We spent a week on Zanzibar after our safari for some R & R as the safari was fairly gruelling (but very enjoyable of course). What a fantastic island with a rich history (as the centre of the slave trade in previous times - not all of it good!). Despite this being a "chill" time, would have been wrong not to get out & about to see the island & experience it's culture.
In addition to its history in slavery, it has two other major claims to fame; Freddie Mercury's birthplace and, as trailed from its alternative name of " The Spice Island" it has a very active trade in the spice industry.  Being just off the west coast of Tanzania it also features on the busy trade routes which runs through the "Channel" between the two & so tends to be very busy; both with shipping destined for Stonetown, it's capital, or perhaps heading for one of the mainland ports along the coast.
We travelled by air from Arusha in another light plane seating 14 including the pilot.  As a concession for the flight over water (although we were descending into Stonetown before passing over water), this was twin-engined.
We were struck in our time on the island by the extremes; on the one hand the luxury & opulence of the tourist parts and on the other hand the fairly basic way of life for the natives.
During our stay we did two trips, firstly a walking tour of Stonetown and then a couple of days later a tour of a couple of spice farms.
The walking tour started with the memorials to the slave trade before moving onto the market.  In the fish market, stalls comprised of a large stone slab set at an angle, on which the (always) large fish were placed.  The tool of choice for "butchering" chosen by all the fish-mongers was the machete - used for absolutely everything from large dissection to cutting individual steaks to order & when these needed sharpening, the stone slabs were at hand! Purchases were then wrapped in newspaper!
Outside we stumbled across the poultry market & since the island has a 95%+ Muslim population, meat has to be halal & so chickens are delivered live for sale!
The streets, if you can call them that, are narrow and chaotic, being used by pedestrians, motor cyclists and larger delivery trailers servicing the stalls.
Beyond the market there was an urgent need for remedial work on many buildings, as you'll see from some of the images.
The spice tour was totally fascinating.  We started on a Government farm, where the main crop seemed to be Nutmeg, before moving onto a private farm, spawning a whole eight acres.  That said, and whilst the tour resembled a stroll in the woods, our guide and its owner, Haji, was clearly very proud of his enterprise and used his acreage exceptionally efficiently - where the primary crop was the fruit of a plant, more often than not, the foliage was a secondary crop, used in a similar way to Spinach.  We saw things that we'd never seen before!
Our Silver Wedding Anniversary was spent here on the island and what a fantastic culmination to the trip, and a very welcome rest, the time on the island was.  A fantastic place in the Indian Ocean well worth a visit, despite the distance.
Old & New! Large commercial ships on the horizon contrast with a more simple version in the bay
Old & New! Large commercial ships on the horizon contrast with a more simple version in the bay
Classic Arab Dhow
Classic Arab Dhow
Sun down behind the Jetty Bar
Sun down behind the Jetty Bar
Fishing - Zanzibar style.  highly labour intensive.
Fishing - Zanzibar style. highly labour intensive.
A slave holding Cell in Stonetown
A slave holding Cell in Stonetown
Slaves Memorial in Stonetown
Slaves Memorial in Stonetown
Church Tower, in need of a little cleaning?
Church Tower, in need of a little cleaning?
Central Bus station, Stonetown
Central Bus station, Stonetown
Approaching the market
Approaching the market
Fish Market, Stonetown
Fish Market, Stonetown
Fresh Bread for the Market, Stonetown
Fresh Bread for the Market, Stonetown
Busy market day
Busy market day
Deliveries - Zanzibar style!
Deliveries - Zanzibar style!
Streets not designed for the volume & variety of traffic, particularly on market day
Streets not designed for the volume & variety of traffic, particularly on market day
The latest hot development site?
The latest hot development site?
Stunning creed doors in Stonetown
Stunning creed doors in Stonetown
Sailing here is still fairly Labour intensive
Sailing here is still fairly Labour intensive
Portugese Tower
Portugese Tower
The sign over the door comemorates this building as being Freddie Mercury's birthplace
The sign over the door comemorates this building as being Freddie Mercury's birthplace
The House of Wonders.  So called as it was the first to have electricity
The House of Wonders. So called as it was the first to have electricity
Maritime through the ages
Maritime through the ages
Amphi theatre in Stonetown
Amphi theatre in Stonetown
A little running repairs needed?  Buildings in Stonetown
A little running repairs needed? Buildings in Stonetown
Apartment living, Stonetown style
Apartment living, Stonetown style
Not exactly "Des-Res"
Not exactly "Des-Res"
Also a commercial port
Also a commercial port
Fishing boats & Dhows
Fishing boats & Dhows
Mercury's Bar, Stonetown
Mercury's Bar, Stonetown
All tied up?
All tied up?
Late afternoon sun on the Seacliffs Hotel
Late afternoon sun on the Seacliffs Hotel
Jetty bar - perfect location for the "sundowner" cocktail
Jetty bar - perfect location for the "sundowner" cocktail
The Blue hour, just past sunset
The Blue hour, just past sunset
Glorious sunsets silhouetting marine traffic through the ages
Glorious sunsets silhouetting marine traffic through the ages
Jetty Bar by day, framed by palm trees
Jetty Bar by day, framed by palm trees
Fishing, Zanzibar style!
Fishing, Zanzibar style!
Nutmeg tree
Nutmeg tree
Nutmeg, fresh from the tree
Nutmeg, fresh from the tree
More exotic fruits
More exotic fruits
A cocoa bean pod
A cocoa bean pod
Cocoa beans inside the pod
Cocoa beans inside the pod
Yet more "guess the fruit"
Yet more "guess the fruit"
A fair few of. the exhibits sported similarly prickly outer shells
A fair few of. the exhibits sported similarly prickly outer shells
Haji, sharing some of his crops with us
Haji, sharing some of his crops with us
These green berries, when rubbed in the hands formed a great lather - regularly used for clothes washing according to Haji
These green berries, when rubbed in the hands formed a great lather - regularly used for clothes washing according to Haji
Turmeric
Turmeric
No a bad place for some regular maintenance on your boat
No a bad place for some regular maintenance on your boat
Deserted beaches & bays
Deserted beaches & bays
Sand cabs - by the millions!
Sand cabs - by the millions!
A view to sea?
A view to sea?
Anyone for lunch, by the pool, of course
Anyone for lunch, by the pool, of course
Arabic Arches
Arabic Arches
Destination wedding, complete with Masaai Guard of Honour
Destination wedding, complete with Masaai Guard of Honour
Maritime silhouette
Maritime silhouette
Dhow at sunset
Dhow at sunset
Labour intensive, early morning fishing in the bay
Labour intensive, early morning fishing in the bay

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