This wasn’t my first trip to Zanzibar, but it was definitely better than the first one.
From Comoros, we connected through Dar es Salaam, the capital, a disorganized visa/passport process, and then a 20min flight over to Zanzibar.
The hotel offered the same government rate as the taxi price to pick us up, so we did that, figuring it was easier.
Walking around Zanzibar, people kept telling us “no corona in Zanzibar, you can take off your mask.” The attitude was interesting, because there definitely IS coronavirus in Zanzibar, there are people in the hospital dying from it right now, and your country just re-opened to tourists without any restrictions, so there’s probably more COVID now. We continued wearing our masks whenever around other people.
We were surprised at not only how full the beaches were but also the stark contrast between males of all ages (playing, diving, doing whatever they want) and females of all ages (none going past their knees in the water, none wearing swimsuits just normal clothes).
After winding through the twisting alleys of Stone Town and along the beach, we wound up near the old fort and the main square. These guys jumping into the water was a big crowd-pleaser.
The next morning, we went to the Freddie Mercury museum. While it had some interesting information, it was also both small and totally silent on anything personal about him. There’s no mention of him being gay, how he died, his lifelong boyfriend, nothing. He’s a singer and then just one day he’s dead. There was a photo of his ex-fiancée at his funeral, almost like they want to cover up that he’s gay. Being gay is illegal in Tanzania, so they want to make money off of his legacy as being born there while also ignoring the full story of who he was.
I couldn’t participate in much diving while in Zanzibar, because the dive sites were too far away for me to get back in time for starting work. That part was a big disappointment. I was able to do one night dive, which was ok but nothing incredible.
While the first half of the week we spent in Zanzibar was full of activities like the museum and diving, the latter half was just relaxing. We sat by the pool, walked along the beach, and just generally took it easy. We also did laundry, since we’d been on the road for a while.
Stone Town is a really interesting place. If you go one block over from where you are right now, it could be totally different. Tons of shops or maybe a quiet artist’s space. A mosque or now markets & restaurants.
We liked the vibe and the warm, blue water in the sea. It was also a great place to spend New Year. Not sure if or when we’d go back, since there are so many other places to see, but we left with good memories.This entry was posted in Africa, Tanzania, Zanzibar