this makes it even harder to pack up and start the trip back home into a hectic European life. Just before we pack all our stuff and get prepared for the ride back to the airport we want to go swimming one last time. Turns out to be a really bad idea. While running into the sea Michael steps onto a see urchin. This is really hurts and to make things worse the spikes remain in his food. The bar man who acts as a "bush doctor" knows exactly what to do. However, the taxi is waiting already and so we say good by to a fantastic honeymoon. Looking forward to the next trip to Africa...

 

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