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Tuesday, 01 March 2016

Destination Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Page 6

Written by Meredith Chait
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Zanzibar, Tanzania 

I went to the island of Zanzibar for 3 days/ 2 nights. It was about a 20-mintue flight from Dar es Salaam. Taking a boat to Zanzibar form Dar es Salaam is also a possibility; but it takes a few hours. 

I stayed in Stone Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. My top three favorite activities to do in Zanzibar are 1) walking down the small alleys looking at the architecture and at buildings’ doors, which have contributed to making Stone Town famous. There are many distinct types of architecture, including Indian, British, and Omani Arab, which blend together to make a Zanzibar style, 2) seeing the very large and very old turtles on Prison Island, and 3) seeing the monkeys in Jozani Forest.

 I also enjoyed the flights to and from Zanzibar. I took ZanAir. It is one of the more expensive ones, $150 USD round-trip. (ZanAir and Coastal Aviation, the one I took to get to Ruaha, were both great and had experienced pilots. Each plane I flew on held about 6-12 people.)

One major aspect of Stone Town I did not like was the people who follow the tourists around (and there are many more tourists than in Dar), trying to sell them items or show them around the city. At first, I said “no thank you” or greeted them in Swahili, but they kept walking and talking with me. Finally, I figured out I had to ignore them and they would go away. 

I took a city tour from one of the people offering on the street.  Not knowing what to expect from an unofficial tour guide, the tour was actually very informative. We stopped at a few “off the beaten path” attractions. I recommend taking one of these spontaneous tours if you can find a knowledgeable guide. My tour guide and I did not set a price beforehand, but he said I could pay what I wanted. (I ended up paying him 10,000 TSH). 

 

Stone Town with a mosque and a church in close proximity to each other. The church on the left is the Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph. Zanzibar is approximately 90 percent Muslim. But, like in Dar, which is more like 40 percent Muslim, 60 perfect Christian, I found people are indifferent to what religion other people practice, including Islam, Christianity, or something else. 

 

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Black monkey in Jozani Forest. There were also Zanzibar Red Colobus Monkeys, which can only be found in Jozani forest.

 

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Mangrove Swamp in Jozani Forest

 

 

©Meredith Chait

 

(Page 6 of 6)
Last modified on Monday, 07 March 2016

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