I got so used to seeing amazing beasts from the car on safari that I was still looking for cheetahs when we drove from Zanzibar Airport to Stone Town! Alas, no! The traffic jams were no longer a sign of wild animal sightings but the real thing. However, if there is a city vibe that will spark up the senses, it is found in abundance in Stone Town, the old quarter of Zanzibar City. Some places just have it. Kathmandu, Bandaneira, Jodhpur, Cochin, and Mrauk U immediately come to mind.
Welcome to Zanzibar
Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The main island, also known as Zanzibar, is famous for its white sand palm fringed beaches, the atmospheric historic city of Stone Town, and competes for the title of Spice Islands with the Maluku islands of Indonesia. It is a center of Swahili culture, the mingling of Bantu, Arab, Persian, and Indian people on the Indian Ocean trade routes. Sounds like a place we would love!… Read more
Safari lodges try to portray themselves as oases of calm amid all the intense activity of a safari. However, it is a little difficult to chill when the room service book contains information on the following:
- What to do when baboons approach you.
- What to do in the event of a scorpion sting.
- How to call up your armed guard to escort you to the restaurant.
- Information on the mating rituals of scorpions.
- How to catch tsetse flies and identify them using your binoculars.
- What to do if a snake enters the room. (You will be relieved to know that the hotel will switch rooms for you if they cannot find the snake).
No mention of lions, leopards, or cheetahs. Maybe the hotel has made its point after mentioning the snakes. Its a jungle out there. Well, a grassland. Thank you Mbalageti Serengeti Lodge for making the stay seem scarier than going for a pee out in the park!
The lodges, of course, have plenty of the deadliest animals on the planet. People. In all their miserable glory. Bitching about the food, the service, the rooms, color of the sunset. I sometimes wonder why some people bother leaving their houses. … Read more