Welcome Mr Mzungu!

Trip Start Jan 09, 2006
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Trip End Aug 15, 2006


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Flag of Tanzania  ,
Tuesday, July 4, 2006

After the riggors of a hard safari we figured we were do some good R&R. When in Tanzania there is only one destination: Zanzibar!

We arrived in Stone Town after a short 15 minute hop from Dar. We heard the seas between the mainland and the island were a bit ruff and the ferry ride not all that pleasant with people puking all over the sides and your shoes so it was the friendly sky's for us. 15 minute flight or 2 hour puke fest, you decide.

Stone Town is a lovely place and if you do come here I suggest the flight. You get to avoid all the touts and hassels at the ferry. The island has a much heavier muslim/arabic influence and is much more laid back and relaxed than Dar. First thing off the plane we hit the well known and well worth Spice Tour. We headed into the center of the island and then north visiting several government farms to see where and how all the exotic spices of the island are grown. Our guide was excellent. He spoke very good english but more importatly he knew the subject well and fielded questions easily. We saw everything from clove and pepper trees to durian, vanilla, ginger and bread fruit trees. Lunch was a treat. Rice and curry with a spinich made from elephant ears plants that was out of this world good! After that it was north to the beaches.

Next on the list of must do things in Zanzibar: Diving!

We hit the reefs for some diving and snorkling action. Rach was pleased to find she wasn't the only person without a dive card on this trip. Unfortunatly some of the first marine life she encountered were jellyfish. On the bottom things were beautiful but obviously in danger. In addition to tons of coral munching sea urchins and Crown of Thorns the locals here still practice dynamite fishing. Many huge brain coral lie shattered at the bottom due to this. At first I thought some local had dropped a large anchor on the coral but later found out about the local fishing practices. Lobster, shrimp, pretty ray's and a few large parrot fish were the big views. Smaller fish were everywhere but bigger fish were notcibly missing. Another sign of over fishing.

Spice tour and diving out of the way, we headed east to the beaches of Jambiani. Talk about remote. One dirt road trac and thats it. We virtually had the place to ourselves as high season had yet to start. The beaches are suggar white but the tides head out come 3pm. A constant low roaring can be heard from the waves hitting the distant coral reef surrounding the area several miles out. Come 5pm you can walk a good ways out to explore the creatures left behind by the tide. Tons of small shellfish and even more brittle starfish lay hidden among the rocks and seaweed. 2 days of laying on the sun on a deserted beach drinking luke warm beer and we were happy to be there. But time moves on and time on Zanzibar is growing short. Besides, there are souvinere's to buy back in Stone Town!

Thats where we are right now. Drinking beers, eating street food and exploring the back alleys of this fascinating town. On the morrow we're off to Dar to catch a flight to Germany via a lovely 7 hour layover in Dubai. I'm hoping Dubai International Airport has a decent internet facility so I can finally upload some pictures!

Wish us luck!

JAMBO!

The Moonzibarians
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