Tuesday, July 14th
A Week in Zanzibar, and My Final Post of Africa
Well, on Monday July 6th, our group headed out to Kilimanjaro airport to part our ways. After a long and fun month of studying at SFS, many students were heading back to the states while some of us were heading to Zanzibar (an island off of the Tanzanian mainland) for a week. This was a pretty hard goodbye, since we had all grown very close to each other in a short period of time. But, I was excited to start my next adventure, and I know I will see most of these wonderful people again.
We were staying near Stone Town in a beautiful hostel called Maruhubi Beach Villas. This place was amazing, and ~$25 a night! We were right on the ocean, had a wonderful pool and lounge area, free breakfast and wonderful service. I would definitely go back there any day!
We spent our days adventuring in Stone Town, which is a very old and beautiful town, with amazing architecture and the place where Swahili was born! We ate at many different restaurants and even found a cute coffee shop that we frequented. The seafood here was amazing, and just some of the amazing dishes I had consisted of prawn pasta, red snapper in green Thai curry, seafood ravioli, lobster gnocchi and seafood curry… all of it was SO amazing! One night we went to the night market, where many vendors set up small food shops after 6:30pm. Here we had some amazing beef kabobs, chapati, coconut-lime juice and nutella peanut butter crepes. The island has such a mix of traditional Tanzanian, Arabic and Indian cuisine that the taste buds are always up for a treat. And it’s so cheap! A LARGE bowl of pasta loaded with seafood will run about $6-$7.
Besides exploring Stone Town and chilling by the pool, we also did a couple of day adventures. One afternoon we spent snorkeling at some reefs in the Indian Ocean! Another day we went to the East side of the island to have a beach day then go to The Rock. The Rock is the restaurant/bar pictured above. It is situated on a rock off the coast (imagine that) and when the tide goes out you can walk to it, otherwise you have to take a boat! The idea and the set up was pretty nifty. Other than that, we enjoyed shopping and relaxing, as Zanzibar truly is a paradise. It was a nice break, but I definitely enjoy the mainland culture and life more.
It’s crazy to think that I have to leave this country. I enjoyed my time here so much and all of the people I have met. I definitely had tears in my eyes as I boarded the plane to head to Amsterdam. I will be back, sooner rather than later. Tanzania (and this experience) will forever hold a special place in my heart. Ninapenda sana. Baadaye. Tanzania yetu. Hakuna matata. Pole pole. For now, I am awaiting to board my final flight to Chicago and say good bye to one of my best friends from the trip. This past day has been long, but I can’t wait to share my experiences when I get home, and plan my next adventure out here.