The ‘Real’ Stone City Of Zanzibar
Stone Town, also called Mji Mkongwa (previous town in Swahili), is the fabled foremost town of Unguja Island – the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago, and the island people usually refer to simply as Zanzibar. The name Zanzibar will usually conjure photographs of superb white sands, the solar reflecting of the sparkling Indian Ocean, crystal clear waters, aromatic spices, coconut palms and a balmy breeze. Whilst that is all very true, if you’re planning to visit Zanzibar, make sure you drag your self away from the pool side for an afternoon, a day, or even a few nights to discover the wonders of Stone Town!
A great place to start any visit to city would be at Darajani. Positioned on the borders of the old town, this is a bustling, busy and hectic marketplace where men on creaky bikes weave between baskets heaving with papayas or pineapples, wizened outdated bibis (elderly ladies) in brightly coloured dresses bargain over onions and chillis, and young males linger at street corners, chatting, tucking into slices of watermelon, or refreshing themselves with contemporary coconut water, straight from the nut! This is a good place to inventory up on spices, which could be obtained cheaper than on the more touristy outlets.
Those feeling much more adventurous can head for the Suma highway, positioned opposite Darajani and to the left of the heaving daladala (bus) terminal). This road is the place to purchase fabrics – something from cheap cotton kangas to heavy, waxed kitenge, sequined rolls of airy chiffon and swathes of daring animal-print.
Heading into the main city, now’s the proper time to lose yourself (quite literally) within the maze-like alleys and zig-zag pavements of the Stone Island Jackets outdated city. Along the best way you will stroll past road-sellers promoting kaskata (a type of peanut sweet) or mandazi (cardamom flavoured semi-sweet donuts) or delicious sambusa (Swahili for samosa). Open store-fronts reveal tailors working away inside, and gangs of laughing youngsters will run previous you and disappear across the corner. And, after all, there are lots of curio shops, most selling beaded jewellery, picket carvings and stylised wildlife or Masai paintings, some selling authentic and fascinating antiques. This is your probability to attempt your hand at some correct bartering!
During your travels, it’s possible you’ll find yourself in Jaws Corner – the central meeting level for Zanzibaris to come back, play dominos or bao (a very complicated and difficult native sport), alternate news, and possibly drink a spiced stone island camo ice jacket espresso or freshtangawizi (ginger tea). If you find yourself here in the night or at night time, make sure that to attempt some barbecue octopus from considered one of the street sellers! Just method the desk stone island camo ice jacket and select a clean cocktail stick, and snack on whichever chew-measurement items you want. Usually there is some chilli salt and sauce to go together with it. Just be sure to depend how many items you’ve gotten had, so once you have finished you’ll be able to inform the seller and he will tell you how much you owe. Often it is round 100-250 Tshillings per piece, depending on the dimensions.