Falling in love with Tanzania and Stone Town

For those keeping track of my Africa tour posts, you’ll remember that the last post about my journey was about Malawi and why I didn’t love it but thankfully the very next country changed my emotions 180 degrees because I fell in love with Tanzania from the moment the border gates closed behind us.   Mountains scraped the horizon, banana plants stood tall in their terraces and there were tea plant fields for as far as the eye could see; beautiful.

We spent 3 days and nights driving from the Western border of Tanzania, right across the country to the East Coast of the Indian Ocean.

Before I knew it we were at the Dar es Salaam campsite waiting to begin our 4 day adventure on Zanzibar…even the name sounds exotic and with cheap flights available, you can get to this paradise too!

The next morning, we stepped on to the ever-so-comfortable Catamaran ferry and prepared for the sound for we had been warned about; vomiting.  That’s right folks.  The water in the Zanzibar straight is extremely choppy and the local people don’t seem to appreciate the ‘high water’ so when sick bags are handed out, you know you’re in for a rough ride in every sense.  Thankfully I fell asleep not long after leaving port so avoided the retching.  A delightful image isn’t it?!

Soon enough we were greeted by the harbour of Stone Town…

We were allowed some free time to roam around the famous alleys of Stone Town and their certainly didn’t disappoint!  There’s something about small alleys, cobbled streets and ‘secret doors’ that awake the curious in all of us and Stone Town has that in abundance!  Zanzibar, and in particular Stone Town, is famous for its wooden and intricately-designed doors and they don’t disappoint; they’re so pretty and show such amazing craftsmanship.

After spending the afternoon wondering around the alleys and relaxing with the most amazing chocolate frappé I’ve ever had, we started our evening at the famous Africa House for sundowners (drinks at sunset) which has the most perfect setting to sit, sip and take in the magnificent views that Zanzibar has to offer.  It’s a must for anyone in Stone Town which is why it’s always so busy but the cocktails, seating and views more than make up for it!

After watching the sun go down on another day of my beautiful adventure, it was time to eat…one of my favourite things to do!  So we headed back to the gardens on the harbour front to the famous night market which serves sooooo many goodies it’s hard to decide what you want first!  Samosas? Check.  Calamari kebabs? Check.  Zanzibar pizza?  Check…and eaten 😀  The Zanzibar pizza is the signature dish; essentially its a crepe with a filling but it’s yummier than you think!  After stuffing myself silly, it was time to head back to the guesthouse for a good night’s sleep before the adventure really began!

We started the next day with a spice tour but since I hated it, I’m not even going to dedicate a sentence, never mind a post to it.  Moving on…

It was the afternoon when I really fell in love with Zanzibar.  We all climbed into a matatu (Africa mini-bus) and drove for an hour through villages and plantations until we reached the North of the island; the place that honeymoon photos are made of 🙂

But if you want to see THOSE photos, you’ll have to come back for future posts.  Trust me; it will be worth it 🙂

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  1. Erik van de Ven

    I love Stone Town!

  2. I LOVE your pics Toni! It sounds like an amazing place – I’d love to visit one day x

  3. Erik – I unexpectedly fell in love with it despite people telling me I wouldn’t enjoy it!

  4. Scarlett – thank you lovely 🙂 The town did all the ‘talking’ it needed to; I just took the photos 😉 x

  5. Izy – do everything you can to get your butt to Tanzania -you won’t regret it! 😀

  6. He he, might not go swimming there then if the waters are full of vomit! 😉

  7. Tammy – the vomit could be worth it if you see all the turtles 😉 haha

  8. Nete

    Hi Toni .such a refreshing article about Tanzania. As we say in Tanzania karibu sana. I am so glad you enjoyed your stay in stone town. Were you able to travel to the northern part or mafia island?