Zanzibar Urban/West

Here you’ll find travel reports about Zanzibar Urban/West. Discover travel destinations in Tanzania of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

43 travelers at this place:

  • Day48

    Cooking class, Dole

    November 22, 2017 in Tanzania

    Because we spent a long time at the beach already, we decided to go back to Stone Town and to do a cooking class.

    We went shopping at the market, then took a Dalla Dalla to a spice farm, had a quick spice tour and then started preparing a fish curry, a vegetable curry, pilau rice and chapatis (watch out friends, next time on a dinner invitation, you will get African food and fresh chapati).

    Awesome experience really!
    Read more

  • Day38

    Stone Town, Zanzibar

    November 12, 2017 in Tanzania

    Sitting next to the pilot in the airplane of Coastal Aviation, we landed on Zanzibar, our last destination of this trip.

    First location, Stone Town. With its narrow streets it is a little bit like a maze, a pretty place, but also a pretty touristy place!

    Here we see more Mzungus (white people), than at any other place on our trip so far. However for us, it was quite refreshing, to meet fellow travellers. We didn’t mind at all. By coincidence, we met 2 Greek friends, we knew from Nicaragua 3 years ago.

    Best thing about Stone Town: Food! Generally Africa hasn’t served us the best food, but here things are changing. We love the Zanzibar kitchen, the Biryanis, the curries, the spices, ... it is so good, that being full after a meal sucks 😲!

    We were staying 2 nights in the Jambo Guest House, then took a Dalla Dalla to the beach.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • 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.
    Read more

  • 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
    Read more

  • Day23

    Karrabu Inn

    July 1, 2017 in Tanzania

    This place was on the average side of things, the rooms were dark, out dated and simple (compared to other upgrades for the same price) but that's okay there was one positive - I have a room to myself, I haven't had a room (or tent) to myself in so long. It is going to be nice to be able to do simple things like walk around in my underwear without offending anyone.

  • 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!
    Read more

  • Day10

    10. Tag Stonetown Stadtbesichtigung

    September 27, 2016 in Tanzania

    Heute stand eine Stadtbesichtigung von Stonetown, die Spicetour inklusive Lunch und die Weiterfahrt nach Nungwi auf dem Programm.

    Da Sansibar zu 98% muslimisch ist, sollte man als Frau zumindest in der Hauptstadt Stonetown nicht allzu freizügig rumlaufen. Es reicht jedoch wenn man Schultern und Knie bedeckt. Männer können tragen was sie wollen. Der auf Sansibar praktizierte Islam unterscheidet sich von dem in anderen muslimischen Gesellschaften. Man respektiert auch bereitwillig andere Glaubensrichtungen.

    Bei der Fahrt in die Innenstadt habe ich zu Alex gesagt, dass es hier aussieht wie im Wolkenrasen, einer Plattenbausiedlung, in meiner Heimat Sonneberg. Zufällig habe ich später gelesen, dass dies das Wohngebiet Michenzani ist, dass in den 1970er Jahren mit Hilfe der DDR im Stil der damaligen DDR-Architektur errichtet wurde. Mich interessierte das und ich habe noch einmal die Hintergründe recherchiert. Das Sultanat Sansibar war über Jahrhunderte in arabischer Hand. 1964 putschten sich Anhänger der afrikanischen Landbevölkerung an die Macht und Präsident Abeid Karume rief die "Volksrepublik Sansibar" aus. Eine der ersten Amtshandlungen des Präsidenten war die diplomatische Anerkennung der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik. Die DDR bedankte sich daraufhin mit einem groß angelegten Wohnungsbauprojekt.

    Zurück zur Stadtbesichtigung. Diese haben wir zu Fuß gemacht. Die Häuser im historischen Stadtkern sind aus Korallenstein und stehen dicht aneinander und es gibt unzählige enge Gassen. Die meisten Gebäude sind aus dem 19. Jhd. und es sind nur noch ca. 10 Prozent davon im guten Zustand. Auch das sogenannte House of Wonders, was ursprünglich als Zeremoniestätte der Sultane und zuletzt als Nationalmuseum diente wird aufgrund des schlechten Zustands derzeit gar nicht mehr genutzt. Es heißt übrigens House of Wonders, da es das erste Haus auf Sansibar war, dass über Elektrizität verfügte.

    Danach haben wir das Old Fort angeschaut. Es fungierte ursprünglich als portugiesische Schutzanlage. Heute finden hier Konzerte und andere Aufführungen statt.

    Unsere Tour ging am Geburtshaus von Freddie Mercury vorbei. Ich wusste gar nicht das er in Sansibar-Stadt in eine aus Indien stammende persische Familie geboren wurde. Es ist soweit ich weiß auch die einzige Berühmtheit der Stadt.

    Vom 17. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert bildete die Insel Sansibar unter der Herrschaft des Sultans von Oman ein Zentrum des ostafrikanischen Sklavenhandels. Wir haben ein Museum und eine Gedenkstätte besucht. Es muss grausam gewesen sein.

    Einige Häuser in in der Stadt sind mit gut erhaltenen Swahili Türen ausgestattet. Sie sehen sehr prachtvoll aus und sind auch sehr teuer.

    Es gab viele Souvenirshops. Ich war an einem großem Bild auf Leinen interessiert und fragte einfach mal nach dem Preis. 90 $ wollte der Verkäufer haben. Da ich heute nicht kaufen wollte, habe ich einfach mal ausprobiert wie weit er sich runter handeln lässt. Ich wollte aber auch nicht unverschämt sein. Also sagte ich 30 $. Nach einigen hin und her hätte ich es auch dafür bekommen. Gut zu wissen für das Nächste mal.

    Im Reiseführer heißt es "(...) überall duftet es nach kulinarischen Spezialitäten (...). Das kann ich so nicht bestätigen. Ich empfand die Stadt als sehr arm und trist. Die Speisen, die an manchen Ständen verkauft wurden sahen nicht sehr appetitlich aus und "geduftet" hat nur der Fischmarkt. Der Geruch war so stark, dass ich das Gebäude nicht betreten konnte. Alex ging hinein und ich wagte nur ein paar Blicke von außen. Ich weiß gar nicht wie ich das beschreiben soll. Die schönsten und größten Fische wurden den Boden entlang gezogen, überall waren Fliegen, es gab kein Eis, noch nicht mal Wasser um den Fisch zu kühlen und die Fische wurden bevor man sie in die Verkaufshalle gebracht hatte erstmal vom Auto auf die Straße geschmissen. Ich fand es sehr unhygienisch und mit ist der Appetit auf Fisch in dem Moment vergangen. Am Fischmarkt endete unsere Stadtbesichtigung und wir machten uns auf Richtung Norden.

    Übrigens kann man nur hier in Stonetown Geld vom Automaten abheben. Man muss also genügend Bargeld holen und ein bisschen schon vorher überlegen wie viel man braucht. Hoffentlich reicht das was wir geholt haben. Ansonsten kann man im Hotel auch mit Visa zahlen, aber da wird meistens nochmal eine Gebühr in Höhe von 5% aufgeschlagen.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Zanzibar Urban/West Region, Zanzibar Urban/West, Mkoa wa Mjini Magharibi

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now