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THE EAST AFRICAN SERIES, DAY 30, 31 & 32

Zanzibar

Prison Island & Stone Town. It’s good to get the family off the sun beds and out of the resort for a day while we head to the main town of the island.

THE FIRST HALF OF THE DAY WAS A BIT OF A DISASTER

There aren’t a million things to do on this island but instead of drinking and eating our bodyweight it’s important to explore a bit of what it has to offer and that took us back to the west coast.

WHERE IS STONE TOWN?

Stone Town

PRISON ISLAND

Our first stop took us 30mins on a boat to Prison Island, an island I thought has a prison. But that was not the story we got. The prison was built and meant to be used for that purpose but those in charge had a sudden change of heart and instead used it as a detention centre.

It’s strange to know there is little other history of the island and one of the rooms is now a fully stacked bar and seating area, what a nice way to remember those who were camped up here 😬

Prison Island & Stone Town

DAILY INFO….

  • HOTEL – Breezes Beach Bar
  • FOOD – Beef steak @ Maru Maru rooftop 3/10
  • ATTRACTIONS – Prison Island, Stone Town, Slave Exhibition
  • STEPS – 10,000, 7,800 & 8,900

TORTOISE

It turns out the islands main attraction is actually the huge tortoises that live here, who can live up to 200years! It’s incredible to see the number of them, almost as many tourists feeding them cabbage and taking free run around their little sanctuary. It was so amusing to see this place open for us all just to do what we pleased. Just watch out for your fingers.

These tortoises can barely move so they spend their entire life on this island, as do their little kids who will spend the first 12years in a tiny 2.5×2 creche with the infants, a bit of a squeeze that was.

Prison Island & Stone Town

STONE TOWN

There isn’t much to say here and we didn’t get much info from our highly charismatic guide. Apart from the heaps of stalls, one thing I will remember are the doors. Many of the doors have had large pointed rivets fitted to them to apparently stop elephants leaning up against them.

LUNCH

This has to have been the biggest fuc up of the day. Firstly as we were on a tour we only had a limited menu of some basic options and choosing from the other menu would mean we would have to pay full price.

Vicki being Vicki choose from the other menu and me knowing exactly how this was going to end up ordered from the basic menu and prepared myself for A La Carte, A La Sh*te.

 RELATED READ: GETTING SCAMMED IN BANGKOK

BEEF STEAK

The starter salad wasn’t bad but the beef steak was a whole new ball game. I actually only ordered it because it was one of the options that didn’t come with chips and instead boiled potatoes. Walking into the restaurant we noticed chips on several plates and they looked radioactive but sure enough my plate arrived with chips instead of the spuds 😆

I’ve done too much travelling to know we can’t expect the same levels of service and food no matter where we go. However, considering the price of the tour it was possible the most disappointing day, but we do enjoy laughing at the situation at times. Turns out the best food was the boiled potato that finally made it to our table 😆

EAST AFRICA TRADE EXHIBITION

Our last stop was by far the most interesting. Slave trade has a brutal history in Africa, and Zanzibar was one of the biggest trading points in East Africa. It was estimated at least 30,000 a year were bought and sold here.

Beginning life as a slave was still only a small part of what these people had to endure. A lot would be forced to walk for months, sometimes years and be sold many times before they reached the island. From here they were chained and often sent to places such as Calcutta, India. Boats were so packed and cramped that they often couldn’t sit down during the entire voyage.

Prison Island & Stone Town

THE EXHIBITION

There is a worthwhile exhibition which initially looks lengthy but is very well summarised and you will make your way through it fairly quickly.

Below the shop you can visit where the slaves would be kept before the market. These rooms are very small with no light and it can be expected to have around 75 people chained here, excluding children!

Some of the things you read here would seriously make you wonder how it ever happened on such a large scale.

Prison Island & Stone Town

SUMMED UP….

  • LVP – Not sure how the guide got the job
  • HIGHLIGHT – Slave Exhibition
  • LOWLIGHT – Prison Island and lunch

THE TIDES (Day 31)

We decided to mix up the food tonight and book ourselves into The Tides, which is a small beachside cabin where up to 4 guests can enjoy their food in private.

The wine wasn’t too good but the food was a level up for sure and it was good to get a bit of a break from the usual dinner entertainment.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Didn’t get off to the best of starts but the entire day was worth it having visited the slave exhibition at the end.

NEXT UP

Country number 159, The Seychelles!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
158/229

This post is part of The East African Series, for the entire series click here or for episode 1, click here.
To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Do you enjoy learning about history on your travels?
  • Have you been to stone town or Zanzibar?
  • What was your highlight?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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WORST FOOD WITH THE BEST VIEW AT THE ROCK, ZANZIBAR
SEYCHELLES, VALLÉE DE MAI AND ANSE LAZIO

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