Jambiani, Zanzibar- Anonymous
A journey to Zanzibar. A name that was unknown to me from the start, but will always be in my heart in the future as I got to call it home for 10 weeks. I did a volunteer project for 8 weeks in Jambiani, Zanzibar- searching for a new and fresh adventure. I found myself waking up in a deserted paradise planted with coconut trees, touched by infinite white beaches under an everlasting sun. A dream for every wanderer in the pursuit of happiness... The imperfections around me took the form of absolute African perfection.
I had the opportunity to teach five different classes and I’m really happy I did. I’m not a teacher in Belgium where I live, but as soon as I started teaching English in Jambiani, I learned more everyday than I ever hoped to give to them. I didn’t ever think I was able to teach anyone about anything but I did and they listened to it with pure happiness. For that I’m very grateful.
Zanzibar is a remarkable place where everything can be appreciated: the food, the pole pole lifestyle, the nature, the language, the vivid creativity of the local people living off the land, the kindness, the positivity in every corner. This list is in exhaustive. In the incredible Swahili culture you learn how to be respectful and considerate. Something I will take home with me forever. This piece of Eden as my everyday reality has been the most beautiful experience I ever had.
Each day, I had the impression of discovering something new. Particularly the southern part of Zanzibar is where I got really inspired. Many people who visit Zanzibar stay in the northern part of the island, as it is the wealthy part. But the southern part of Zanzibar is often raw and untouched, a real paradise. Of course, my trip to Zanzibar wasn’t impulsive. I had been planning this for a few months in advance. Each day I would continue my research of this Unguja island. I saved names of addresses, activities, boat trips, shops, markets, beaches, and so on...
Where to stay
Sleeping - Uhuru, Bluereef, Coral Rock, Mr. Kahawa. Food - Zanzistar, Bluereef, Mr. Kahawa, Emerson Spice Hotel
Best way to get around
The cheapest way to get around in zanzibar is the local open air bus the 'Dala dala', I wouldn't say it is the best way for everybody but to go from small villages to other small ones it definitely is. For longer distanced I would recommend a taxi.
Anything you wish you knew before the trip?
I gave a lot of money to the medicine against Malaria, and I stopped the medicine when I was in Zanzibar. Everybody told me Malaria didn't appear in Zanzibar for a long time and that it was only dangerous if you would go to the mainland (Tanzania). I wish I'd known that there was only one place where you can get money out of ATM's - Stone Town. The first time I travelled to the south I didn't take extra money with me so I had to go back and in Zanzibar taking taxis for long distances is expensive.
Advice to pass along to the next traveller
Try to learn a bit of basic swahili before you go, it will make life sometimes a lot easier. Go to the southern part of the island (Jambiani - Michamvi - Paje). Make sure your visum is ok. Always have a bit of money with you, normally you can pay by card in the hotel but not in all of them. Also when visiting (particularly the southern) certain parts of the island, travellers often cover up to respect the population.