Three days in Zanzibar were three days in paradise. There is nothing quite like an island holiday to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Having recently moved to land-locked Johannesburg, the smell of the ocean was just what we were after.
We had an early morning flight from Johannesburg and landed at Abeid Amani Karume International Airport by midday. The air-conditioned shuttle to the resort was refreshing as we thanked our luck for the sunny weather.
We spent our precious three days in Pwani Mchangani, which lies on the north east coast of Zanzibar Island. The resort overlooked the Indian Ocean and what a sight it was to behold – blue skies and turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. Flip flops in hand, our feet sunk in the wet white sand as the waves gently caressed our ankles while we strolled along the shore which welcomed the tide.
Zanzibar is by far one of the most peaceful and humble destinations I have been to. It truly lives up to its Swahili mantra, “hakuna matata” – no worries. The people of Zanzibar are generous and hospitable, reigning from a rich cultural and historical background. No matter where you are or who you meet, you are sure to be greeted with a warm “jambo”, which means hello in Swahili.
During the day, you can expect to encounter a few stalls and hawkers along the beach, selling locally produced curios. There are also small businesses offering boat rides to the other islands in the archipelago, or water sports (such as snorkelling or scuba diving) for the more adventurous.
Zanzibar mornings are a different scene. The tide retreats so far as to unveil kilometres of sand bank. It is during this time that many of the local people forage along the exposed ocean floor.
Our evenings at the resort were festive. Each night we gave in to the island beat of home-grown Tanzanian music and dance. Zanzibar is also renowned for its rich vegetation and spices. Needless to say, each dinner was a feast of North African and international cuisines.