Posted on Sep 14, 2015
I know this post is waaaay overdue and there are so many other places we've visited in the meantime but I still wanted to get this post up! We visited Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania this past February. It was one of the most special trips I've taken so enjoy the photos and stay tuned for Part II ;)
Zanzibar is 99% Muslim! It was ruled by the Sultanate of Oman for almost two centuries and was a major hub for the African slave trade before it was abolished in 1873. The city center, Stone Town is now a world heritage site.
We stayed at the Seyyida Hotel and Spa in the heart of Stone Town. It's in a great location and the staff were so friendly and welcoming - we definitely recommend this hotel for a stay in Stone Town.
The hotel lobby and grounds :)
We took a day trip to Cheetah's Rock on Zanzibar's west coast, north of Stone Town - it was by far the highlight of our trip! If you find yourself in Zanzibar - you don't want to miss this once in a lifetime experience - book early!
Run by the warm and welcoming Jenny who is the official trainer for all the animals, we interacted with animals face to face - we played soccer with a zebra, fed ring-tailed lemurs, and came face to face with a baby lion, hyena and Tyson the cheetah!
Tyson's past owner was Sheikha Fatima, the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, who donated him to Cheetah's Rock. None of the animals at Cheetah's Rock are drugged, they do not use tranquilizers nor do they remove claws or teeth. Most of the animals are rescues or donated and are trained based on trust and reward by the amazing trainer Jenny who was just phenomenal!
The next day we made the trek over to the east coast of the island to Michanwi Pingwe beach to eat at The Rock Restaurant. This place has been on my bucket list for a long time and it does not disappoint!
The Rock Restaurant sits atop a rock in the Indian Ocean - they have the most amazing views with a really relaxed atmosphere. Make sure you come here for lunch or an early dinner before the sun sets so you can catch some spectacular views!
The food was amazing! Zanzibari food is a mix of Indian, Arab and African flavors due to its heritage with a lot of seafood, curries and lots of spice!
Back in Stone Town we wandered the beautiful streets and got lost in the maze of the winding corners and street shops.
I ran into these adorable girls coming home from school - they were learning surah Fatiha and they were so so adorable. That cutie on the end cracked me up - she's like, "bump this, I'm hungry!"
When a house was built in Zanzibar, the door was traditionally the first part to be erected. The greater the wealth and social position of the family, the larger and more elaborate the door would be.
Breakfast at our hotel - if you're in Zanzibar make sure try the spice coffee! One of the best cups of coffee I've ever had!
Our lobby had a beautiful rooftop restaurant and terrace with stunning views of the city. Do you spot the masjid in the top right photo? You could hear the beautiful athan five times a day from all the masajid across the city.
Stunning view of the ocean from the rooftop terrace at our hotel
Stay tuned for Part II where we make our way up to the northern tip of the island to our resort in Nungwi!