After a full day relaxing at the beach, we had a full day schedule that would take us to Stone Town. On the way, we stopped at a spice farm. I am not sure whether you can call it interesting, but you can call it touristic. A local guide walked us through the different spice plants, a another one climbed a 30m high coconut tree for our pleasure and a third one made some funny looking huts out of plant leafs. Not really recommended. More interesting than the spices were the people working in the farm, especially the children.
We arrived in Stone Town, the old town of Zanzibar City in the afternoon. Stone Town is a maze of super narrow streets and old buildings that are falling apart. It was pronounced a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 – for a good reason, as it is tryly beautiful – but this does not help a lot as Stone Town seems to deteriorate by the day. We booked a city tour with a local guide that walked us through the narrow streets, to the Anglican Church and the Salve Memorial, the fruit ans fish markets – full of people and functional – St Joseph’s cathedral, and the sea side walk in front of the Sultan’s palace. We ended up in Freddie Mercury’s bar, a busy and pleasant joint on the port, with loud music and good ambiance. We had lunch, the food was ok but the beer was warm. No electricity today in Stone Town, a usual phenomenon that sadly affects beer drinking under 32 degrees C and 95% humidity.
The Sauti za Busara african music festival takes place in February in Stone Town. We did not stay for the evening performances, but even at 2pm there were bands playing and young people buzzing in a cool setup near the port.
After three hours in the town, we took the way back to Pongwe, traversing the villages on the outskirts of Zanzibar City, probably the saddest and poorest part of the island. Next: On Safari, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro.