Africa: A beautiful continent made up of over 50 countries. It was definitely on my list of places to visit, but of course I was thinking more of South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, and Ghana. Not one time did Tanzania come to mind until my friend said, “Hey, we’re going to Zanzibar.” What is there to do in Zanzibar? Her response was we would find out once we get there. lol. As I’m Googling Zanzibar my face started to light up. The images were amazing. Well, let’s pack a bag and hop on a plane. Zanzibar here we come!
First let me say from New York you spend about 19 hours in the air flying and that includes a layover in beautiful Milan. As we were approaching, the time quickly went out of my head as I was staring at clear blue water, white sand and gorgeous lush green trees. I was already intrigued. When you land you’re quickly directed towards customs. There you pay for a visa, which cost $100.00 for U.S passport holders. Once we got to the hotel and dropped our bags we did a walking tour of Old Stone Town. Our driver/tour guide was great. We did visit the old slave trade market, which was a little tough for me. Entering one of the many cramped chambers where they housed 75 women and children brought out, not only anger, but sadness as well. The chambers were so tiny. They had low ceilings with only three holes in the wall that would provide sunlight. Oh, and the bathroom! Ha! It was the floor. So I’m pretty sure that some of them slept in their own piss and shit. What really broke me was the memorial for the slaves. It depicts 5 slaves standing with chains around their necks. Just by looking at it my heart broke into a million pieces. I will say that this was the hardest part of the tour. To lighten up the trip we did a tour of one of the many spice markets. It was a good tour. You learn the history of different spices and what they use them for. You also get to taste some of the spices and fruits, which was a plus for me. I will warn you, they will try to sell various things to you such as: homemade soaps, oils, and of course, spices. To end the day we had dinner at The Rock Restaurant. A beautiful restaurant strategically located in the ocean but the food was sub par. I would suggest you go just to see it and take some pictures.
The next day had to be one of the best experiences of my life. We booked reservations to Cheetah Rock. For $140.00 they provide transportation to and from the reservation and it also includes the entrance fee. Once you get there you are briefed on the different animals that you will see and also your safety. The interactions with the animals were amazing. You’re entering their habitat and they’re jumping on you eating the food out of your hands. We saw Lemurs, a Zebra, White Lion, Peacocks, Hyenas, a Monkey and others. The best part was meeting Tyson. A beautiful and friendly cheetah that you can not only pet but you can take a picture with and yes he will try to kiss you. I will say that all my fears went away once Tyson was released to us. He was the most playful, loving cheetah I’ve ever met. Keep in mind he’s the only cheetah that I’ve had a face to face encounter with. So Cheetah Rock is definitely a place you should visit if you’re an animal lover.
Of course the day before we leave we decided to go the beach. We went to Kwenda beach and it was gorgeous! White sand, clear blue water, and a beautiful blue sky made everything worthwhile. There is a restaurant on the beach so you can eat, drink, and surf the web. Yes they have Wi-Fi. The water was cold at first but the longer you stayed the warmer it got. It was about an hour drive from the hotel. After the beach we went shopping in Old Stone Town. We brought fabrics, handmade baskets, clutches, wooden animal statues, and I was able to purchase a beautiful painting. Keep in mind that everything you purchase is homemade and supports the community. No big corporations here.
All in all I’m glad I was able to experience Zanzibar and all that it has to offer. The hotel that we stayed at was called The Africa House which included breakfast. If you plan on visiting I can give you the information of the driver. Remember Cheetah Rock and Kwenda Beach. If you have any questions feel free to ask below and I will try my best to answer them.
Until the next adventure guys!