I really didn’t know what to expect going to ZANZIBAR, I have only heard songs about Zanzibar.
As the plane made its descent into the airport I
could see the beautiful aqua blue water below and voila I see the Island. I am happy. ZANZIBAR at last!!!
Arrival in STONE TOWN, also known as Mji Mkongwe (Swahili for “old town”), the old part of Zanzibar, sitting comfortably on the coast of the Indian Ocean.
The beautiful picturesque seafront, boats sailing and some anchored on the water is all but enticing as I sit down to a scrumptious lunch of mash potatoes and stir fry chicken, with my friend Film Producer White Adeniyi, at THE FLOATING RESTAURANT.
I want to take a walk and see the kids doing
acrobatics as they jump into the water at the seafront harbour a great spectacular view as the crowd gathered around watching.
Across the ocean is PRISON ISLAND a place where rebellious SLAVES were once detained, it also served as a coral mine, later a prison was built there but never used, then it became a quarantine station for yellow fever cases. When was the last time you woke up to the beautiful sounds of nature… as beautiful as the sounds of birds chirping in the trees in the courtyard just by my balcony from the bedroom, off to a great start this morning. I am wandering around the tiny narrow interwoven streets, the buildings are close to each other, and suddenly claustrophobia and panic hit me, a recollection of James Bond movies as he is being chased dow the srreets docking through the doorways to escape from the villans…. a feeling of nostalgia… should I turn back and retrace my steps or what, I feel lost…. am I lost… what if I get lost?… then suddenly I burst into open space…. DARAGANI BAZAAR, selling a wide range of groceries, spices, clothing, jewelry, and crafts, wow that was an exciting moment…. getting lost is the most fun I want to do it again.
This small park sits right across the street from Stone Town’s Arab Fort, House of Wonders, and Palace Museum, a unique mixture of Moorish, Arab, Persian, Indian European and Swahili culture, the FORODHANI GARDENS night market which features a variety of street food vendors was the highlight of my trip, anything from calamari shrimp chicken kebabs pizza smoothies fruits chapati sugarcane drinks is available for the Kaleidescope of people who visit, calamari squid octopus baby whale tuna shrimp prawns etc. I no chop this one o… (not big on seafood) but I had the chicken kebabs and chapati
First culture shock… right hand steering left hand drive
Second culture shock…. the hospitality of the people without expectations Third culture shock…. cameras on the streets
From the moment I arrived and walked along Stone Town’s seafront promenade backpack on my back, the call to prayer echo out from the mosque, the aroma of chai tea in the air, the aqua blue Indian Ocean in my view, sand on my feet, snacking on kebabs and chapati, while waiting anxiously for the sugarcane machine to churn out my juice, basking in the sun and greeted so
warmly by the locals, I was in love. Karibu, Asante sana..
Watch The Tour Video Here
Written by Peter Armand Boyo