Zanzibar, an island rich in history for the old slave market and world renown spices. Now you can watch the locals gathering seaweed during low tide which they sell for cosmetic use.
We knew that the the tide goes so far out in Jambiani that you can only swim during parts of the day. Instead of a hindrance this became one of the highlights of our trip. Not only for the fun of walking out and seeing baby eels, reef fish and sea stars but for the amazing culture of this area as women and men harvested the seaweed and carried it in huge bags on their heads.
There is a lot more to Zanzibar island than it’s warm turquoise water and powder sugar sand. You can experience spice farms, witch doctors, a huge seafood BBQ market in Stone Town, crazy full moon parties in Paje, mangroves and an endangered species. Introducing the Zanzibar Red Colobus monkey, who can only live in Zanzibar where it can find the 60+ different plant species it needs to survive.
You can see these adorable primates (who only have 4 fingers and no thumb) in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park. There are also Sykes monkeys living in harmony with the Red Colobus.
Travel Tip- you’ll be approached by many different people selling tours. We rented a kayak with snorkel gear for $10 an hour (total for two) and did our own ‘snorkel tour’. Another day we rented a scooter for $25 and drove all around including Jozani Park ($10 each entrance fee) and the Butterfly Center ($5 each). Another important Travel Tip- there are NO ATM machines on the East side of the island, so get your shillings in Stone Town before your taxi ride across. Yes, it’s shillings, and it takes 2,000 to equal one US dollar (as of this writing) so be prepared for a little heart attack when you get your first bill (we had a fancy lunch that cost 89,000).
You will probably learn some Swahili phrases from the exuberant locals, and if nothing else sticks you will still walk away with ‘Jambo!’ (Hello). This is shouted by smiling children on the beach, shop keepers sitting in the shade, and every person you pass on the street or strolling down the white sands.