Even though my East African Safari was over, I would have landed back in the USA on Friday if I left right from Arusha. I don’t like to waste any time when I’m on vacation, especially when I don’t need to take any additional days off work. After doing a bit of research, I decided to tag two nights in Zanzibar to the end of my trip. I wasn’t sure if I would ever make it to Zanzibar, so I figured it was as good a time as any to visit the small island off of mainland Tanzania.
I hopped on a quick puddle jumper plane for the one hour flight and we got one final peek at Mt Kilimanjaro when its peek peaked through the top of the clouds (see what I did there?).
I landed in Zanzibar relatively late, so I decided to prebook a taxi to my hostel. Many people actually take public transit around the island because it is relatively easy, but I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have any issues getting there. My hostel, Drifters Backpackers, was on the beach on the east side of the island, so it was yet another pinch me moment of the trip. When I got there, everyone was in the middle of a “family dinner” which is something they do every night. Essentially, everyone staying at the hostel has dinner together on the beach before chatting around a small bonfire. Many people went out after, but I was exhausted after many days of traveling and early wake ups so I headed to bed. I also wanted to see the sunrise the following morning.
I set my alarm, woke up, walked less than a football field and my feet were in the ocean while I watched the sunrise. The first picture was the view from my room and the second is of the sunrise from the beach. It was a beautiful experience.
I then decided to take a walk along the beach while watching everything come to life, stopping for breakfast along the way.
The sand was so white and the ocean was beautiful, so I decided to go swimming for a few minutes. Since my hostel room was so close to the beach, I didn’t even need to leave my valuables on the beach. I was able to walk right in, something I had never done before in my life!
I then checked out of my hostel to head to Zanzibar City for my final night in Zanzibar. As part of the transit, I arranged for a visit to a spice farm for a tour. I learned about all the various types of spices and fruit that are grown on the island from mint to pineapples.
One of the tour guides wanted to show off and climb up to the top of a palm tree to get a coconut, then proceeded to cut a hole in it so I could drink it. It was fantastic!
After the tour, we continued onto Zanzibar City. It was pretty late, so I found a rooftop overlooking the west side of the island for dinner to watch the sunset. Despite it being somewhat cloudy, I enjoyed the ambiance!
After dinner, I walked around the city a bit and found a night market near my hotel. Since I was so full, I just walked around and enjoyed the hustle and bustle.
The following morning, I arranged for a walking tour of Zanzibar City. I learned all about how the city is divided into two parts – Stone Town & Ng’ambo (which literally means “the other side”). We strolled through the city and saw some sites including a fort and a spice market. We also saw a lot of the famous Zanzibar doors with their intricate carvings.
I had a bit of time after the tour, so I walked around the town a bit and decided to go to the Freddie Mercury house. He was born in Zanzibar, so there was a full museum about him and Queen. It definitely is not something that is a must do, but I’m happy I did it!
I then grabbed lunch at my hotel before heading for the airport. It was time to bid Zanzibar adieu, so I flew back to Nairobi (passing Mt Kilimanjaro along the way).
After Nairobi, it was off to Amsterdam then back to NYC. It was yet another amazing trip that I will forever remember!