Archive for the ‘Zanzibar’ Tag

Zanzibar (May 1 – 5)   1 comment


After a long-awaited hot shower in Dar es Salaam we enjoy a night in a bed before being woken up by call to prayer which Magan described as a satanic sound that gave her the chills. From Dar we took the ferry to Stone Town on the once independent (formerly Portuguese then Omani Arab) spice island of Zanzibar. Here we wandered aimlessly through the winding streets enjoying the smells of the distinct culture of this island. Since the town is more of a labyrinth than a grid we let ourselves get lost amongst the kids running and men playing dominoes often being greeted by hello, jambo and even Hakunna Matata or Rafiki.

St. Josephs Cathedral and Slave Memorial

Slave holding cell and inside the cathedral

Stopping at random stalls to try the local cuisine or grab a cup of spiced tea we were able to immerse ourselves into the flow of daily life. While in Stone Town we also visited the former slave market and St. Joseph’s cathedral. Hundreds of thousands of slaves were captured by the Omani Arabs and sold through here to the Seychelles, Mauritius, Persia and other destinations. Thanks in large part to Dr. Livingston slavery was abolished and a church built on this site. The baptismal pool is where baby slaves (unwanted) were drowned and the altar sits at the former whipping post.

Baptistry and Altar

The next few days were spent at Matemwe beach on the eastern shore where white coral sand beaches meet clear turquoise water. Here we had the entire resort to ourselves and enjoyed good food and warm ocean. One day we hired a local to take us snorkeling at the reef near a resort island a couple of kilometers away. The beautiful coral and hundreds of colorful fish made for a day of fun that will be long remembered and more than makes up for the down side of the beach, which is the local population coming down to defecate on the shore during low tide.