Twas early October 2017, when my partner and I decided that a romantic getaway was needed, but given our conflicting schedules it took some time to pencil in vacation dates. Patience eventually paid off, once the busyness settled, and January 2018 had proven to be a winner.
Time wasn’t on our side, so had to quickly lean on my go-to reference for visa free countries and Zanzibar fit the island paradise bill, with its 24/7 ideal holiday weather and pristine beaches.
Off we went!
Yellow fever card(visit to nearest Travel Clinic highly recommended), otherwise entry into Tanzania would be denied.
WHERE TO STAY
Used www.booking.com to search for accommodation, Paje and Jambiani were the top two area options for us, as they were far out and offered the desired privacy. It also meant that we we could walk from one beach to the other.
The beautiful and luxurious, beach location Sharazad Boutique Hotel was our home away from home. Stayed in a villa with a private plunge pool, veranda and cozy bed.
$1 = 2250.45 Tanzanian Shilling. We opted to transact in Dollars, as most establishments accepted major currencies (hotels to informal traders.)
An average of about 7 hour sunshine occurs in Zanzibar daily. Perfect for beachwear and cover-ups for night time.
Shuttles were organised through the hotel. I would not advise car hire as the cars are old and navigation between the city and villages can be a bit tricky. Furthermore, only the locals know how to maneuver around the potholed roads.
Mouth-watering seafood was the order of the day.
Often ate at our hotel’s restaurant, because a wide variety of options were offered on both the set menu and daily specials. Every devoured dish was fresh and insanely delicious.
Terrace Restaurant at Maru Maru, a rooftop setting in the heart of Stone Town, was indeed a memorable experience, the Lobster and Octopus on their seafood platter was immaculate.
SAFARI BLUE TOUR
This was a guided day trip worth all its buzz in Zanzibar.
Drivers pick you up from your hotel to Fumba. You pick snorkeling gear, then get on a Dhow(handcrafted Swahili boat), the water adventure starts with a picnic stop at a Sand Bank(isolated beach with warm turquoise waters), followed by snorkeling, a quick dip at Blue Lagoon and ends with a Seafood BBQ on Kwale Island where one could do some market shopping and chat to other travelers and some of the locals.
Zanzibar cloves and spices contribute significantly to its agricultural wealth, thus found our visit to a spice farm to be quite interesting.
Through the sense of smell and touch, we learned about everything between Cinnamon, Tumeric and Durian. We had the opportunity to buy some spices, neatly packaged in Zanzibar map, fish and tortoise shapes.
Wrapped up the experience with a crowning ceremony, where we were bejewelled with palm leaves and flowers.
Lively bazaars, winding alleys, primeval mosques and magnificent Arab houses makeup its rich history.
Spotted the Slave Trade Museum, House of Wonders the first house to have an elevator running water and electricity in East Africa, as well as The Old Fort which happens to be the oldest building in Zanzibar.
This ancient city is ideal for shopping, with its many outlets and markets.
The highlight of my trip was not only bonding with my partner, but also having found a connection with the locals.
Do add this to your list of places to visit!