After leaving the Serengeti & Ngorongoro National Parks behind it was a long journey further south in Tanzania to one of the fastest growing cities in Africa – Dar es Salam. The drive was around 14 hours with just one stop for lunch and a few toilet stops on the side of the road. We were pleased to get into Dar after leaving Arusha at 4am!
The next morning we jumped on a ferry to Zanzibar, the ferry was very quick, it took just over an hour to get there and it was much better organised than my previous visit (which was a total shambles). It’s very clear that the Chinese have taken over and everything ran like clock work.
Upon arrival we were shuttled to a spice plantation where we learnt all about the different things that are grown on the island. We smelt and tasted everything that we could and the tour finished with a platter of local fruits. We then walked to a local village and had lunch there which was delicious! A great start to a great few days in Zanzibar.
Filled up on the local cuisine we were taken up to the Northern Beaches where we were to spend the next few nights. Our accommodation was called Nungwi Beach and we had a great little beach hut steps from the crystal clear unmistakable waters of Zanzibar.
After the traitorous drives, early starts and nights in the tent we had truly reached paradise.
Just in time for happy hour and sunsets we picked our spots on the beach and breathed a sigh of relief that we had arrived!
That night we went to one of the local beach bars where the drinks were cheap, the music was good and there was some crazy fire dancing.
The whole next day was spent on the pristine beach at Nungwi, it was clean, the water was so clear and so blue it was actual paradise! It was a much needed rest day, I spent some time wandering up and down the beach and marvelling at the beach perfection.
Later on that evening we had booked ourselves onto a sunset boat trip on a Dhow which is a traditional sailing boat. For $15USD each some of the local guys took us out, gave us some alcohol and fruit and sailed us off into the sunset for two hours. It was such a fun way to finish the day.
The final day at the beach in Zanzibar was spent chilling out again, topping up my tan. I walked to the tip of the island where some of the locals were chopping up a stingray to eat. That evening all of the girls on the trip went for dinner on the beach and watched the sunset and reflected on what a great few days it had been.
That evening we took a shuttle to Stone Town where we were to spend the final evening, it was our tour leaders birthday so we went out to a club called Tatu’s which was a weird mix of prostitutes, sex tourists, locals, beach boys and us. We danced into the early hours and wandered through the streets of Stone Town back to our accommodation.
The last time I went to Stone Town I really hated it, I got bad vibes and I really didn’t enjoy it. This time I felt better about it, we spent the next morning wandering the endless streets, taking photos with various doors and we had a nice breakfast at a cafe overlooking one of the streets.
If you find yourself in Stone Town remember you must cover up as it is an Islamic. Obviously in the Northern Beaches of Zanzibar this does not apply as it is a tourist destination.
All too soon we hurried back to the ferry terminal to begin the journey back to Dar es Salam.
This time around I loved Zanzibar, I felt less hassled and I enjoyed the whole experience a lot more, maybe it was because I was more prepared for it? Maybe it was because we were in a bigger group? I’m not sure but I’m glad I gave Zanzibar a second go as it really is paradise island. The beaches were beautiful, the people were fun and being with a great group of people sure helped as well.
Where we stayed: Nungwi Beach & Safari Hotel in Stone Town
Have you been Zanzibar?
Check out my video about my time in Zanzibar.
Next stop: Malawi
You can read about my other African adventures here: