Tanzania: Zanzibar

It took us over a year of traveling, but we might have found it…the most beautiful beach in the world.  Seriously, the water is turquoise.  It is so clear that you can see down to your feet at great depths.  The sand is soft, white, clean and squeaky…think baking flour.  The beers are large (and $2).  I can’t imagine a better place.

To be honest, neither could Joshua…the beach was packed with magazine photo shoots…of what else, but girls in bikinis.

To get to heaven, you just need to fly to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and board a 3 hour ferry to Zanzibar.  Our first stop was Stone Town where we spent an afternoon wandering through it’s complicated alley ways.  No map would do it justice.  So we got lost in the narrow streets, looking for nothing in particular until we heard that Freddy Mercury was born on the island.  Then we made it our mission to find his house…it ended up being around the corner from where we started our search which we discovered after battling the maze.


From Stone Town, we spent an hour getting to one of the northern beaches and our home for a few days: Kendwa.  The best part was the beauty was a total surprise to us!  Having no time to do advance research, we were ecstatic when we saw the beach, water, everything at Kendwa…in the middle of Africa, no less.

We spent our days wisely.  One was dedicated to watching supermodels, reading books and generally not moving.  Another, we boarded a local boat for a trip to Mnemba Island.

Along the way, dolphins danced around our boat…one seasick passenger picked up her sagging head and started jumping up and down at the sight.  So it seemed her motion sickness was related to dolphin proximity.  We literally saw one jump 6 feet out of the water.   Seaworld, meet your new talent.

We passed an island that costs over $1,000/night to stay.  It’s nickname is the Bill Gates Island by locals because he once stayed the night and there was a rumor he bought it.  The mystery lives on.

We snorkeled in beautiful water while fish swam between our legs.  It was so much better than our recent SCUBA nigthmares…the reefs were so shallow there was no reason to go any deeper.  We explored the water free from heavy packs on our backs.  No one ran out of air or sat on a sea anemone.

Finally, our captain took us to the beach where our chef had cooked up a tuna (caught that morning) that turned out to be one of the best meals we had in Africa.  Much better than the previous day’s catch of the day red snapper that gave Joshua a taste of food poisoning.  Another first for him and a reminder that we are still traveling.


Each day ended at the cabana bar happy hour with a tall Tusker, Kilimanjaro (if you can’t climb it, drink it) or a Serengeti while watching Arab dhow boats sail close to the beach.  It was hard to miss the Masai warriors (employed as beach security guards – their natural profession) walking by.


After recovering from the overwhelming slothful and gluttonous behavior associated with beautiful beach islands, we found the strength to visit a local turtle lagoon filled with Hawksbill’s and large green turtles.   We got up close with the little guys and brought fresh kelp out for the big guys, weighing up to 300 pounds.


The best part about traveling with our small crew was that we could be as ridiculous as we wanted without caring.  So in Mzuzu, Malawi we scored an unexpected jackpot.  There was a market where all the worst of the worst donated clothing was brought back to life, stains and all.  Too ugly for local Goodwill’s or Salvation Army’s, the choices were incredible…I ended up with a lilac jumpsuit and Joshua came away with parachute pants and an embroidered vest.  We all supported the local economy with our purchases and entertained our company in Zanzibar with a night in full costume…had Joshua and I done this alone, I’m not sure it would have been the same fun.  But you are looking at our Halloween costumes for this year…Jasmine and Aladdin.


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