Day 10: Another World on Unguja island, Zanzibar

October 6, 2006 1 By Jakob

Differences from one country or one region within a country to the other are usually not really that big.

However, in Tanzania the differences between the mainland and the Unguja island in the Zanzibar archipelago are quite significant. Yes, the language is pretty much the same – the entire country has Kiswahili as official language; the people for the most part look pretty much the same. The religion on Unguja is mostly Islam, which makes for some significant differences – especially now that we travel during the ramadan.

For us it meant that eating, drinking, and smoking in public was not at all welcomed. Imagine not eating or especially drinking anything at all in 30 degrees heat!

The picture to the right is from the first morning sunrise on Zanzibar. Jakob got up a bit early to get the first shots of the beautiful surroundings of hotel Blue Oyster.

On this the first day on Zanzibar we watched with curiousity how the locals at low tide went to their usually ocean covered sea-weed fields to harvest sea-weed. That pattern repeated itself every day during our stay and seems to be part of how people make a living outside the major towns on Unguja Island, Zanzibar.

In the afternoon Eric went diving with what later appeared to be a fake PADI-certified dive center with a dive master who wasn’t really a dive master. Excellent experience with some of the most impressive corals he’d seen to date.
Leen and Jakob joined for a bit of snorkeling. It turned out to be a bit too deep to be really beautiful, but Jakob did at least see a shark within the outer reef – something that apparently is very rare that close to the coast.