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Stone Town, Zanzibar, Part 1

After a couple of days in Mwanza, my friend Carsten and I headed to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s capital city. It’s a wild city, infamous for its traffic jams and heat. We didn’t have much of a chance to explore the city itself, as the next morning we set off for the island of Zanzibar via ferry. Some within Zanzibar are seeking political independence from Tanzania, and there’s certainly a ‘feeling’ within Zanzibar that sets it apart, culturally, from the Tanzanian mainland.

Our stay began in Stone Town, which is the ‘older’ part of the island in terms of its architecture, and in some respects, its culture. There is a fairly pronounced Islamic influence throughout this area of the city, from the abundant mosques to the open-air market, full of merchants selling spice blends and coffees. Carsten described it well when he said the place was full of culture.

From its narrow, winding alleyways and its random niches full of locals discussing politics, to its gorgeously antique architecture and abundance of stray cats, the place exudes history. I immediately fell in love with its intricate doorways and windows, and later, with its sunsets as we sat on the dock drinking sugar cane juice and eating dinner from the street vendors. To deem it a special place is a gross understatement.

As per always, the photos provide a better description than I do. More this week. 

Ali Campbell1 Comment