Memories of Zanzibar

Adhering to my promise, here is a little post to share my memories of Zanzibar. I’ll steer clear from jargon as I’m well aware that you can do your own research should you wish to travel to this beautiful “Spice Island”. As a native however, I feel obliged to add:

Whether you decide to visit Tanzania to climb mount Kilimanjaro, visit the Safari National Parks or simply enjoy a beach holiday,  you might want to start off by the hardship first, then end up in Zanzibar for a bit of beach relaxation – other way round is just tiresome, I reckon

You might want to dress up conservatively when visiting Zanzibar, especially when in public places. Most of the population on the Island is Muslim and they observe certain dress code in public

Haggling will take you far. I’ve seen so many times where the initial price quoted is significantly lowered  after a few exchange of words & body language. So if you’ve had a bit of practice in the souks in Morocco, here is your chance to shine again. Totally an art!

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Fasten your belts, we are off to Zanzibar

From the mainland to Zanzibar Island, it’s a quick 20 minute hop on this twelve seater aircraft. It strikes me that stringent formalities are kept to a bare minimum, from Check-in to the point where a non uniformed personnel escorts you to the plane. It’s so casual, cool and relaxed. You soon start to realise that you are heading to an Island, so forget the uptight mainland attitude. It’s even so zen that you get to fly next to the pilot and take a cheeky selfie, which he gaily approves.

So let’s head to Stone Town, where I took some random shots during our day out trip. It’s a good 50 minutes away from the hotel but well worth seeing this World Heritage Site. A birth home to Freddy Mercury, you’ll also find many attributes in this historical town such as the inviting alleyways, slave museum, the old church, renowned spices and many other tempting merchandise.  A travel is not fulfilled without learning about the local culture.

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Above, the mysterious narrow alleys where you can only navigate on foot or by bike. You’ll notice that some ladies are completely covered in traditional Baibui.

Also from Stone Town; The Slave monument, the famous carved doors of Zanzibar, with Arabic and Indian influences. Below, The Fort and The Sea front.

 

 

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Hotel Tip

There are zillions of hotels in Zanzibar. The earlier you book, the better the chances of securing a good deal. Zanzibar has recently become very popular and this has bumped up the prices. Online bookings seem to work pretty well and in our experience, they offer better rates.

Here are some pics from Meliã Hotel, in Kiwenga. For us it was an absolute bliss! Heavenly views, state of the art facilities, friendly staff, great food (I wouldn’t say otherwise, for me it’s home food) and all the usual top notch hotel whatnots. The place is also so efficiently run that even my husband whose DNA is made up of process improvement, could not find so much to improve. Truly grateful for the experience.

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Love Interiors?

Then you might appreciate the attention to detail in this place. Even though it is a big hotel, they’ve really managed to stay authentic and true to the local surroundings. A first glimpse of authenticity emerges right upon arrival. As an all inclusive guest, you’ll be parading a coconut hand made bracelet around the hotel grounds. As far as craft is concerned, you’ll notice a few carved pieces, whether old or modern but they give that chic Zanzibarian style, really impressive. As a lover of hand work, my eyes were darting all over the place, taking in the details.

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Flowers anyone?

Some ladies might appreciate this. The girls at the hotel spent hours decorating the place with flowers. We appreciated all the pretty arrangements everywhere, from the corridors to our room. They took pleasure in designing a new animal on the bed each day, which really pleased someone! It’s the little things which count.

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∼ Some arty crafty we love ∼

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Needless to say, when you purchase your flight ticket to a tropical destination, then of course you are agreeing to the T&C, which include sharing our complex ecosystem with others, notably the incredibly annoying Ms Mosquito and Mr Fly. Tough, but you just have to outsmart them.

Have you been to Tanzania? I’d love to hear about your travel experiences.

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Marie x

2 comments

  1. Hell yeah! Zanzibar looks like paradise to me!! Stunning photographs my dear. I would love to visit that place one day. Really enjoyed reading your travel post and I am happy to see you and your hubby had an absolutely fabulous stay there!! Keep up the lovely posts chouchou – cannot wait to reading more <3

    1. Aww, love that you like it. I regret not having more information about my ‘local culture’ so next time I will try to incorporate more. Otherwise Zanzibar is just awesome. I love that it is so peaceful and that people are super kind. Everybody wears a smile, regardless of how much money one has in the pocket.
      Thanks for reading all the posts chouchou. Makes me happy that I am not writing them to myself 🙂 xoxo

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