Zanzibar

JAMBO! That is what the locals will say to you first and after that of course KARIBU. First word means hello and the second one means welcome. So welcome to read my story about Zanzibar.

Zanzibar island is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania in East Africa. Zanzibar historic center is Stone Town which is a World Heritage Site. The main island is about 85 kilometers long and 39 kilometers wide. Zanzibar is mainly low lying with its highest point being 120 meters. Zanzibar’s main industries are spices, raffia and tourism. Zanzibaris speak Swahili. Zanzibar’s population is almost entirely Muslim with a small Christian minority.

We stayed one and a half weeks in Zanzibar. At that time, we visited places like Matemwe, Nungwi, Jambiani, Paje and Stown Town. Zanzibar is a tropical island with white beaches and light blue water. The high tide and low tide makes big difference in the water level. So if you dream about swimming in the ocean all the time you should carefully look where you stay. For example in Nungwi you can always go swimming but in Matemwe and Jambiani you have to walk long time before you can swim. The seabed is also important because in some places there is sandy but in other places there are only rocks. Remember there are many sea urchins between the corals.

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Nungwi beach
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Low tide between Jambiani and Paje
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Low tide in Paje

Being near to the equator the island is warm year round. The rainfall regime is split into two main seasons, a primary maximum in March, April and May and a secondary maximum in November and December. The months in between receive less rain with a minimum in July. We visited Zanzibar in March and we had rain only in one day for one hour. Most of the days had clear skies and 29 degrees.

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Our first hotel was in Matemwe. Matemwe is a quiet traditional village and other than hanging out at the beach and watching fishermen offload their catch there aren’t any sights or activities. This is a place to really switch off. It’s also the best base for diving and snorkeling in the spectacular coral gardens of the Mnemba Island Conservation Area.

We visited village Nungwi which is a large village in North Zanzibar. It is one of the island’s major tourists destinations. Nungwi is also where the traditional and modern knock against each other with full force. It is a large village but not that kind of large village what I was thinking.

To be exact, all the villages look the same and the only difference is in the number of houses.

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Paje village

You can see poverty everywhere, the average annual income is US$250. You can see in my VIDEO. In a hotel area there is a totally different life with nice restaurants, swimming pools and nice buildings. But be aware that as soon as you step out of the hotel area to the beach there will be immediately locals who try to sell or offer you something.

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Locals waiting for tourists

Although there is poverty everywhere the prices are still high. Of course everything depends on how much do you want to bargain. Very easy is to book everything from the hotel. Some prices for example: main courses in hotel restaurant was 10-17 dollars, taxi between Matemwe and Jambiani 65 dollars, cocktails 4-8 dollars. Tourist mostly use dollars but you can also use the local money Tanzanian shilling and some places takes euros too.

As I already mentioned the food prices I should now talk about the food also. Zanzibar is known as a spice island and the locals use spices a lot but unfortunately not the hotel restaurants. If you go there then the best thing to eat is of course seafood (my favorite) and surely fruits.

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Besides all that I think I would like to talk little bit about Stone Town also. It differs from the rest of the island and there you can feel already like in a city. Buildings are bigger and there are many shops and eating places.

Out of the city life seemed poor but as the nature and beaches looked so nice it didn’t seem so bad. In Stone Town locals live different life. You can see children playing in the dirty water thou for tourist it is not recommended to swim there.

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Besides that there is quite much to see in Stone Town. For example the doors. There are just so many interesting doors.

As we didn’t have much time to stay there our wish was to see the slave market. So much interesting history has happened in that city. You can read a very good overview in the museum.

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Slaves chamber
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Slavery monument

I will never come home from a trip before I have bought some souvenirs. You will definitely find some in Stone Town and so did I.

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So this kind of island is Zanzibar!

 

Loe eesti keeles:

JAMBO! Just nii tervitavad sind kohalikud ja sellele järgneb alati ka KARIBU. Esimene sõna tähendab siis “Tere” ja teine “Teretulemast”. Teretulemast ka teile, kes te olete tulnud minu Sansibari blogi lugema.

Sansibar on Tansaania poolautonoomne piirkond Ida-Aafrikas, mille ajalooline keskus on Maailmapärandi nimistusse kuuluv Stone Town. Peamine saar on umbes 85 km pikk ja 39 km lai. Sansibar on üsna lauge, kõrgeim tipp on 120 meetrit. Sansibari peamisteks tööstusharudeks on vürtsid, raffia (palm) ja turism. Sansibaril räägitakse Swahili keelt. Kohalikust populatsioonist moodustavad enamuse moslemid ja ainult väike osa on kristlasi.

