First time I ever heard of Zanzibar was on a TV-show when I was a kid. It sounded exotic then, it still sounds exotic. On the 20th of February was the official starting date for the trip with 4x4expedition.se. Some of us who were going to go with them decided we wanted a warm up. For me who should be away for almost 4 months, what’s another week in the long run? So, me and two of fellow passengers on the trip rented a house on Zanzibar.
Getting there is easy, surviving the heat shock is worse. Flying from a -19ºC Sweden and landing in a +30ºC hot Dar Es-Salaam (Tanzania) is a shock, but it’s a nice shock at least. Getting to the jetty and take the ferry to Zanzibar proved to be a bit of a challenge, finding a cab in the middle of the night was not that easy. And when we got to the jetty the ticket offices hadn’t opened yet so we had to wait for a while. Bought our ferry tickets and found out that we had overpaid since all tickets are the same. Bummer!
The ferry ride took about 3 hours but it was pretty nice sitting there in the early morning sun. When we got of the ferry in Stone Town we had to fill in some forms and then we proceeded to the tourist information to find out where our hotel where. We took a short ride in a taxi (500 meters) and checked in at the hotel. Changed some clothes and rested for an hour or so and then we proceeded to explore Stone Town for a while. Saw a monument over the slave trade that took place some hundred years ago for example.
We also found some nice restaurants, tried the local food which have made Zanzibar famous. Zanzibar is also called the spicy island because of the rich flavors or the food. I don’t know about that really, I wasn’t that impressed but maybe I tried the wrong stuff. The next day we rented a car and went south on the island. Most people who go to Zanzibar probably go to the northern parts where all the large hotels/resorts are located but we went south to a village called Jambiani and to Villa Biba (the house we had rented).
I’m not going write so much about that since it’s was mostly relaxing stuff. But some things you can do around Jambiani is going on diving/snorkeling tours, if you take an hours drive south from Jambiani to Kizimkazi you can swim with dolphins.
One day we took the car to explore Zanzibar a bit and we had gotten directions from some people we met while being on the diving tour to a place called “The Rock Restaurant“. It turned out to be a restaurant situated on a huge rock on the beach. When it was tide you could walk out to the restaurant on dry land but when it was flood you would have to wade to it. Really nice food, good service and decent prices. Having that in mind, Zanzibar is probably the most expensive place in Tanzania in general. I guess some of the lodges around the great national parks in northern Tanzania can be quite pricey as well.
On the 18th of February we headed back to Stone Town, dropped of the car and took the ferry back to Dar Es-Salaam. We choose to stay one night in Dar Es-Salaam to get the “feel” of this African metropolis. Loud, dusty, milling, chaotic, African. The next day we took a taxi to the camping where we would meet up with Ronnie & Lena from 4x4expedition.se and the other participants.
Gallery updated with pictures from Zanzibar!