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.