Zanzibar Town Image gallery
Woman in kanga, Zanzibar
Whether you’re arriving for the first time or the fiftieth, Zanzibar never seems to lose its touch of the exotic. After two wind-buffeted and salt-sprayed hours on the ferry (or 20 smooth minutes in a plane), the waters calm and turn turquoise as Stone Town’s skyline slides into view. The spires of St Joseph’s Cathedral, Forodhani Gardens, the Old Fort, a jumble of rooftops and then the harbour itself – an earthy, timeless mix of grime, touts, dockyard workers and ships. And then, after negotiating passport controls and taxis, you’re there, walking through cobbled alleyways, past women clad in bui-bui, small shops smelling of spices, children playing ball, elderly men dressed in kanzu and kofia playing bao and chatting. Ancient Persia mixes with the old Omani sultanate and India’s Goan coast. Mainland life seems far away as island rhythms take over and (once again) you’re hooked.
Most visitors arrive at Zanzibar Town, the island’s hub. At its heart is the old Stone Town, with its labyrinthine alleyways and architecture. Within easy reach of here is a fine collection of powdery white beaches fringed by coconut palms and sun-baked villages and lapped by the turquoise sea.
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