Tanzania
Stone Town

Here you’ll find travel reports about Stone Town. Discover travel destinations in Tanzania of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

28 travelers at this place:

  • Day146

    Stone Town, Zanzibar

    September 29, 2017 in Tanzania

    We spent just two nights in historic Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Zanzibar was once the center for the slave trade for east Africa and Stone Town was the main administrative port. Narrow winding streets, buildings of stone and coral, and a mix of Arabic and European colonial architecture, mosques, churches and Hindu temples define this small town.
    We found a local guide to take us on a walking tour early in the morning before the full heat and humidity hit. Our guide, Yusef, did a great job highlighting the complicated and often tragic past of this town, including the slave market. The former slave market is now the site of a large Anglican church that was built after slavery was abolished. It was fascinating to have learned about Dr. Livingtone’s legacy in Malawi, then seeing his influence and abolitionist views had a huge impact in Zanzibar. In fact, there was a crucifix made from the tree where he died in Zambia displayed in the church.
    While here, we’ve enjoyed some good food and enjoyed wandering around and getting lost in the maze of streets and alleys.
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  • Day30

    Immer dann, wenn man eigentlich denkt: Jetzt passt wirklich keiner mehr rein, hält das Daladala (dieses mal ein Pickup mit Sitzbänken hinten auf der offenen Ladefläche) an und es steigen weitere Menschen zu, die es faszinierenderweise schaffen, sich zwischen die eh schon eng aufeinanderklebenden Mitfahrer zu quetschen.
    Die Mittagssonne knallt vom wolkenlosen Himmel. Wir halten uns die Tshirts vors Gesicht, um nicht allzu viel von der aufgewirbelte Erde einzuatmen. Die Bank ist so schmal, dass man sich am Seitengestänge festklammern muss, um bei der holprigen Fahrt nicht herunter katapultiert zu werden. Da schätzt
    man doch direkt wieder, wenn sich beim nächsten Stopp eine Mama in den (unfassbar winzigen) Spalt neben einen quetscht und man schöööön von ihr am Platz „fixiert“ wird.

    Wir fühlen uns wie panierte (Massenhaltungs-)Ölsardinen, als wir in Stone Town ankommen.

    In den engen Gassen von Sansibars Hauptstadt tobt das pralle Leben. Emsige Betriebsamkeit bestimmt hier die Atmosphäre.
    Es hupt und quietscht. Menschen schreien und lachen. Gesänge der Muezzin scheppern aus den Lautsprechern. Hunde bellen. Roller schnattern und hupen. Kinder rennen. Katzen streifen einem um die Beine. Es riecht abwechselnd nach Fisch, Urin, Nelken, Zimt, Abgasen, Kaffee, frittiertem Fleisch, Frangipani und verbranntem Müll. Und es wimmelt vor fliegenden Händlern, die einem vehement etwas andrehen wollen.

    Ihre zum Teil starke Aufdringlichkeit ist ihnen nicht zu verübeln, wenn man bedenkt, wie extrem arm viele von ihnen sind. Tansania gehört zu den ärmsten Ländern der Welt, das durchschnittliche Jahreseinkommen liegt bei ca. 500€.
    Gerade in Ballungszentren wie Stone Town (oder auch Dar es salaam) trifft man an vielen Ecken auf diese Armut. Mir wird schwer ums Herz, als ich einen alten Mann mit stockdünnen Beinchen und Ärmchen in zerrupften Klamotten am Boden sitzen sehe. Ich gehe hin und schenke ihm unsere Bananen. Er schaut hoch, bedankt sich mit einem zahnlosen Lächeln und hat einen stolzen Ausdruck in seinen Augen, der mich zutiefst berührt.

    Da fällt mir auf, dass es genau das ist, was mich die letzten Wochen in Tansania so beeindruckt hat.
    So arm die Menschen hier sein mögen, so zerfetzt ihre Klamotten sind und so spärlich sie hausen - Ihren stolzen Blick, den würdevollen aufrechten Gang und ihr wunderschönes ehrliches Lächeln lassen sie sich nicht nehmen.
    Eine Lebenshaltung, die mich fasziniert und vor der ich größten Respekt habe.

