Zanzibar, it’s paradise!
So here’s the thing, I imagined making this trip happen only three years from now.
Why you ask?
Because Zanzibar is known to be expensive. Accommodation, flights, activities, food, you name it.
I however found that my presence was needed in Nairobi December of 2019 so I figured why not? I’m already in East Africa.
I usually prefer to handle all trip admin myself but I opted to have an agent deal with the flights for this trip. I had a lot on my plate and this made my job easier.
We arrived in Zanzibar a little over 13H00 into what I can only describe as the most ghetto experience of my life (ratatataa.)
The Airport was a mess!
Infrastructure is old, it appeared quite small for such a popular destination, and staff was not helpful at all. There was no order, none. I don't know what I expected but it was most certainly not this.
It was packed to capacity (peak season downside) but we somehow managed. After a long wait for our luggage, we finally made our way to our desired destination, Pingwe.
I‘ll tell you one thing, Zanzibar is beautiful. The water is as clear you heard and the sand as white as, well.. Capetown (Slaps knee.)
I was in awe. In heaven, paradise.
Here is why we chose Pingwe.
I obsess about places I want to visit. I talk about them day and night and visit their website regularly until such a time when I can afford to take the trip. One such place was Baladin hotel, in Pingwe.
It's beautiful! Stunning! An Instagrammer's dream, Oh so aesthetically pleasing. The Kelly Rowland of hotels, basically.
The Rock restaurant, unique in that it’s built on a huge rock in the ocean, was also one of the things I had to experience. A small boat gently rows you up to the restaurant during high tides to get you to the rusty stairs. It's stunning, really picturesque.
Our experience at the restaurant was unfortunately not pleasant. We felt sidelined. We were consistently overlooked. Each time we needed something, one of us had to either get up, or very actively signal the waiter. It was upsetting. I do however ask that you give them the benefit of the doubt and not let my experience discourage you, it may have been a bad day and this is too beautiful a thing to pass up.
Activities on the island are fairly cheap, accessible too. Walk down the beach and more than three guys would have offered at least one activity. Cost is between $15 to $30 for a package of activities that includes swimming with dolphins, Snorkeling, Sunset boat cruises and star fish watching.
These are mostly just to feast your eyes. Nothing adventurous, but they get the job done, it's fun.
Pingwe is about 60 KM from Stone Town, because of that, we had no access to any mall or ATM. Our go to for meals were the resorts on the island.
On average, a meal for two cost us about N$ 500, which in my opinion was a fair deal. The food was delicious! Seasoned to perfection and portions large enough to get us through the day. I didn’t have not one bad meal on this trip.
Their cocktails? Divine! Concentrated, just yum!
Stone town was our last stop.
Spending time in Stone Town felt like a step back into time, with faded colonial buildings which I gather have been preserved for tourism purposes.
It's rich in history. This was my favourite activity, very informative.
Stone Town is the best place to mingle with locals, eat local food, shop from the local markets and dance your nights away.
You know what, if you can, spend one night here, coz I sure wish I did.
A few things I've learned.
Accommodation prices in Zanzibar are pretty decent. A four night stay for two can cost as little as N$3000, depending on the kind you choose.
Transport on the other hand is a nightmare! Its so expensive! We paid N$ 1000 for a 30 minute trip, I damn near almost cried.
There are many different islands you can choose from, Nungwi being the most popular. The resorts are also very open to day visitors which is amazing.
Zanzibar is largely Muslim, people are dressed conservatively. To show them respect, I strongly advise against serving leg or cleavage, you get my drill?
Our sole reason for this visit was relaxation and the white sandy beaches, clear waters and tall palm trees served the purpose very, very well.