(Posted 10th October 2017)
The Zanzibar Food Festival is now underway across the ‘Spice Island‘ of Zanzibar, Unguja to be precise and especially the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Stone Town‘ will be the centre of activities, drawing in foreign visitors and locals alike to sample delicacies.
When writing a few days about the festival questions started flooding in if I would be on the island but a preplanned trip after the Magical Kenya Travel Expo to the Kenya coast did not allow last minute changes.
That said, this is as good a time as any to narrate my last visiting experience to Zanzibar in July of this year.
I flew from Entebbe to Dar es Salaam on the inaugural service of Precision Air, Tanzania’s only IATA member airline and certified under IOSA international safety rules. This new connection, now of course well established already, opened up the doors again for easy visits from Uganda to Tanzania, both Moshi and Arusha as well as the commercial capital Dar es Salaam and of course on to Zanzibar.
I however opted to fly with Coastal Aviation from DAR to ZNZ, using the old Terminal 1 at the Nyerere International Airport which today is home to all the beach and bush airlines.
The flight between Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar’s international airport with a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan took just over 20 minutes, fast compared to the ferry which travels several times a day between the island and Dar es Salaam and much much faster than the time the old dhows used to take.
(The new … )
(And the old … )
I had just one night to spare before traveling on to the Selous Game Reserve, again with Coastal Aviation – more about that visit soon – and wanting to see Stone Town again and explore its nooks and crannies there was but one choice of hotel for me, the Zanzibar Serena. Converted from a palatial mansion and a residence into the property it is today, this represents arguably one of the finest examples of a conversion into a hotel without touching or materially altering the outside of the buildings nor in fact much of the inside either.
Staying in a sea facing room with a balcony I instantly regretted having such a tight itinerary and not being able to enjoy the Zanzibar Serena for longer, but such is my fate that many of my fact finding missions are a bit rushed without time built in for rest and recreation.
I enjoyed my walk into Stone Town – the Zanzibar Serena is part of it though at the edge – and took in many sights, sounds and of course the scents of the market where spices were sold. The atmosphere was vibrant, colourful, loud even and one still has to remember when walking about that there is vehicular traffic and that a careless move can well result in injuries.
I then took a cab before I got footsore to capture more impressions during my drive through the Stone Town and below is the link for my readers and viewers:
You will surely agree that this is worth exploring and with Precision flying four times a week between Entebbe and Dar es Salaam and on to Zanzibar with direct connection and Kenya Airways flying daily from Nairobi to Zanzibar there are plenty of options to reach this famous island.
Some amazing sights await and I thought putting the very best pictures here would defeat the purpose of getting you, my readers, interested to travel to Zanzibar and explore the Stone Town yourself and gather your own impressions and create your own memories.
The Zanzibar Serena is always an excellent choice to start a stay on the island to explore the ancient town which surrounds it before then perhaps moving across the island to enjoy the sandy beaches in one of the many 5 star resorts which now dot the shores of Unguja.
I for sure will be back, if not for a food festival or for Sauti Za Busara then for another festival or no reason other than just visiting and updating my knowledge and information of what has happened since my last stopover.