Auric Air on Tanga airport departing to Zanzibar

Zanzibar – the name of this island resonates so much wanderlust. „Hakuna matata“ (Don´t worry) and „Pole pole“ (Slowly, slowly) determine the island´s lifestyle. Zanzibar seems to be one of the last tropical destinations that can be easily reached from Europe, but still has little or no tourism in many parts of the island.

cockpit view while flying to Zanzibar
Zanzibar from above flying AuricAir

Paradisiac

but differently
women in water harvesting seagrass Jambiani Zanzibar
view from ocean on Jambiani beach Zanzibar
kids playing in streets of Jambiani Zanzibar

Ebb and flow define the daily beach life at the beautiful white beaches at the east coast like Jambiani and Matemwe. The coast is paradisiacal – but unlike elsewhere. Even at high tide swimming is difficult due to the whirlpool temperatures and very shallow water stirred up with sea grass. Watch your steps during mudflat when walking becomes very challenging in between thousands of sea urchins and starfish.

woman coming out of water with seagrass
exotic orange fruit Zanzibar
boys in Jambiani village with Kofia
woman walking into the sea at sunset in Jambiani

Pure Loneliness

in Matemwe

Matemwe is a real jewel with only a very few people at the beach during high season. Most of the accommodations, built as Eco Boutique hotels, are charmingly integrated into the village. Good to know: There is either a very local bus to town (impossible to make it with luggage) or taxis at a price of 80 dollars one-way.

overlooking Matemwe beach and palmtrees from Zanzibar Bandas hotel
kids running and on bike at Matemwe beach
kids playing at Matemwe beach while it is getting dark
leaving mnemba atoll after diving

From Matemwe it is a half hour drive over gravel roads to the diving schools north of Kigomani, which go out to the Mnemba atoll.

Stonetown

Like a maze

old restored building in Stonetown
arabic street sign in Stonetown
schoolgirls in streets of stonetown
men in Kaftan in streets of Stonetwon
kids jumping into the water at sunset in Stonetown

Stonetowns Arabic and Indian influences are noticeable at first glance. The capital of Zanzibar (Unesco World Heritage Site) is lively and very humid. No matter how well you study the map, you will immediately get lost in the narrow alleys.

men selling art in street of stonetown
man selling food at Stonetown night market
octopus at fish market in stonetown for selling
people crowd at Jawns corner Stonetwon

During the day one sees few Zanzibaris. But after sunset and slightly less sultriness, the women flock in large groups with their children to the Forodhani food market on the promenade and it gets really crowded in the small park. If the stomach plays along, dinner can be quite cheap for local meals like grilled octopus, Shawarma or the famous Zanzibar pizza.

impressive huge door in stonetown

Very impressive are the old Swahili doors made of teak and mahogany, decorated with elaborate carvings. The metallic tips are reminiscent of Indian influences, as they once served as protection against elephants.

The Darajani market is an absolute highlight. I love to soak up impressions in the middle of the daily hustle and bustle. The fish hall and the auctions in front of it are worth seeing. Zanzibar is famous for its spices. Coffee is sold with a subtle taste of ginger, cloves or cinnamon.

old man on Stonetown market in front of shop
entrance to Stonetown market
Chilli in House of spices in stonetown
banana bush on Stonetown market
man preparing fish at market in Stonetwon
Stopover in

Dar Es Salaam

people on ferry with skyline of Daressalam in background
skyline of Daressalam from hotel at sunset

24 hours in the capital of Tanzania were more rewarding and less chaotic than imagined. Dar es Salaam isn´t particularly dangerous, although it was certainly advisable to walk to Kariakoo Market (the largest market in East Africa) without valuables. But after nightfall at the latest, there is no way around than by a booked taxi. Interesting to know: A little outside of the city yo can expect one of the most beautiful beaches of the country.

fisher boats while arriving at Daressalam harbour
looking on street food sellers from above in Daressalam