    Die Altstadt Stone Towns besteht aus scheinbar wild aneinander gereihten Häusern aus Korallenstein, durch die unzählige kleine Gassen verlaufen.
    Besonders begeistern uns die filigranen Holzverzierungen an den für Stone Town so typischen Swahili-Türen.
    Wir lassen uns so richtig von dem quirligen Chaos aufsaugen, irren ziellos durch die Gassen und Felix fotografiert ungefähr alle Türen dieser Stadt.
    Aus den Häusern dringt arabische Taraab-Musik, überall kann man exotische Gewürze und orientalische Stoffe kaufen. Wir laufen an prachtvollen Sultanspalästen mit gewaltigen weißen Säulen vorbei und spüren tatsächlich den Hauch von 1001 Nacht. Fehlt nur noch, dass Aladin auf seinem Teppich vorbeifliegt.

    Sobald sich die Sonne dem Ozean entgegen neigt, sieht man die ersten eifrigen Sansibaris beim Kartoffel schälen in ihren Garküchen und in den überdimensionalen Woks beginnt das Fett zu brutzeln. Der Anblick der exotischen Leckerbissen lässt einem das Wasser im Mund zusammen laufen.
    Samosa, chapati (Fladenbrot), chipsi mayai (Pommesomelette), pilau (Gewürzreis), mishkaki (Fleischspieß), frisch gepresster Zuckerrohrsaft, gegrillter Tintenfisch, Sansibar-Pizza, Gewürztee und vieles mehr bekommt man auf den „Food-Markets“ für wenig Geld.
    Inklusive Lebensmittelvergiftung. Glücklicherweise knockt sie uns nur für einen Tag aus.
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  • Day18

    Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

    July 30, 2017 in Tanzania

    We left the group on the beach early for an extra day in the capital city. After an eventful taxi journey (which included a Police stop, confiscated insurance & a court appearance for our driver and the start of a scam - which was nipped in the bud straight away) we arrived in Stone Town. Originally a trading port for slaves and spices, it is a large area of tiny lanes and streets of houses, mosques and local meat, fish and spice markets. With no street names, it is a maze and is best approached with a sense of exploration and no real destination in mind. Most of it is a lot less touristy than many cities and time can be spent just watching the world go by with nobody bothering you. We bought some beautiful fresh warm bread rolls (3 pence each) and sat on someone's doorstep to take in everyday life. Later we found an old coffee shop which now serves amazing cake and coffee with a fantastic view from the roof garden.
    Fun fact: Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar.
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  • Day19

    Stone Town day 2, Zanzibar

    July 31, 2017 in Tanzania

    Dinner last night was street food from the night market in the Forodhami gardens on the promenade. Packed with locals it was a great spot for people watching, particularly the crazy kids sprinting and then jumping off the harbour wall. Most somersaulted and spun before belly flopping or face planting into the water. Definitely style over entry. No asking for money, just because they enjoy doing it.
    Stone Town is predominately Muslim, with 50 Mosques plus Islamic schools in a relatively small area. The dress is more conservative than many places we've been so far and as a consequence of the faith is quieter and friendlier- many people want to chat and ask questions (in other cities this is often a lead in to trying to sell something, go to their shop or ask for money).
    More wandering the streets including the meat, fish, vegetable and spice markets. Despite first appearances the meat/fish market doesn't smell and is very clean. This is the sort of place all the meat we eat in restaurants or buy for the truck comes from.
    The architecture is a bit 'faded glory' and would have looked spectacular when new, with influences from European colonial styles.
    Stone Town is definitely a place we've fallen for.
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  • Day23

    Zanzibar Port

    July 1, 2017 in Tanzania

    I have arrived in Zanzibar! I am looking forward to sipping cocktails, relaxing on the beach and eating lots of yummy food.

    I am spending one night in Stone Town and two nights at a beach up north. I was booked in to do the Stone Town walking tour and spice farms as soon as we got to the hotel.

  • Day23

    Slave Trade Exibition

    July 1, 2017 in Tanzania

    It was hard to believe that this happened but it did, going to the exhibition really hit home and the fact that they did this to women and children as well.

    I have attached a picture of two rooms, one held fifty people and the other held over seventy people. The rooms were barely big enough for our group to sit in comfortably. They used to have to lay on top of each other and there would be urine and faeces on the floor in the room with them. How anyone can treat another human the way they did is beyond me! I have included a brief overview of what used to happen below, taken from a website that has been quoted.

