Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Africa, Play-by-plays, Tanzania | 0 comments

After 10 days of game drives, animal parks, dust and sweat we finally got to Zanzibar for some r&r at the beach. I could have definitely spend more than tow and a half days on the island, but unfortunately that is all we had.

Upon arrival into Stone Town (2 hour ferry from the very hectic port city of Dar Es Salam), we went on the famous Spice Tour, where we learned a ton about spices plants and fruits that grow on the island. Zanzibar has always been an important trade stop in the Indian Ocean, especially in spices and for a long time, slaves. It was initially part of the Portuguese Empire and later fell under the Sultanate of Oman before becoming a British Protectorate. So suffice it to say, there are many historical and multicultural influences that shaped its growth.
After the Spice Tour where, among other facts, I learned that the root of the cinnamon tree smells like Vicks Vapor Rub, we headed back into the center and visited the old slave market, a church, and saw some of the historical buildings including the Fortress which was built by the Omanis to repel Portuguese attacks.
That night we enjoyed sunset drinks, a seafood dinner at the local markets, and some reggae music at the bar in the actual Fortress. I was actually surprised at the number of Rasta fans on the island, but I guess I shouldn’t be.

The next two days were spent on the beach, chilling out, hammocking, and swimming. I went scuba diving, some snorkeled, others parasailed. And the whole group did a sunset cruise on a dhow. It was a gorgeous sail, and we took advantage of the swim stop at a shallow sandbar to jump off the boat and practice some water acrobatics.

Next up is a LONG drive through Tanzania and then a few days in Malawi!

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