Palm trees sway along a white beach with crystalline blue seas, but doors all have spikes to keep elephants from breaking them down-this is Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an easy eight hour flight from Europe with plenty of activities for the first time visitor or the exhausted worker seeking warmth and relaxation. Here’s some of the best reasons to skip out of work for a while and visit the balmy spice capital of Tanzania.
A Visit to Beaches Resort on Zanzibar Island Promises Sun and Relaxation
Beaches Resort on Zanzibar is one of the fine beach establishments where you can walk, snorkel, dive, bird, sun bathe or hide in the shade of an umbrella and read. The beaches have beautiful white or golden sands covered with shells and small crabs. The tide pools off shore offer numerous glimpses of sea urchins, crabs, kelp and many more of the unique denizens of the oceans. Read Beaches Resort in Zanzibar Offers a Pleasant Beach Escape for more information.
Learn Your Spices in Zanzibar
Cloves are the one controlled substance on the island of Zanzibar. The spice grows on a tree, and all of the seed pods are picked by hand. If you’ve purchased cloves recently, you know how valuable the crop can be, especially to a poor country. Other spices that grow in Zanzibar include vanilla, which is a type of orchid, cinnamon, which comes from the bark of a tree, and lemon grass that looks like grass. We were introduced to many more, including the famous lipstick bush, whose fruit contains a red liquid that stains skin red. Spice tours are easily booked and cost about $40 per person and last from2-4 hours in which you walk through a spice plantation and then are offered the chance to buy the spices and perfumes and soaps that are made with spice.
Zanzibar Remembers Slave History
The harbor in Zanzibar once attracted Arab slave boats that plied the trade along the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar has a slave memorial in town, and the last remnant of a holding pen that tourists are permitted to see.
Fresh Food Deals Going Down at the Market in Zanzibar
A walking tour of Zanzibar’s Stone Town will lead you to the market in Zanzibar where the locals come to buy fresh produce and other goods. The fish market has fresh fish caught off shore including octopus, squid, and many species of fish. Chickens arrive in baskets and are butchered and de-feathered while you wait. Fresh produce is offered in baskets and spread on blankets, while dried produce like beans and rice are offered up by the scoop. The routes through the market are tight and crowded, but there is never a dull moment.
Sail Away on a Dhow
Boat rides from the harbor and along the coast are offered up during the day and evening. But watching the boats sail past involves a never changing vista-where is the barge going, the tourist boat and what have the fishermen caught on their Dhow.
Colonial Architecture Offers Civilized Comforts
The Serena Hotel, Zanzibar, is located downtown and on a small public beach. Rooms come with hammocks, and windows open up to let in cooling breezes. Many of the colonial era buildings in Stone Town, called so because some of the buildings were made of granite, offer up similar wide open air porches and little nooks where one can drink beer and play chess. Neat buildings to visit include the Africa Club, a place where diplomats gathered and smoked opium and now the Museum of Tanzania, where you can learn about the culture.
Want to see more of Zanzibar? Check out more photographs on Spicy Zanzibar Beach Vacation Slide show.