Zanzibar – Tanzanian Expedition (III)

Day 7 & 8: 13 & 14th August, 2013

An early morning flight to the island of Zanzibar, my first trip in a micro-flight, flying by a micro-flight is a whole lot different to the commercial jets, the roll is a lot greater and the vehicle is largely affected by the atmospheric conditions. The pilot also chooses to fly a lot lower than a commercial jet and if you ever have vertigo, you definitely shouldn’t try this. However, that doesn’t take away the brilliant experience or adrenaline.

Traveling by a micro-flight (Dar – Zanzibar)

I had a couple of booklets and a few offered hotels at discounted rates. Nevertheless I got the cab driver at the Zanzibar airport to recommend a hotel for $50 a night. If you ever visit Zanzibar, you just can’t miss Stone Town, this huge maze of small gullies, shops and lanes are a UNESCO protected site. It is an absolute treat to weave through and get lost. The other side of Stone Town, leads to a line of pubs and coffee shops all hugging the shore line. I think my pictures paint a better picture of this amazing place. There is also a museum that talks about the Sultan of Oman and Zanzibar – Something that kindles my interest.

The Persian Baths – Stone Town

The Old Fort – Stone Town

Along the quay – Stone Town

The Sultan’s Palace – Stone Town

The Old Fort – Stone Town

Forgot the name building 😉 – Stone Town

The Sultan’s Palace – Stone Town

The House of Wonders – Stone Town

The home of the last slave – Stone Town

The House of Wonders – Stone Town

The Natural History Museum – Stone Town

An old pal – Prison Island (Zanzibar)

Boats docked along the quay – Stone Town

I had made it a point to memorize this place before Marco got here… but I guess that was never going to happen. Marco and Mari the lovely Italian couple got here on the 14th and after a quick hug and greet, I was off to visit the spice plantations.

A note at the Spice Plantations, they actually charge you 20,000 TSZ per person at the farm but they never tell you this before you reach the farm, so be prepared to carry some cash with you. The whole tour lasts about an hour and half and they let you taste some amazing spices. The cocoa is surprisingly bitter and I just can’t fathom how this turns into the sweet sweet chocolate that I crave for.

For the afternoon, I was to visit Nungwi, a white sandy stretch on the northern tip of Zanzibar, Marco had this place scheduled for the 17th. I found another bargain deal at Nungwi, something Karthik would be extremely proud of. There is this hotel called “Paradise Beach Bungalows”, they charge you $50 for night and then there is “Kelston Rocks” which shares the same beach stretch, is a bit more modern than PBB, yet charges 4 times the price. If you really want to enjoy Zanzibar for a bargain, I recommend PBB, you will be spend more time outdoors than being stuck up in a temperature controlled swimming pool.

Also if you ever want to visit Nungwi, do so with a loved one and thank me later. This is a place that you got to enjoy with the special one.

Day 9 & 10: 15 & 16th August, 2013

I was back in Stone town and had a check-in at the same hotel, Megan was in-town and I coaxed her to join me for a city tour around Stone Town. It was good to be back with her. I still couldn’t figure out the mazes of this amazing place. Marco and Mari were off to Prison Island a small Island off the coast of Zanzibar, famous for Tortoises. The afternoons were spend lazing on the Prison Island beach. I can’t comprehend the amount of things that you can actually do in Tanzania, such an amazing place to be.

Marco & Moi – Stone Town – Photo credits : Mari

The colorful boats – Stone Town – Photo credits : Mari

Fresh Catch – Nungwi (Zanzibar) – Photo credits : Mari

Sunrise – Nungwi (Zanzibar) – Photo credits : Mari

I had yet another place to visit and this was the Darajani Night Market, if you want fresh sea food in a party atmosphere, this is the place to be, at least that’s what the brochures all say. The food isn’t always fresh considering the amount of tourists but the atmosphere is a party place. I was to meet Marco here, unluckily my phone was back in the hotel, I had skipped our meeting time and after running hitherto, I finally caught up with the Italian. Food was already arranged and I had some delicious tuna, kingfish, prawns and Lobsters, yum.

I had an early morning ferry ride the next day, to mainland Tanzania. The ferry docks were pretty close to Upanga and this gave me another opportunity to say goodbye to Karthik. The place and the people in Tanzania, really grow on you. 16th of August, 4:45pm was my flight back to Muscat. Other than getting stuck in-between rush hour traffic and a mad cab driver who drove recklessly, this trip left a huge imprint on me. I had simply the most amazing 10 days of my life and if I had to do this again, I would do so in a blink, quite a few life lessons and friends for life. If you’re reading this and ever get the chance, take it, you will never be sorry.

Also if you’re traveling to Zanzibar, take a special one along. 😉

Back at the Muscat Airport, my mom was particularly peeved at me, for actually completing the whole trip; she was cross that I actually went ahead with the plan. But she will never know of the adventures that I had, even reading this memoir could never explain the thrill of being in Tanzania.

I know you would have an amazing time in Tanzania; I would love to know your travels.

#Travel Tips Collection



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