10 Days in Zanzibar

August 10, 2014

Part 4: Nungwi to Stone Town (0.5 Days)

We arranged with our driver friend Salim to pick us up from the Ras Nungwi hotel, drop us off in Stone Town for a few hours and then pick us up for our evening flight to Nairobi. Had we used the hotel’s transportation rate, we would have paid double.

Prior to leaving Stone Town, we had arranged with the Dhow Palace hotel to store our stuff for a few hours while we wait for our flight as we had a good few hours to kill. They were so kind to us and even offered us to use their shower facilities. We wasted no time and headed for some shopping starting with the Darajani market. Since we spent some time window shopping on our first leg in Stone Town, we knew what we wanted to buy and knew how much to pay for it.

  • Darajani Market Zanzibar

Darajani market was quite an experience and definitely ‘a must’ for market lovers. Inside the market you’ll find countless stalls selling tropical fruit, spices, coffee, fish, scented soaps and much more. Be sure to head deep inside to the seafood section for a real treat (depends how you look at it).

Outside the market itself you’ll find more of the same stuff but also street food, garments shops (great silk from India), live fish auctions and shops that sell spices, soaps, and coffee wholesale – usually to local businesses and it’s here that you can get great deals.

When buying some silk garments, we asked the local shopkeeper where to buy good spices and coffee. He was so nice and actually took us to a wholesale shop called Mahanjumati Spice & Herbs where we got great value for great products and we were not ripped off at all.

  • Darajani Market Zanzibar

After doing our market shopping, we headed back to the hotel through Changa Bazaar and Hurumzi Street, the main tourist shopping area. Some stores are more upscale than others but overall, they mainly sell the same stuff. The interesting things to buy are wooden crafts and if you’re into tribal masks like I am, you’re in for a treat. Do shop around and get a feel for quality and price. Do feel comfortable bargaining as this is also expected but do try and make it a win-win situation.

Zanzibar Souvenir ShopA few exceptions worth mentioning. Head to Zanzibar Souvenir Shop on Hamamni Street and look for Amour Aziz. This place creates beautiful pieces of useful art from recycled Stone Town doors. You can find for example handcrafted jewelry boxes beautifully decorated with gold tin. There are also some great craft shops on Cathedral Street and in and around the Old Fort which are worth checking out.

 

Zanzibar Souvenir ShopWe capped off our visit to Zanzibar with and Indian lunch at the Silk Route Restaurant and spice coffee where else but in Stone Town Cafe. At the airport, you’ll be hinted by the porters to give them some money in return for your bags to be loaded onto the plane. Don’t try and be a wise guy and just have a couple of $1 bills prepared. This will ensure you ever get to see your bags again.

Our Zanzibar travels were over… for now, but the memories will last forever. The Spice Island did not disappoint and was an enchanting way to travel back in time while enjoying picture postcard views.

Any regrets?

Our only real regret was not buying a Bao, which is a traditional Swahili board game played on an impressive piece of decorated wood with 32 holes. Aside from a good way to kill a few hours, it also makes a very nice decoration.

? Got any questions? I love answering them! See you in the comments. 

 

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11 comments

    1. Hi Kate

      It was pretty random and the diving folks didn’t tell us the name. I remember there were a few empty stalls and locals, so I’m guessing there’s a market there on some days. I’m sorry I don’t remember more, as it was one of the prettiest beaches I’ve seen. If you really want to know, as the guys at One Ocean Diving for the name.

  1. Thank you for such great info. Just wondering about the best way to manage money while on the island? Did you carry a mixture of dollars and local currency? Travelling next month 🙂

    1. Hi Rebecca

      I had a few hundred dollars just in case but at the airport, I took out local currency. There’s also an ATM in Stone Town. If you won’t be heading to Stone Town, maybe take more USD with you as the ATM in the airport ‘could’ be out of service or not have enough cash. You can use your credit card in all the major hotels / dive centers, but that’s about it. Have a great time! So jealous!

  2. Hi,

    I am planning for a 7 day trip to zanzibar in march with my girlfriend. I wish to see the island as much as we can and last 3 days for diving ) can you help us with a itinerary and low cost/ decent hotel ideas please.

    please email me on chrish@asdubai.org

    Thank you so much

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