We recently took a trip to Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been! The turquoise sea with its white beaches was a definite highlight.
But before we reached the East coast of the island with its stunning portion of the Indian Ocean, we spent a bit of time in Stone Town, the port city on West coast of the island closest to Dar Es Salaam on the mainland of Tanzania. The history of Stone Town as a port is evident through the continued presence of fishermen (yes, they are typically men) selling their daily catch at markets and the prevalence of merchants selling spices, textiles, and other treasures. The main part of the city consists of on old fort and narrow alleyways filled with shops that are entered through heavy wooden doors detailed with Indian and Arab designs. The people of Stone Town are an eclectic mix of strict Muslims, laid back Rastas, and what you would think of as more typical Africans. Moreover, the city is constantly flooded with Italian resort owners and tourists from all over the globe. It is a unique confluence of cultures if ever I’ve experienced one!
I think the photos of our time on the East Coast, near the small town of Jambiani, speak for themselves. We really enjoyed spending time together, relaxing in this tropical paradise.
I wish we could have taken photos of the explosion of life we witnessed below the water while snorkeling near another island off the coast of Zanzibar called Mnemba Atol. The island is privately owned and it costs about $2,000 per night to stay there. Stepping on the beach results in a $1,000 fine; hence we stayed in the water just off-shore! The way that the incredible variety of coral, fish, and other sea life coexist together amazed me. The coral, at times veiled by the beauty of this fish around it, was nonetheless magnificent. The fish were painted with an unbelievable combination of colours and patterns. Some sported bold patterns of neon colours while others were decorated in pastels and shimmers woven in intricate detail. It was like swimming in a bountiful tropical aquarium – a truly magical experience!