After several cancelled flights, we finally made it to the island of Zanzibar for a few days of complete contrast to the safari. I had intended to go to a forest where red colobus monkeys live as I hadn’t seen them before, but had a pleasant surprise to discover a troupe roaming in the hotel grounds. A couple of times they sprawled flat out on the ground in the shade, presumably to cool down, and it was a very special moment when one of them came and sat on my camera lens and started bouncing up and down.
There are seaweed farms along the coast and it all looks like backbreaking and heavy work to harvest the crops as bags of heavy and dripping wet seaweed have to be carried from the water to the road which is quite some way away. The work is all done by local women, but of course sometimes work like this is all they have in order to feed their family.
There was a bar and open sided seating area at the end of this walkway, with steps leading down into the sea, which made it a great place to swim from.
The changing colours of dawn.
A young Maasai man on the beach.
We don’t have weather like this at the end of October in the UK !
I love how they haven’t cut the trees down to build this walkway. They’ve simply built around them.
It was then time for our final destination – Stone Town, the historic centre of Zanzibar. Despite the beauty of the coast, Zanzibar has a horrific history; 200 years ago the island was regarded as the center of the East African slave trade, and of all the forms of economic activity on Zanzibar, slavery was the most profitable. The vast majority of the blacks living on the island were either slaves taken from East Africa or the descendants of them. In fact, Zanzibar was famous worldwide for its spices and its slaves.
In the grounds outside the Anglican cathedral is the moving Slave Memorial, depicting five slaves standing in a pit below ground level.
I also wanted to see the giant tortoises that live on a nearby island. The British First Minister of Zanzibar purchased Changuu island in 1893 and constructed a prison complex there. No prisoners were ever housed on the island however, and instead it became a quarantine station for yellow fever cases. Today it’s well known as ‘Prison Island’. I do like old wooden doors, especially when painted my favourite colour of blue.
My final photograph is of a little courtyard restaurant where we had lunch one day. It was tucked away down a narrow lane and was a little oasis of calm. I loved the colours and although a wall like this wouldn’t work back home, it was perfect there.
That’s it. My last holiday was over, and I returned to a gloomy UK the day before another Covid Lockdown. Since then I’ve had 3 more trips postponed and am waiting impatiently for international travel to be allowed again. The UK is doing really well with its vaccination programme and I’ve had my first jab, with the second one due in May. After that – get me out of here !!