Monday, August 22, 2011

Zanzibar

Deep Sea Dhow.
(From en.wikipedia.org/wiki/dhow)
Zanzibar is an archipelago off of the coast of Tanzania. It was an outpost for trade between Eastern Asia and East Africa. Traders would cross the Indian Ocean on Dhows to reach Zanzibar. Traders often had to stay in Zanzibar to wait for the change in winds and the worst of monsoon season to end. Because of this, the travellers settled in, introducing their food and culture.

Jambiani Beach- low tide
Jambiani Beach- high tide



The ferry to Zanzibar took about three hours. Once our group got there, we negotiated for a taxi to take us to Jambiani on the eastern side

of the island. We spent a few days here and it was my favorite part of the trip. The beach is drastically different at high tide and low tide. The water goes out fast at low tide and exposes a few hundred meters of rocky tide pools full of seaweed. Upon exploring these tide pools, we found a lot of beautiful and colorful sea life- bright red and blue sea urchins, gigantic starfish. There were many people out there, mostly women, working on something very far out into the tide pools. When we reached them, we saw that they were farming seaweed. They drove sticks into the ground and tied a line between to sticks. Then they tied seaweed to these lines to keep it in place. The seaweed can be seen drying in the sun all over town. It is exported to asian countries, but not consumed locally. The beaches in Jambiani are not considered the most beautiful on the island so it is not as touristed as other parts of the island and there is no expatriate community. We were able to find a small restaurant a little off the shore and enjoy great food like coconut crusted fish, calamari, and seafood curries for much better prices than the shoreline restaurants. The people in Jambiani town were friendly regardless of whether they were trying to sell anything.
Jambiani Town
Jambiani Town

Jumba Baya guest house- our favorite in Jambiani
More Jambiani town- there are
run down buildings everywhere


After a few days at Jambiani, we took a dhala dhala back to Stone Town. A dhala dhala is a truck with a long, covered bed that holds a lot of people. It is the local transportation option of choice, and is actually fairly comfortable, despite the way it looks from the outside. At Stone Town, we took a couple of days to indulge in some tourist attractions. We took a spice tour and learned about various spice plants and fruits that grow in Zanzibar and those that are imported. We also visited a museum in town and learned about the history. We also took a day trip to the famous North Beach on Zanzibar. On this beach we found a wide strip of white sand and amazing seaside restaurants that were very expensive. The most fun was the seafood night market. Near the ferry docks and on the water, merchants set up tables full of seafood. You tell them what you want and they cook it for you right there. You can get things like crab claw or mussel brouchettes as well as sugar cane juice with ginger and lemon. This is entirely a tourist attraction and even though the merchants were open to some haggling, we still spent a lot of money here. After a few days in Stone Town, we left Zanzibar, wishing we could have stayed longer.
Stone Town





Stone Town

Reddish Monkeys- they are the main attraction
of a forest park on the island


Indian Coconut Palms- used for making coconut oil

2 comments:

  1. your bitchin sisterAugust 27, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Ian,
    You are not being a good brother! I've tried calling you 3 times and you've been ignoring my calls which is bullshit because i happento know that you know my phone number. Anyway, im super mad at you but your trip looks fun.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jambiani Town looks very peaceful. Low crowd and no traffic on the roads. Thanks Ian.

    ReplyDelete