Tanzania is located in East Africa. Generally, people do not travel to that area of Africa and if it does, it goes exclusively for the safari in Serengeti. I did not go to Tanzania to do a safari, I went for something I really love: the beach. But I found something much more interesting, the history of the islands that I visited in this country.
First, we went to Pemba Island, we took a bus from Diani Beach -Kenya to Tanga – Tanzania. In the little town called Tanga we took a small airplane and 30 minutes later we were in Pemba, this island that almost no one goes, and there is so little information about it on the internet. So we weren’t really sure how to arrive at the hotel from the airport.
The airport was really small and there was only our flight. We took a taxi that took us downtown where we ask around so we can take a Dalla Dalla, that is the public transportation in this country. It consists of a small van that goes driving like crazy and it’s always full of people. After 2 hours we arrive next town where we took another but private Dalla Dalla that took us to the hotel. After passing a forest, we finally arrive at the hotel.
Where to stay?
The name of the place I stayed in is Paradise Hotel, that was literally a paradise. It has its own beach and rustic wide rooms that look to the ocean. Also, they have an amazing cook!!! At the hotel, there was only another couple, so we have the hotel and the beach all to ourselves for 5 days. It was amazing and super peaceful. The reason why people usually don’t go there is that unlike Zanzibar, this island is not yet exploited by the tourism, therefore there aren’t a lot of hotels. So if you are looking for some peace and tranquility, you should definitely visit this place.
The thing that got our attention was that during the morning the tide went down so local people use this time to collect algae from the bottom of the sea and with this they make the soap for our hotel, which was a pretty good soap. So then, we realize how the controlled tourism makes good for the community because it generates jobs and helps the local community.
After Pemba, we took a plane to Zanzibar. This island is really amusing because of the cultural mix you can find and the rich history of this place, those are the reasons that this paradise captived me. Before our time, the island was one of the most important areas of East Africa. Zanzibar was ruled by the Portuguese for almost two centuries, then by the Sultan of Oman. So then came the worse, the island became very know for the most important slave market on the East African coast and for the ivory trade that was really popular back then. Also, they created plantations of cloves and sugar using slaves. After the Sultan of Oman, Britain came and fought for the dissolution of the famous slave market. In 1873, Britain signed a treaty to end the slave trade with the current Sultan. So for all of this events, Zanzibar is a place really incredible where you can learn a lot of history.
Where to go?
We arrive kinda of late. So we leave our stuff at the hotel and went out. We were a little bit insecure about going in those narrow street at night because all the comments we found on the internet about how you don’t have to go there at night by yourself if don’t know the way because you can get lost. So, I was a little bit scared actually. Silly me, there was nothing to be scared, plus we had google maps so we didn’t get lost. The thing that maybe can bother you is that you can be going on a street full of souvenirs shops and foreign but then you make a turn and the next street there’s no one and is super quiet. But most of the streets are illuminated, so don’t worry. I actually end up loving those narrow streets, so we went back the next day also to buy beautiful souvenirs.
Zanzibar is also well known for the spices. So we went to the local market to buy some. It was a really good experience. I bought several for a good price.
The highlight of Zanzibar for me was the Former Slave Market, it was shocking. And also very informative. I learn that they used to bring Africans from all over Africa to this place to sell them on the market. A lot of them die on the way, others inside the chambers, a lot on the way to other continents. This place not only had a lot of information, they also have the former chambers of the slaves. It was underground. When went down there I felt sad, I can’t even imagine how was to be there, in that place so small and surely with a lot of people. It was suffocating to be there by myself only. It was shocking but I’m glad a went there and learn more about those cruel events, that I learn so little about on school.
After all that learning of history, we decided to go to relax. We choose Nungwi Beach because it was the most recommended and it didn’t disappoint us at all! We took a Dalla Dalla and after two hours of bumpy road, we arrived. The water was perfect: not so warm and not so cold. This was our last stop so our plan was to lay on the beach and work on our tan all day. But we find a snorkel tour that sounded interesting. So early one day we went by boat to a little island near Zanzibar. But before arriving we stopped and we did snorkeling. Then we arrived at the little island and had lunch. We paid for this tour 35 USD per person, but the seller started at 60 USD, so I recommend you to bargain. There were so many fishes, it was a really good experience!!
At night, we went to have dinner in restaurants that were right on the beach, it was so romantic and peaceful. The obvious choice to eat was seafood, they have a little bit of everything you can imagine and it’s was very delicious. I really enjoyed getting to know this country and I think that there is a lot more to know, I really hope I can come back and see what other ways Tanzania can surprise me! So, if you are thinking of going to Africa to do a safari, you must stay a little bit longer to take advantage of what Tanzania can teach and show you besides Serengeti. I mean, how can you say no to this paradise???