    Zanzibar was one of the largest slave ports in the vast Indian Ocean slave trade, which was dominated by Arab slave traders. The Arab slave trade originated before Islam and lasted more than a millennium. The slavers hacked their way from Bagamoyo on the Tanzania mainland coast into the African interior, as far west as the Congo. The slavers traded, bribed chiefs, pillaged and frequently kidnapped to meet the high demand for slaves. The newly acquired slaves were often forced to carry ivory and other goods back to Bagamoyo. The name Bagamoyo is derived from the Kiswahili words "bwaga moyo" which mean 'lay down your heart', because it was here that slaves would abandon any remaining hope of freedom or escape. Slaves who survived the long and perilous hike from the interior were then crammed into wooden boats called dhows bound for the slave markets in Stone Town, Zanzibar.

    It is important to understand that in the context of the Arab Slave Trade, the term Arab represents a culture as opposed to a specific race. Many of the "Arab" slave traders such as Tippu Tip and others were indistinguishable from the "Africans" whom they enslaved and sold. All of the main racial groups in Zanzibar were involved in the slave trade in some way or other. Europeans used slaves in their plantations in the Indian Ocean islands, Arabs were the main traders, and African rulers sold prisoners taken in battle.

    Although best known today as an island paradise, there are many prominent reminders of Zanzibar's dark history in the slave trade around Stone Town and across the island. The market where slaves were confined in dark, airless, underground chambers before being sold still contains the chains bolted to the concrete. A moving memorial now stands where the market once was, reminding visitors and locals alike, of the atrocities committed on that very spot centuries before. Nearby, the Anglican Church contains a wooden cross carved from the tree under which the famous explorer and abolitionist David Livingstone's heart was buried in Zambia. Along the island's coast, several old limestone holding cells where slaves were hidden from crusading British abolitionists still exist. Once slavery was banned, the use of the chambers increased. Some still contain etchings and final messages left by slaves awaiting their sale and transport to a foreign land.

    In 1822, the Omani Arabs signed the Moresby Treaty which made the sale of slaves to Christian's illegal and provided other restrictions. Unfortunately, these restrictions were essentially ignored, and the trade continued to thrive. Then, in 1873 under the threat of bombardment by the British navy, Sultan Barghash was forced to sign an edict making the sea-borne slave trade illegal, and the slave market in Zanzibar was finally closed. Although, slaving was now officially illegal, it continued on the mainland of Tanzania until the defeat of the Germans in the First World War and Britain took over as the colonial power.

    source: http://www.zanzibarpackage.com/slavery-zanzibar
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  • Day16

    Day 15: Stone Town

    March 20, 2011 in Tanzania

    Another early start, bidding a fond farewell to the Springlands Hotel. Although we've only actually spent 3 nights here, it's been our base of operations for the past fortnight and we're sad to leave. So off we piled in a bus for the airport with a bunch of noisy South Africans.

    The ride to the airport was enlivened somewhat by a pair of rally cars screaming past on the highway. An older 911 and a Lancer EVO III. Not far ahead, they slid off the highway and onto a marked rally course, meaning they were taking part in an official organised rally down a live public highway. Both cars overtook us on the wrong side of the road - madness!

    Precision Air lived up to their name, as for the first time ever in Africa something happened early! The flight left about 20 minutes early, and landed in Zanzibar approx 30 minutes. Amazing stuff.

    Stone Town is very different to Moshi and Dar Es Salaam. Our hotel is pretty nice - fresh paint and lovely furnishings. There are a lot more tourists about and the population is more obviously Muslim (though still 95% black).

    We spent most of the afternoon wandering and taking photos. It's not a pretty city, but attractive enough on an African scale I guess. I still felt very self-conscious but tourists are a very common sight, and aside from taxi/ferry touts nobody paid us any attention.

    Ate lunch in a nice cafe near the water and then did a tour of the local Anglican Church. The church was built in the 1880s on the site of the old slave market (Zanzibar was at the centre of the east African slave trade) and serves as a memorial to those who died. A couple of the holding cells have been preserved and they're pretty horrific.

    Back to the hotel, visiting the local market on the way. It was mostly a functional market for locals rather than a tourist market, and thus only had a few interesting items and it mostly stunk like rotting fish, body odour and garbage. We also dropped by the old Arab fort, but it was pretty decrepit and we didn't linger.

