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Zanzibar Part 1 – Stonetown

I leave the Jeep in a secure parking lot in Dar Es Salaam and jump on the passenger ferry across to the island of Zanzibar. It is possible to take vehicles on a different ferry, but the price is exorbitant, so we choose instead to become regular old backpackers for a week. At the passenger ferry I’m shocked to see so many foreign tourists – now we’re really on the well-trodden tourist path of East Africa. Everyone is either just coming from, or about to head of on Safari into the Serengeti and around.

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Arriving to stunning views

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Tropical paradise

Arriving in Stonetown is tropical paradise. White sand, warm water and white sand beaches are plentiful, and stone town itself is bursting with history and interesting corners to explore.

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One country sign the Jeep will never reach.. Zanzibar is currently part of Tanzania, but wants to be its own country

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Drinking a coffee on the street

Over a couple of days we wander around, eating street food and trying hard to get talked into buying every trinket known to man.

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The streets of Stonetown are packed with delights for tourists

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At the market

The slave museum here is one of the best I have ever seen, and does a fantastic job of explaining the history of the island. Slaves were brought here from all over Africa – as far afield as The Congo and everything in between. Whenever possible the slaves escaped, bought their own freedom or were bought by people living on Zanzibar. At the end of slavery many were freed on the island, and all of these people displaced from all over Africa decided to stay and make a home here. That means the food, music, dancing, religions and literally every facet of the culture on Zanzibar is a mix of most of Africa. It’s extremely vibrant, friendly and welcoming, and I immediately love the vibe.

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The famous fish market – the haggling was intense

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Everyone is super friendly

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A storekeeper in the Stonetown market

The island is much bigger than I thought, and we have some exploring to do!

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Freshly squeezed sugar cane drink poured over ice

-Dan

All photos in this post taken by Emily – www.emilysheff.com

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