Me veetsime Sansibaril poolteist nädalat ja selle aja jooksul külastasime selliseid kohti nagu Matemwe, Nungwi, Jambiani, Paje ja Stown Town. Sansibar on valgete liivarandadega troopiline saar, kus tõus ja mõõn on väga tugevalt tunda. Kui sinna minnes unistad ainult ookeanis ujumisest, siis peaksid väga hoolega valima, kuhu sa täpselt lähed. Näiteks on Nungwi üks väheseid selliseid kohti, kus on võimalik alati ujuda. Samas Jambianis ja Matemwes pead sa mõõna ajal väga pikalt jalutama enne kui ujuda saad. Väga oluline on ka kindlaks teha milline põhi selles rannas on. Ujumiseks on üldiselt sobilikud ainult liivased rannad, sest kivised alad on tihtipeale merisiilikuid täis ja lisaks on seal ebamugav käia.

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Nungwi rand
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Mõõn Jambiani ja Paje külade vahelisel alal
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Mõõn Pajes

Kuna Sansibar asub ekvaatori lähedal, siis on seal alati soe. Vihmasadusid esineb kahel perioodil, millest esimene on märts-mai ja teine november-detsember. Vahepealsetel kuudel on vihma vähe ning kõige kuivem kuu on juuli. Meie külastasime Sansibari märtsi keskel ja seal oldud aja jooksul saime vihma ainult ühel korral ja seda umbes tund aega. Enamus päevadest oli selge taevas ja 29 kraadi.

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Meie esimene hotell asus Matemwe külas. Tegemist on vaikse külaga, kus peale rannas puhkamise ja kohelike kalameeste töö jälgimise ei ole midagi teha. See koht sobib ideaalselt välja lülitamiseks. Samas on see väga hea piirkond sukeldumise ja snorgeldamisega tegelemiseks seal lähedal asuva Mnemba saare looduskaitseala suurepäraste korallide pärast.

Me külastasime ka sellist küla nagu Nungwi, mille puhul on tegemist Sansibari saare põhjaosas asuva suure külaga. Tegemist on ka saare peamise turismipiirkonnaga. Nungwi on koht, kus traditsiooniline eluviis põrkub moodsa tänapäevaga. See on suur küla, kuid mitte suur meie mõistes.

Kui päris aus olla, siis saare kõik külad nägid üsna samamoodi välja, erinevus oli lihtsalt majade arvus.

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Paje küla

Vaesust on näha kõikjal ja seda tingib ka asjaolu, et inimeste aasta keskmine sissetulek on 250 dollarit. Vaata VIDEO. Hotellides on aga elu hoopis teistsugune: ilusad restoranid, basseinid ja uhked majad. Tuleb olla aga valmis, et nii kui sa hotelli territooriumilt randa astud, siis tulevad sinu juurde kohe kohalikud, kes üritavad sulle midagi müüa või pakkuda.

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Kohalikud müügimehed turiste ootamas

Kuigi kohtad igal oma sammul vaesust, siis hinnad on kõrged. Loomulikult oleneb palju ka sellest, kui palju oled sa nõus kauplema. Väga lihtne on lasta hotellil enda eest kõik ära korraldada. Toon näiteks ka mõned hinnad: pearoad hotelli restoranis 10-17$, takso Matemwe ja Jambiani vahel 65$, kokteilid 4-8$. Enamasti kasutatakse dollareid, kuid alati on võimalik maksta ka kohalikus rahas (Tanzaania shilling). Osad võtavad vastu ka eurosid.

Kuna mainisin söögi hindasid, siis paari sõnaga ka toidust. Sansibar on tuntud oma vürtside poolest ja kohalikud kasutavad neid oma toitudes päris palju (isegi maiustustes), kuid kahjuks ei kasutata neid väga hotellides. Parimad asjad mida Sansibaril süüa on aga kindlasti mereannid (mu lemmikud) ja muidugi puuviljad.

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Kõige selle kõrval tahaksin natukene rääkida ka keskusest Stone Town. See erineb väga tugevalt ülejäänud saarest, sest siin tunned sa ennast juba nagu linnas. Majad on suuremad, palju poode ja söögikohti.

Kui linnast väljas tundus elu küll vaene, kuid ilusate randade ja looduse tõttu mitte nii hull, siis siin elavad kohalikud teisiti. Saab näha, kuidas lapsed mängivad ja ujuvad mustas vees, kuhu turistidel ei soovitata minna, sest see on nii räpane.

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Sellest hoolimata on tegemist huvitava kohaga, kus on palju vaadata. Näiteks vajavad mainimist majade uksed, mis on väga ilusad.

Kuna meil ei olnud linnas viibimiseks väga palju aega, siis meie kindlaks sooviks oli külastada orjaturgu. Selle linna ajalugu on olnud väga huvitav. Hea ülevaate orjakaubandusest saab külastades kohalikku muuseumi.

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Orjade kamber
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Mälestusmärk

Ma ei tule kunagi üheltki reisilt nii koju, et ma ei ostaks omale mõnda suveniiri ja nii ka sellel korra. Stone Town on hea koht omale mõne suveniiri leidmiseks.

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Selline saar ongi Sansibar!

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