Day 20: beach time on Zanzibar

I’ve had one line from the Patty Duke show in my head for weeks… “From Zanzibar to Barclay square.” If I remember correctly, this was referencing Patty’s cousin Cathy who came to live with Patty’s family in New York. Cathy was portrayed as exotic because she had an accent and lived in Zanzibar. For 32 years, this has been my only reference to Zanzibar, so I was very excited to find out more about these islands.

After reading that the ferry ride across the Indian Ocean is often choppy, I realized that the first hurdle would be getting there. My history with boat travel is dire. I’ve not been on many boats in my life, so in high school when my family went on a trip to New York City and took the ferry to Ellis Island I was NOT pleasantly surprised to find out that boats seem to make me more nauseous than cars. Most recently, I ended the romantic sunset cruise Rich and I took on our honeymoon in St. Lucia by vomiting. So, needless to say, I was a bit concerned about the ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar… But after all of this build up I’m happy to report that I was fine! We upgraded to first class to get nicer seats and air conditioning and I slept the entire way (2 hours).

Upon arrival we met a Zanzibar-based company that would coordinate any activities we wanted to do over the next 3 days. We all decided that we were interested in a Spice Tour, so on our way north to Nuwangi, where we’d be staying for the next two days, we stopped for the tour. We were expecting a plantation producing mass quantities of spices but, instead, we arrived at what we found out was someone’s private collection that had a sample of all of the spices and fruits that are grown on Zanzibar. We learned loads – here are some pics of what we saw:




The tour ended with our guide climbing a coconut tree to get us fresh coconut (without safety ropes – incredibly nerve-wracking for us, just watching!)Tree Climber and sampling all of the other fruit that was found around the property.

We made it to our hotel in Nungwi around lunchtime and were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful beach view, a room with air conditioning, and a few hours to do whatever we wanted. The tour has been great, but it was nice to break up the organization with some time to explore on our own. Nungwi is a small town with mostly resorts, but I found a local restaurant on Trip Advisor (“Chef’s Baking Shop”)and we decided to give it a try for lunch. We both had fresh fish, rice, and a drink.

Other than the swarms (literally…dozens) of flies in the restaurant our meal tasted great and was VERY cheap. The bill came to 6,000, which is $4 USD. To put this into context, we ended the day with a buffet on the beach with our group and it was 23,000 each. The beach buffet was also nice, but I’d highly recommend the local place to anyone visiting Nungwi.


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