Top Places To Visit in Zanzibar
Hotels and Homestays in Zanzibar
Weekend Getaways from Zanzibar
Zanzibar. The name itself had always conjured up images of the exotic in my imagination, having once been a centre for spice, ivory and more infamously slave trade, so with a few weeks at my disposal I wasted no time in taking a short diving holiday there with a couple of friends. Type the name of this little East African island into any internet search engine and its appeal is obvious - countless images of picture-postcard palm-fringed beaches, vibrant turquoise waters and deeply coloured sunsets. A real paradise.
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Spice tour and Stone Town tour combined - $50pp (including lunch, guides and transfers). From 9am- 7pmSpice Tour – we got to learn about Zanzibar’s plants. It was interesting, but we expected a bit more to it. Don't buy anything there, everything is much cheaper in Zanzibar town.
At sunset, at Forodhani Park on the waterfront, a night market pops up, where you can watch cooks swiftly grilling meats, octopus tentacles, lobsters, crayfish, squid, and other types of seafood.Sugarcane juice stands squeeze in between Zanzibari Pizza vendors—if you’re Bengali or familiar with ‘mughlai parathas’ you’re bound to let out a gleeful exclamation when you come across them. They basically take a small ball of well-oiled dough, thin it out, and start frying it on a fl at hot pan. Then goes in whatever ingredients you asked for—like chicken or beef or fish—and then a mixture of peppers and onions, finally there’s an egg then gets poured into the middle of the flatbread/paratha.The edged are folded in to hold all the ingredients and create a squarish shape. It’s crisped up slightly and served with a drizzle of mayonnaise and cheese. Not hugely different from the Mughlai paratha of Calcutta. As I watched one being made, I wondered how it travelled all the way from Bengal, across the Ocean to Zanzibar.
The Blue Mosque
It is not as old or as historic as its rivaling ’Hagia Sophia’ but like the grand building it stands facing, Sultan Ahmet mosque popularly called ‘the blue mosque’ is the dream of an emperor, his highest aspiration, standing out like the solitaire bedecked in a ring amongst its contemporaries.Its victory stroke is that it is not dead yet. Its spacious halls, glistening ceramics and chandeliers hanging from sky high ceilings are all alive with the prayers of many believers that knock on its doors and kneel on its floors. While outsiders to the faith queue in front of its majestic doors, waiting for their turn in its grand courtyard examining its galleries. When the clock bids and the devotees depart, the vistors enter eagerly. Failing to mimic the order of the believers, the visitors totter around in deference holding their shoes in plastic bags, admiring the mosque and appreciating the delicate carving at the mihrab from a distance. After a few minutes of silence, pictures and videos, visitors make a quiet exit into the courtyard. There are six elegant minarets from where the call for prayers is made five times a day, nine mighty domes that reverberate with devotion, the 260 windows that let in the light and 20,000 blue tiles fitted on its ceilings – all tell the story of four hundred years that it has been standing for.