Julia's Photo Album of Zanzibar
The easiest way to get to Zanzibar is with Air Tanzania, via Dar es Salaam. Flights depart from Johannesburg daily at 14h45, arriving in Dar es Salaam at 19h25. From there connecting flights depart at 19h55, to arrive on Zanzibar island at 20h20.
Another option is to fly Kenya Airways, via Nairobi. This is what we did. The journey was comfortable and the staff very friendly, but the highlight of the flight was the incredible view of Mount Kilimanjaro from the window of the plane!
Protea Beach Hotel
A shuttle with a smiling driver took us from the airport to our hotel. As we drove past clay huts with goats all around them, our driver explained some of the culture of Zanzibar - a warm and welcoming holiday destination. Everywhere we went, we were met by cries of "Jambo" - the Swahili word for hello and welcome!
The resort was peaceful, beautiful and very comfortable. The food was delicious and the staff friendly. White beach sand and thousands of palm trees created an atmosphere of tranquil island beauty. Meals were served by the poolside, overlooking the ocean. The poolside bar was fantastic - great vibe, great cocktails and some good fun playing darts, snooker and other games. We swam in the pool, since this hotel is not situated near a good swimming beach. However, we were able to enjoy long walks on the untouched beach and even hired motorbikes for an adventure all the way down the coastline! Kayaks were also available, and scuba diving and snorkeling trips could be arranged at the dive centre.
Tours and Excursions
From the beach at the hotel we had a lovely view of Mnemba Island. Eager to see more of Zanzibar, we went on a day trip to see the dolphins at Kizimkaze. To our delight, we went out to sea in a traditional wooden boat which barely stayed afloat - a thrilling experience! And we saw dolphins too! We were sorry not to have enough time to visit Prison Island too, where giant tortoises are found. Most hotels offer many excursions - enquire at reception and be sure to bargain the price down!
For any visitor to Zanzibar, Stone Town is a must. The capital of Zanzibar, Stone Town is rich in culture and many a guide will be eager to tell you of its history. See the birthplace of Freddy Mercury, the famous carved doors and the many narrow winding streets which lead to tiny shops full of smiling locals selling their wares - from gold jewellery to wooden trinket boxes to hand painted serving platters and exquisite oil paintings - souvenirs abound! At all stalls, prices are negotiable - but the name brand tourist shops are not. We spent an enjoyable day exploring, shopping and sipping drinks at various hotel restaurants - most have beautiful ocean views.
Home via Nairobi
On the return flight to Johannesburg, we had a 10 hour stop in Nairobi - just perfect to do some sightseeing! We enjoyed the natural beauty of the fauna and flora in the nature reserve and then went on to the original Carnivore restaurant for a delicious lunch. The variety of meat available was astounding - ostrich, crocodile, giraffe, zebra, several buck and many more. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was a worthwhile experience. Next we stopped at a giraffe sanctuary and had a chance to hand feed these friendly animals. We had time for a quick drive through the city and then we were back at the airport heading home. What a perfectly wonderful week!