Zanzibar !!

Day 303, Friday 02 November 2012 – Nungwi, Zanzibar

I had left the rest of the group soon after dinner last night to grab a few minutes peace and quiet after the long long day on the truck. I also planned on a massive sleep as I was feeling tired and the early mornings were starting to have an impact. Obviously that plan was thwarted! The security guard from the camp and some of his mates decided that 4:00 am was the perfect time to cut coconuts and talk really loudly in the middle of the campsite. This was followed at 4:30 by the first call to prayer for the day, the east of Tanzania especially around Dar is strongly Muslim. I did manage to doze again until get up time at 6:10 – this was a lie in !

After a quick breakie I packed a small bag for the three day trip to Zanzibar, a trip I have been really looking forward to. Like Mandalay in Myanmar, Zanzibar is one of those exotic locations from childhood adventure novels that I have long wanted to visit and today was to be the day. Naturally the day started with us getting on the truck, though this time it was just a short ride to the harbour side to get the very busy ferry a short distance over the harbour to down town Dar es Salaam. From the truck we had a five minute walk down to the ferry terminal, it was 7:30 am and hot and humid, a few of us were starting to leak a bit as we hit the large sprawling mass trying to squeeze through the ticket stile and into the larger congested mass of commuters waiting to board the ferry.

The ferry ride was short, it is only a couple of hundred metres across the harbour, but we had seats by the side so it was interesting viewing the going ons in the harbour – like other developing countries there were a number of people bathing in the water, a dangerous activity !

P1020207

P1020211

P1020213

On the other side of the harbour, Brett hired a local bus to take us the few hundred metres to the Zanzibar ferry office. It was hot, humid and crowded and easier to keep us all together if we were in a bus.

P1020214

The state of the vehicle left a lot to be desired, tape all over the place holding panels together and all the seats were damaged in one way another, mine had basically nothing underneath the vinyl seat cover.

P1020217

Getting out of the harbour side was interesting, six lanes of cars trying to squeeze into two lanes through a gate, nothing unusual there of course! Unlike Asia this was done in semi-silence, very little honking of horns and people seemed to good humouredly jostle for spots in the road. I am surprised though were no accidents while we were watching.

We had almost an hour wait at the ferry terminal so a few of us walked to the ATM to get some Tanzanian Shillings, however the machines do not accept MasterCard so I had to change some of my precious cash resources which was frustrating. TIA – This is Africa.

The ferry was one of the modern quick cat ferries, though the ride was fairly slow, there have been a few ferry sinkings on the Dar – Zanzibar route.

IMG 4892

The sea was like glass all the way to the island and it was a magic two hour ride, lots of dhow in the water with some great clouds and a cool sun rainbow.

IMG 4903

IMG 4909

P1020222

As we approached Stone Town onthe island of Zanzibar I was very excited to see white sandy beaches – I knew this was a tropical island, but I must admit I was not expecting it to be like this.

P1020227

We alighted the ferry in Stone Town and once clearing Zanzibar immigration we jumped on an airconditioned mini-bus for a forty minute ride to Big Body’s Spice Farm.

P1020231

P1020234

Hmm the Hajj. something else to add to the to do list…

P1020232

P1020237

After the relatively hot and boring tea plantation tour the other day I was not overly excited by the prospect of a spice farm tour, but wow – what a difference a tour guide makes. Big Body was very engaging, quite funny and had great English. He stunned everybody, especially the Polish girl in our group when he broke into some rapid fire Polish.

IMG 4918

It was a great tour, preceded by a nice curry lunch and some local fruit tasting. The pineapple was the sweetest and juiciest I have ever had !

P1020239

IMG 4923

IMG 4921

At the end of the tour we were all presented with palm leave hats, ties for the boys and jewellery for the girls. It was a great couple of hours. The ride to the hotel was about an hour, the mini-bus driver was not scared to put pedal to the metal and fist to horn, just like Vietnam again – though a wee bit safer, I think. We are staying at Amaan Bungalows, a beach side resort in Nungwi village. The resort is budget but surprisingly nice, large and airy rooms and a great bar area.

After unpacking we all met in the bar, surprise surprise, it was half price cocktail hour so good value.

IMG 4928

We had dinner next door at Langi Langi restaurant – or rasta rant as they called it.

IMG 4930

The food was great, I had a very nice calamari curry, it was beautifully flavoured. After dinner a couple of us stayed for a whisky or two in the bar before an earlyish night.

About wheresphil

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, now living in London.
This entry was posted in Africa, Blog, Tanzania and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Zanzibar !!

  1. David Kidane says:

    Dude these are some great pictures. But yeah i would be kind of upset to on the whole people up at 4 talking but i can get prayer.
    But how long were you in Zanzibar?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s