If you imagined Zanzibar, you will definitely have such a picture in your mind – turquoise water of the warm Indian ocean, clean sand, beautiful underwater world where you can see many colorful fish swimming around, hot sunny weather and summer all year round. And this is all true. But there is also another world, but I will not talk about it … I will just say that people in Zanzibar live a very poor life. And you could have seen it in my Instagram page.
I have been to Zanzibar already 2 times. Will talk a little bit about the Melia hotel where we stayed during our first time. This 5 * hotel is located in the resort town of Kiwengwa. It takes almost an hour (40 km) to get from the airport to the hotel by car. The area is huge. There is a private beach, but you need to go there by a golf car (it takes approximately 5 minutes), a pool, a tennis court, a spa, a fitness center, a sauna, several restaurants and even a garden with beautiful flowers and trees. There you will meet many tourists from Russia or Ukraine, you can hear Russian language almost everywhere.
The rooms are very nice, but the prices are also high. You will pay at least $ 400 per night for one room. There are also 8 restaurants and bars on the territory. A buffet is available in the morning. Food is tasty, you can try seafood which is always fresh. Just one thing, it is again expensive. I do not understand why such high prices for everything, but anyways, it is a resort, so people are willing to pay for their holiday. This hotel is very beautiful, I would gladly come back here again.
The second time I stayed in another hotel, which is located on the other side of the island, in the west of Zanzibar. It is not far from the airport. It takes maximum 20 min to get to the hotel. The hotel is still brand new. Not everything is opened there. They are still building something on the territory, but in general the hotel is beautiful and comfortable for your holiday. The pool is already working, but so far there are not many guests in the hotel, so I did not notice someone swimming there. There are different boats which you can rent to go to other islands. From my room I could see three small islands and we went to one of them. But first I will tell about one interesting restaurant where we had dinner.
The Rock Restaurant
This restaurant is very famous at Zanzibar and I wanted to go there someday. But when I came to Zanzibar for the first time, I did not want to move anywhere from the hotel. This time, colleagues offered to go there, and as always I can not refuse. You need to go to the other side of the island (east of Zanzibar). Driving will take a bit more than an hour. We were almost late for sunset.
We wanted to take pictures during a daytime and we managed to do this. But our driver was driving very fast and did everything possible so that we made it, although we were stopped by the local police for 3 times, they are just everywhere, stopping almost every car. The sunset was on the other side of the island, exactly where our hotel is located. Therefore, it is better to come to this restaurant during the sunrise, although I doubt that it will be opened so early. You have to book a table in advance because they don’t have too many tables there.
Outside the restaurant looks like an old hut on the rock, but inside it is a pleasant romantic atmosphere. And mostly couples were eating there. I think everyone who arrives to Zanzibar goes to this restaurant at least once.
The food is tasty there, though they don’t have too many choices. Basically you can order different types of pasta, but also seafood. I ordered grilled fish with vegetables and paid about $ 20 for it. The beach near the restaurant looked a bit dirty. I saw a very clean beach on the pictures, although it may be clean in another period of the year. Definitely I advise you to go to this restaurant, if you are in Zanzibar.
Another interesting place in Zanzibar is Chang Island, or Prison Island. It got its name not by accident. It is said that there was a prison before, and later on they were selling slaves on this island. Recently, there was a hotel, but now it has already been closed.
It is worth coming to this island because of the giant tortoises called Aldabra. They brought them from Seychelles in 1919 as a gift from the governor of Seychelles. They quickly reproduced themselves and now there are more than 100 tortoises. Initially, these tortoises lived only in Seychelles, and now they can be seen in Zanzibar too. The oldest tortoise is 194 years old. Can you imagine – 194 years! How can someone live so many years?) You can feed them, they do not bite, but you need to be careful with them. Sitting on them is forbidden if someone thought about it)).
Water on this island is simply of unreal colors – turquoise, light blue, dark blue, all shades of blue and crystal clear. We did not have much time, but we were swimming there for an hour. Also we found 2 starfish. This is probably the first time I was holding them in my hands. You can do diving or snorkeling, but you need to spend a little more time on this island. We paid $ 80 for a boat (for 4 persons). Prices are different, it will not be cheaper though, but if you are travelling in a big company, you need a larger boat.
Zanzibar is a paradise on Earth. And it is definitely worth visiting!