Zanzibar, Tanzania

Its been a  4,000km drive from Joberg to get to Zanzibar. I packed up Clancy at Mikadi Beach, and took only a small rucksack and walked the 2.5km to the harbour ferry across Dar es Salaam. It felt strange having so little gear. I took the ferry across with several hundred other people mixed with the cars.  It was then about a kilometer to the Zanzibar Ferry terminal. I had booked the Airbnb on Zanibar, but not the ferry. I had not been able to do it online, so I thought I will get to the terminal early and buy a ticket there. All was OK, and I had no problems buying a ticket, or paying with credit card. It was then about a two hour wait for the ferry.

The Australian built Austral ferry was a smooth 2 hour trip across to Zanzibar. When I disembarked I faced having to fill in a arrival card and show my passport. Zanzibar is semi-independent, a country within a country.  I then fought through the people trying to get me to take a taxi and walk the 800m to my Airbnb. Stone town is very dense, with narrow streets no room for cars, just scooters. I used OSMAnd on my phone to navigate, but when I got close I could not figure out which building. I could not log onto Airbnb, but luckily the host sent me an email, and I replied. He then sent me a message on Whatsapp. Why didn’t I think of that earlier, everyone in Africa is on Whatsapp. I got to the Airbnb and all was fine. The place is run down, but its right in Stone town near the markets, and cheap.

I went to the markets and got late lunch. It was all a bit shocking, white people, tourists around.  I was so not used to seeing tourists. Europeans fly directly to Dar es Salaam and then to Zanzibar, so its a bit of a tourist destination. There are resorts on the north and east of Zanzibar (that I have not seen, and don’t intend to). Having been in Tanzania for a week, I am a bit shocked how everything in the market is so expensive. A bunch of bananas that I bought in Iringa for 600 TSh they try to charge me 3000 Tsh for, I beat them down to 2,000 Tsh, but its still expensive.

So I have spent the weekend wandering around Stone Town. Saturday morning it rained a bit, Sunday morning it rained for a couple of hours. Saturday night was interesting at the shore, lots of people, mostly locals out for Saturday night. I catch the ferry today at 12:30pm back to Dar.


Fishing boats at the shore of Stone Town
Typical street in Stone Town
Stone Town
Another lane in Stone Town
Teenagers on the shore of Zanzibar, Stone Town beach doing spins jumping off a buried tyre.
the route so far

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