On his travels again, DonQui is doing some work in Zanzibar. This pleases him no end since he is more than a little bit fond of the place.
And it is not hard to see why.
The historical and architectural attractions of Stone Town, wide sandy beaches, the warm Indian Ocean, spice plantations together with a mix of Arab, Indian, Tanzanian and English influences, make Zanzibar an intriguing and relaxing place to visit.
Apart from the few hustlers in Stone Town (who seem to grow in number every time DonQui visits) the locals are incredibly friendly, warm and welcoming. The pace of life (apart from the chaotic traffic) is slow and laid back.
DonQui is staying at the Z Ocean View hotel on the beach at Kihinani just beyond Bububu, about 10kms outside Stone Town. It is quiet, very quiet. Indeed there are only one or two other visitors despite the resort’s abundant capacity. Chatting to the manager, DonQui learns that the hotel gets most of its business from local conferences rather than international tourists.
His room is spacious with a lovely view over the ocean. While comfortable (with fan, air-conditioning and decent hot water) it is not quite up to international standards for the $100 price-tag. A nice touch is the way the maids arrange a towel and flowers on the bed every time they make it. DonQui has encountered this at other places on Zanzibar before so he assumes it is some sort of tradition. The food in the open-air restaurant/bar is good but not outstanding. The staff are all very friendly and helpful.
The Z Ocean View would not normally be DonQui’s first choice for solo-travel but it could well suit a couple who wanted to get away from everything to enjoy the wide sand beach by themselves. There is another Z Hotel at Nungwi further away on the north shore where DonQui stayed with Duchess quite a long time ago. The Nungwi version is much more of an up-market boutique hotel catering to foreign visitors rather than conferencing locals.
A morning walk along the beach revealed no humans part from a lone woman checking the fish traps. He wonders that if westerners could learn to bend with such a straight back whether the incidence of back injuries would be lessened.
In the early morning light the islands in the distance appear to be floating between sea and sky.
The fishing fleet is stranded on the sand waiting for the tide to come back in.
When it does, in the early evening, the locals come out to populate the shrunken beach and to enjoy the water as well as each others’ company.