    In the evening we went out for a few drinks at a waterfront bar called Mercury's. Freddie Mercury is literally the only famous person to ever come from Zanzibar (he was born here and stayed until age 5 or so), and there's a few things named for him. They had City vs Chelsea on the TV, but we watched the sunset and the local children doing flips and playing football on the beach below us.

    Ate dinner in a large open-air market in Forohdhani Gardens. Seafood skewers and a banana choc pizza, all very nice but definitely at tourist prices. Impressed the two pizza guys with my Swahili knowledge - they pointed at a banana and asked me what the Swahili word was, and luckily it was one of the 15 Swahili words I knew! Ndizi!
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  • Day63

    Stone Town

    March 3 in Tanzania

    Eigentlich wollte die männliche Hälfte unserer Exkursionsgruppe ja keine Tour mehr machen, vor allen Dingen wollte sie keine wuseligen Menschenmassen mehr "durchfluten". Aber Dagmar musste unbedingt die Hauptstadt von Sansibar besuchen: Sansibar-Stadt (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansibar-Stadt) bzw. dessen ältesten Stadtteil: Stone Town (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Town). Also sind wir heute dort hin, und es war dann durchaus ein facettenreiches und eindrucksvolles Erlebnis: Märkte, enge Gassen, koloniale Gebäude, wuseliges Geschäftsleben und stille Orte zum Kaffee trinken ... es war alles dabei. Die Hauptstadt ist ein touristischer Hotspot. Viele europäische Touristen und zahlreiche Stadtführungen sind uns begegnet. Hier ein paar der vielen Eindrücke:Read more

  • Day33

    Stone Town - Zanzibar

    February 6, 2017 in Tanzania

    Die letzten 2 Tage unserer Zeit auf Sansibar haben wir in Stonetown verbracht, welches ein Stadtteil von Sansibar Hauptstadt ist. Einige Leute bei unserem letzten Stop in Paje haben uns zwar erzählt dass es ein bisschen aussieht wie in kleinen Gassen in Italien jedoch war ich/ wir nicht ganz so begeistert. Klar gab es süße/ interessante Orte z.Bwie einen Platz direkt am Meer, wo man sich zwischen 50 verschiedenen Essensständen entscheiden musste jedoch war der Rest der Stadt ziemlich herunter gekommen. Aber muss man auch dazu sagen, dass bei Tag die Stadt schon wieder eine ganz andere Wirkung hatte als bei Nacht. Manche Häuser wirkten dann überhaupt nicht mehr gruselig!
    Wir sind also den einen Tag vor unserem Abflug dann durch die Innenstadt gelaufen und haben uns einfach überraschen lassen ( also die strengen Gerüche vom Fisch und Fleisch Markt haben uns definitiv umgehauen!!) Abends waren wir dann noch in einer Bar, in der hauptsächlich Einheimische waren, sodass fleißig die Hüften geschwungen wurde💃🏼 africam style!
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  • Day183

    In Stone Town haben wir endlich mal wieder vertraute Gesichter gesehen - Alina und Artur! Es ist sooo schön, dass die beiden uns in ihre Urlaubsplanung berücksichtigt haben :) am ersten Tag haben wir uns Stone Town ein wenig angeguckt, die Stadt erinnert mit ihren vielen, gemütlichen Gassen ein bisschen an Italien. Momentan ist Ramadan, deswegen sieht man viele Restaurants, die erst um 18.15h öffnen oder bei einigen ist der Essenbereich durch ein Tuch, was als Sichtschutz dient, abgespannt.
    Am nächsten Tag ging es mit dem Boot nach Prison Island, dort leben Riesenschildkröten, eine war sogar schon 192 Jahre alt, das Alter kann man an den Ringen auf dem Panzer erkennen. Es war ziemlich lustig die kleinen Babys zu sehen, die kleiner sind als eine Hand und dann die großen ausgewachsenen Tiere daneben. Danach haben wir in dem wunderschönen, blauen Wasser geschnorchelt und haben viele Fischis sehen können :)
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Stone Town, مدينة زنجبار الحجرية, Каменен град, Ŝtonurbo, Kivikaupunki, סטון טאון, ザンジバル島のストーン・タウン, სტოუნ-ტაუნი, 스톤타운, Stountaunas, Steinbyen på Zanzibar, Cidade de Pedra, Каменный город, Zanzibars stenstad, Mji Mkongwe, สโตนทาวน์, سٹون ٹاؤن, Thị trấn Đá Zanzibar, 桑给巴尔石头城

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