A small diamond in the eastern side of Africa, just a step away from Tanzania. Zanzibar, or Unguja! With approximately 1 million habitats, has a tropical climate and it looks like something out of a postcard from another era. This powdery white, silky soft sand right on your feet. This is where we spent a full week and we are ready to share everything with you, plus you will get the whole image with a yaba video by the end of this article.
First thing we saw.
We landed in Zanzibar with non-stop flight from Doha. When we arrived we “spent” about an hour to fill all the necessary paperwork for the visa (it cost 50$) and of course it took some time to understand each other! Well, fortunately, everything finally went great and as soon as we found our driver and got in the car, we headed towards Paje-Jambiani region to spend our first days by the seaside. The biggest part of our trip to Paje- Jambiani, was spent with our faces stuck on the car’s windows as we were gazing the colours, the stone houses, locals riding their bicycles and the breathtaking natural scenery.
And suddenly…here’s a beach!
The most important yet not the only reason why someone should visit Zanzibar are the heavenly beaches. Have you ever come across those old post cards faded by the sun and the sand seems whiter than white?! Well, beaches at Zanzibar are like that. Endless powdery sand, palm trees and turquoise-colored waters. The only thing one can say it’s negative about Zanzibar waters is the phenomenon of the ebb of the tide. That means, that during the day there are some times that the sea level is quite low so you might need to walk a bit more in order to swim. If you as us, Paje beach was the best one! You can see hotels along the beach that fortunately do not over flood the place. In order to stay in a decent double accommodation you will have to pay approximately 70 euros or more, while a meal for two will cost about 40 euros.
In Kizimkazi village they organize tours to see and maybe swim with dolphins that live in this area. Starting price for this is 85$. Mixed feelings is what we got from this experience. Yeah, alright we saw the stunning dolphins and George also saw them underwater, but the feeling of chasing around the dolphins combined with the high risk that was hidden when plunging in the water while numerous boats were right above your head is something that left us with a bitter taste about this experience at a whole.
Exploring the island by car, Hidden beaches, small villages and red monkeys in the Jozani forest.
On our third day on the island we decided to rent a car and go exploring! At this point let me tell you that Zanzibar is a right wheel driving country and in order to drive there one must have “zanzibarian” driver’s license. So…how we did it though? Well, it seems that for 25$ the company that rent you the car can turn your European license into a local one. No test or anything else is needed. So, as soon as we did everything, we rented a Vitara and off we went.
Although one of the island’s most important part of economy is based upon tourism, yet it is not overwhelmed with tourists. You will have the chance to find many hidden places, where locals will be the only ones you will see, or beaches in which birds will be your only company!
How the locals live and the small villages.
The most interesting part for us were the villages of the inland. Small houses made of stone, kids with smiley faces yelling “jumbo”(which means hello) and women carrying fruits and coconut palms on their heads. Another distinctive picture is the one of the bicycles. You can barely see a few cars at the provincial part of the island. Most of the people move around on their bicycles or vespas. Per capita income in Zanzibar is almost 700$. Additionally, child mortality rates are quite high, while almost 10% of the infants suffers from malnutrition. All these figures reveal the standard of living of the habitants. Therefore, they are one of the most smiling people we have met.
Jozani forest, colobus monkeys and the spice!
The national park Jozani is the only place where you will have the chance to see colobus monkeys, also known as red monkeys. It worths paying a visit to meet these wonderful creatures. Apart from these you will see plenty of vegetation, mangroves and all-spice!
The Stone Town- UNESCO World Heritage Site
We spent the last days at the old town of Zanzibar city, which was blooming back in the 19th century from selling spice as well as slaves. Today it is a tourist attraction for its history and architecture that reveals the influence that Arab and Indian culture had on them. Various scents, fragrances and many “unique” doors!Share with your friends!