March 26, 2010

Zanzibar: The perfect finish to an amazing adventure in Tanzania!

Kirsten in Stonetown

After two and a half amazing weeks in Northern Tanzania my next stop before heading back to Boston was the island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania. I only had 3 days on the island but I wish I’d had 3 weeks! My adventures in Zanzibar included a walking tour of Stone Town (which is a UNESCO World Heritage site) where I learned about the history of the island and toured the charming winding streets through town. Stone Town has a diverse flavor as it was inhabited by people from Portugal, the Middle East, and India, and architectural influences from these cultures and more can be seen throughout the city.

After Stone Town, I headed up to Nungwi on the Northern Coast for a sunset cruise on a dhow, a traditional Arabic sailing boat. We spent two hours cruising the turquoise waters of the Indian ocean, and from the boat we could see some of the reefs and quite a few fish as well. Zanzibar is a great spot for snorkeling and diving.

The morning I was to leave, I was able to fit in a spice tour, as no trip to Zanzibar is complete without seeing a spice plantation! It was amazing to see how cinnamon, vanilla, lemongrass, pepper and other herbs and spices grow. The most surprising spice to me was the nutmeg seed which is black with red stripes — the same colors as a ladybug — who knew?! Zanzibar was truly the perfect accompaniment to the safari in Tanzania and I cannot wait to go back!

Dhow sailing