7 Reasons why you should Visit Zanzibar

Elsie Godwin in the Sunset photo - North of Zanzibar - elsieisy blog

Seeing new places is one of my favorite things to do and thankfully, A-BAY Tours added to the list of beautiful places I have seen – Zanzibar, Tanzania. If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram and or Facebook, you probably already know this. I spent a little less than a week in Zanzibar with the most beautiful and adventurous people ever.

Elsie Godwin and Zanzibar tour group - elsieisy blog

I am not sure these wonderful people understood my personality but I am sure they had as much fun as I did. I am big on seeing new places, taking it in and moving on. But not very awesome when it comes to altering my lifestyle to fit into who I am not. So I may have been a little laid back when all they wanted to do was roar. They sure did roar and I stayed back whenever I hit my maximum but it was fun.

Crossed Leg Elsie Godwin in Best Western Plus Hotel - Stone City - elsieisy blog

This post is not about my high and low moods (LOL), so let’s focus on the beautiful city called Zanzibar. Zanzibar is an island made up of 53 islands. Yes you read that right…53 islands in Zanzibar. Of course we couldn’t visit all but I love the choice of Stone City by our Travel planner – A-BAY tours. Stone City is one of the islands in Zanzibar and most importantly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has this ancient but luxurious feel. Zanzibar main industries are spices, raffia and tourism. In Stone City, there are 90% are Muslims, 7% Christians, 3% are mixed of Buddhist, Hindus and atheists. There are only two churches in Stone town – Anglican and catholic, 3 temples for the Hindus, while there are 52 mosques for the Muslims.

Elsie Godwin - elsieisy blog
Elsie Godwin

Here are 7 Reasons why you should visit Zanzibar;

  1. Spice Market & Spice Plantation

For best undiluted spices and to see where and how these spices are gotten and made, Zanzibar is the place to be. We got to touch, inhale and taste, fresh cardamom, curry, lemongrass, jackfruit, and about 10 other spices and produce growing on the grounds.

Fun fact – There are no malls in Stone City

  1. Prison Island

Elsie Godwin in Prison Island - elsieisy blog
Elsie Godwin

Prison Island, also known as Changuu island is about 30minutes boat ride from stone city. The island was used by the Arab slave traders to contain troublesome slaves to prevent escape before shipping.

Lifestyle fact:lifestyle fact - Zanzibar - elsieisy blog

  1. The Aldabra Tortoises on Prison (Changuu) Island

Tortoises in prison island - elsieisy blogI have never seen that number of tortoises at a place. It was a very interesting and amazing site. They are of an average age of 43. Aldabra Giant tortoises are endemic to the aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles. They do not live in the wild anywhere else in the world. This community of Aldabra tortoises is found in Changuu island because they were gift from the Seychelles government to the British Resident in Zanzibar, Major F.B. Pearce (1914 – 1922). In exchange for the tortoises, a number of specimens of typical Zanzibar flowering plants were shipped to the Seychelles

Giant Tortoises Facts

Common Name – Aldabra Tortoise. Giant Tortoise

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Reptilia

Order – Testudines

Family – Testudinidae

Genus – Geochelone (Land Turtle)

            Gigantia (Giant)

  1. Former Slaves Market Site

Former slave market - Zanzibar - elsieisy blogAnother historic site is the Slave Market. Up until 1873, hundreds of thousands of people were bought and sold at this market and as reminder of this tragic past, the frightfully small holding cells have been turned into a museum. Some of us couldn’t go in, some got emotional, and it was chilling but eye-opening. slave market - elsieisy blog

They bought slaves from the East and Central part of Africa. Arabs were the main trader with the help of some African chiefs.Elsie Godwin and other tourists in the slave monument - elsieisy blog

slave monument - stone city - zanzibar - elsieisy blog

The above is a  slave monument designed by a Swedish woman. She designed it after visiting the area to help people understand how slaves where chained at the time.

Slaves were chained different tribes on a chain, so they couldn’t talk to each other because of their different dialects. The slaves were made to walk 15miles a day with heavy loads on their heads. It was estimated that in every 5 slaves who were marching from inland to the coastal area, 1 out of 5 survived. Before slaves were sold to the Arabic and Asian countries, they had to be beaten to prove their strength. Those who survive the whipping are considered strong enough and are shipped to various countries. In Arabic countries, the male slaves were castrated because Arabs didn’t want their sisters to mix up with black men but Arabs men mix with African women.

  1. The Christ Church

The Christ Church - stone city - elsieisy blog 2There is a church built right in the Slave market site after slavery was abolished called – The Christ Church. There are services every Sunday. There is something about this church, it’s beautiful and feels like your prayers are automatically answered once you step in. The aesthetic are purely the types I have seen only in Hollywood movies and I could help act like I was one of the actors talking to Christ. There are symbolic places in the church building left and carved to remember events of the past. The Christ Church - stone city - elsieisy blog 3

The round white spot just close to altar depicts the tree where slaves were tied and whipped while the red tiles depicts the blood of the slaves who died while they were being beaten to test their strength.

The Christ Church - stone city - elsieisy blog 2The Christ Church - stone city - elsieisy blog 5

  1. The Northern Beaches

Elsie Godwin in the Sunset photo - North of Zanzibar - elsieisy blogWatch the sunset in the North of Zanzibar and feel the Ocean. If it’s white sand, a glittering ocean and fiery sun that you’re after, the northern beaches is where you should be.

  1. Doors

As regular as this may sound, their doors are magnificent. If you are an Instagram slay queen, your slayage cannot be complete until you have taken a photo in front of these doors. Arab and Indian influences on them are displayed in the way of decadent carved doors. According to our tour guide, in stone city, the aesthetics on your door actually shows how wealthy you are.

door zanzibar - elsieisy blog

Zanzibar is definitely a place to drool over the aesthetics of their architecture, learn some history and walk to small streets on foot. If you would love to make Zanzibar your next holiday destination (which I think you should), holla at A-Bay Tours on +238094901236 Do check them out on instagram @a_baytours. They have awesome packages for almost everywhere in the world, from anywhere you are. I hope to see more beautiful places with them.

In my next post, i will be introducing a Gold Member card which has the power to take you on destination holidays at almost no cost.

stay with me *wink*

Fatima in Zanzibar - elsieisy blog

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  1. Hmm. Nice narrative,makes me want to visit Zanzibar. The slave story really touched me. Freedom is sweet. How the world has so grown. Thank you ma Elsie for sharing your beautiful holidays with us. Learnt alot.

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