Zanzibar, Tanzania

Tanzania

November 18

We slept well last night!  This morning at breakfast everyone was buzzing about what happened to the passengers that delayed the ship sailing until 12:45 AM, instead of 6 PM. There were all kinds of rumors going around.  We had a chance to tell the story to many people.  I saw the captain and he said “Everytime I got an update, you were 30 km away!”

He had made at least one announcement that the ship would probably depart by 7:30.  We only wish we had been back by then! But, travel is an adventure and we enjoy it all, even when it doesn’t work out as planned.

So, we were only 2 hours late into the port of Zanzibar, which is an island that is part of Tanzania.  We were lucky that this port was so close to Mombasa as we might have had to miss a port due to the late departure from Mombasa.

Zanzibar is one of two large islands, the other is Pemba. There are also numerous small islands.  In 1964, Zanzibar put the “zan” in Tanzania when it united with mainland Tanganyika to form a republic. 1.5 million of the 52 million people in Tanzania reside on Zanzibar.

We were again greeted by performers on the pier.

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Our excursion today was to the Jozani Forest, the largest area of mature forest remaining on Zanzibar.  It hosts a sizable population of rare indigenous red colobus monkeys.  There are also over 50 species of butterflies and 40 species of birds to be found here.

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We had a nice hike and saw many monkeys, a lot of females with babies, and they were jumping from tree to tree.  We also hiked through a beautiful mangrove area and learned about the red mahogany and the eucalyptus trees that are highly prized.  Now the government has protected the area in the hopes that it will endure.

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small crab in the mangroves

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Our guide, Etsi

There were 15 of us in a small bus to do this hike. It did rain in the middle of the hike, but it was warm and no problem at all.

Love to see the local markets, but there is a lot of garbage outside of the retail areas, and cats seem to have a ball there.

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Schoolgirls in their uniforms

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lots of garbage

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80% Muslim country, but women wear the scarves by choice – not mandatory here.

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Schoolboys in their uniforms

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you do see a lot of oxen and cows around, there are oxcarts too but I wasn’t quick enough to snap a picture of them

Colorful, vibrant marketplaces.

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We passed through Stone Town, the part of Zanzibar that has the original colonial buildings. This is where the Great Slave Market is located.  It is now in ruins and largely erased by the buildings surrounding the Anglican cathedral.  Zanzibar was once the hub of the slave trade in East Africa.  This market processed up to 60,000 slaves each year.  Our enrichment lecturer, John Freedman, gave us the history of slavery – it was started by the Africans themselves as they had no other goods to trade, so they traded themselves.  Of course, later, it became much different and slaves were badly mistreated as they were exported around the world,  Almost 2/3 of them died on these journeys.

We enjoyed our visit to Zanzibar, and did some shopping for local treasures near the pier. They are well known for their spices.

Headed to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, tomorrow where we will visit Bagamoyo and spend time at a beach as well.

 

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