A whirlwind Zanzibar getaway

I wanted to make my first post special and so I couldn’t go past Zanzibar. Tanzania is one of my favorite places in the world because it has everything. It has beautiful landscapes and animals galore! But Zanzibar is another special part. Zanzibar is an island off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa (home to the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro and of course the famous Serengeti national park – more on this in a later post).

I arrived after a stop over in Dubai in the capital, Dar es Salaam and after clearing customs and immigration realised that this was really another world. The first thing I noticed was the traffic. Traffic heading in to the city on a bad day can be INSANE. This, was a bad day. But luckily my driver was a friendly young guy who gave me the run down of the city. Dar (as he called it) is by far the most populous city with over 4 million people living there and sits about midway up on the eastern coast of the country. Almost everyone speaks Swahili and English was quite widespread since it is taught in schools. Also, tourism is quite big in Tanzania and so you can easily find someone who can help if you get stuck.

Dar was just a stop over for me because I really just wanted to get to Zanzibar! Now if you haven’t ever thought about Zanzibar, reconsider. Think pristine white beaches, crystal clear water and near perfect temperatures year round! In the morning I arranged for a driver to take me to the ferry where my plan was to get the ferry across to the island. There are two ferries going to the island: the fast one and the slow one. For just a little extra I opted for the fast one. So I was taken to a re-seller and specified I wanted a fast ferry ticket and of course that was no problem. After getting on the ferry though, I was unsure as to how fast it would actually go since it looked fairly old and it looked nothing like the one I’d seen online beforehand! Anyway, at this point I was pretty sure I’d been duped but at least I had the ‘first-class’ ticket in a private area (it was just an upper-room with no-one else in it). So I settled in for the 3+ hour crossing.

After eventually arriving in Stone Town I truly thought I was in India again. The capital of Stone Town is a World Heritage site and has a huge Middle Eastern/Indian influence since it was a convenient trade route and many Arab, Persians and Indians migrated there early on, influencing the architecture greatly. I only hung around for the afternoon, had a quick look around and then arranged for a local fisherman to a turtle sanctuary I’d heard about.

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They’re really big. They also have their age written on their shells, I guess it makes it convenient to change :/

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He was really old.

The local fisherman wanted to head back but arranged for me to go back with someone else so it was cool to hang around and swim for a while.P2231044.JPG

I wasn’t the only one and it worked out alright.

After my day out I headed straight to the Northern Coast to a town called Nungwi. After checking in I had to check out the beach:

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I was in heaven.

So glad I decided to come here for a few days! There’s plenty to do in the area as long as you like beaches or scuba diving. The scuba outfit there was really good. They have some great dive spots and we saw a couple of turtles during a drift dive! The seafood along the beach is as fresh as it comes and doesn’t hurt the pocket too much. But if you’re just looking to chill on the beach, then it’s perfect.

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And not too many people to compete with for a prime spot! The owner of the scuba company also organises sunset cruises, which I highly recommend. I had to walk up and down the beach asking strangers to go to share the cost, but eventually we had enough people, got together a cooler of drinks and it made a great final evening in Zanzibar.

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