When night falls over Stone Town, the few lights on the narrow streets fight against the dark, giving a new face to the old town. Youngsters racing with their scooters trough empty alleys, street food sold for late visitors and shadows escapes around the next corner. And you never knows from where the strange sounds comes, echoing in the alleys.
The biggest surprise was the openness of the village people. Despite all the tourism on the beach, the village just back of it, seems hardly to see any foreigners. Old people greeting friendly, while kids waving and shouting enthusiastically to me. Some small kids were even so afraid of a strange looking white man they started to cry. But mostly i got a open smile in my camera and laughters after they’ve seen their faces in the screen. If someone would ask me about the most beautiful spots on Zanzibar, i’d response in the smiling faces of the village people.
After i found the beach of Jambiani quite average, i walked trough the village. Ducks crossing my way, cows roaming around, doves hiding in their shelters. The people sitting in front of the houses, waving me very friendly and having a chat. Wood lies behind the houses for their kitchen. Several boreholes on the streets provide the people with fresh water. A very picturesque and peaceful image of a village.
The officially name is Chumbuu island, but everyone knows it as ‚Prison Island‘. Originally slaves were kept on that island, before they’re sold to Arabic destinations. The British forbidden the slavery. Although there was built a prison after that era, it was never used as such. Instead it became a quarantine island in times of yellow fever epidemic. From the buildings are not much to see anymore. A holiday resort with big nice pool opened and the main attractions is the turtle sanctuary with Aldabra Giant Turtles, brought from the Seychelles.
Zanzibar! The island who draws many picturesque fantasies in our mind. For long time i refused to visit that pricey island, but gave in my curiosity. Stone Town, the first steps on the island, got me immediately. The mixture of culture and architecture, narrow alleys and open ocean, sea breeze and spicy scents, sunburned tourists and smiley locals.
Take a look on my first impressions…