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Zanzibar

Only one airline makes a nonstop flight to Zanzibar from JOBerg. 1 Time Airlines does it twice a week and the flight would be our most expensive of the trip. It hurt to pay $550 USD for a 3.5 hour roundtrip flight, but that was the cheapest we found. Flying around Africa is NOT cheap. in fact, Africa has been the most expensive place we’ve been on our trip. Even the dirty, crappy hotels in Zanzibar would be at least $30 compared to the $10 we were paying in Thailand for something nicer.

We arrived in Zanzibar a day earlier than our friends Brian and Erica, who were just finishing up a non-profit project in Malawi and wanted to relax on the beaches their final week in Africa.

Zanzibar is just off the coast of Tanzania and is about 60 miles long and 30 miles wide. It is a part of Tanzania and caters to Europeans seeking some hot weather and crystal clear water. Kind of like the Carribean except that much less developed – Euros seem to like that.

Stonetown, the main hub of Zanzibar is both an interesting little section of tiny alleyways and unique culture as well as just another crazy Africa town where nothing is ordered, trash is everywhere and nobody seems to have a job. Unemployment is something ridiculous like 50% and even the people who do work don’t make much money. Unique about Zanzibar is that it is pretty safe. You can walk around at night with little worry – something you probably wouldn’t do in most African towns.

When we first started our trip in SE Asia, we would sort of make fun of all the tourists that only went to expat bars and restaurants and only ate things like pizza and spaghetti. In Thailand or Vietnam, it just seems like a total waste to not sample the local cuisine.

But Africa doesn’t really have a “going out” culture whether it is because everyone is so poor or because things are unsafe or whatever, but there is very little local food on the street. What little there is on the street doesn’t seem very clean.

And so it would be for most of our time in Zanzibar, we would be eating the expat/tourist food, which honestly, was a welcome treat after our time so far away from home.

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