Zanzibar, Tanzania

The African Spice Islands

sail in the wind
Dhow (typical boat on the west coast of the Indian Ocean) sails along north of Unguja.
millenary pastime
Natives play a game of bao, a traditional African strategy game.
on the way to the mainland
Passengers wait to board a ferry bound for the Tanzanian capital Dar-es-Salam, in front of the historic building of the old Zanzibar city pharmacy.
Shallow Indian
A sandbar stands out from the blue-green of the shallow Indian Ocean around the Zanzibar archipelago.
Anguja native in colorful traditional dress in the shadow of one of the entrance to the old Arab Fort.
Different times, different styles
The House of Wonders - the largest building in Zanzibar - stands behind the Arab Fort that was erected on the site of a Portuguese chapel.
Allah's Uniforms
Young students from Zanzibar walk down an alley in Stone City in their traditional Islamist uniforms.
colobus monkeys
The more sociable inhabitants of the Jozani Forest investigate the arrival of new human visitors.
bathing art
Painting seller installed in the shade of a coconut tree on the coast of Nungwi, on the north coast of Unguja, the largest island of Zanzibar.
far from the sun
Hassam, Jozani's guide, installed on the strong roots of the mangrove at the edge of the rainforest.
fresh spice
Host of a small spice farm shows a freshly opened nutmeg.
Africa fettered
Detail of the memorial to slavery outside the Anglican church, in the heart of Cidade da Pedra.
dhow without sail
A dhow motors along with the sun falling over the horizon in front of Nungwi, on the northern end of the island of Anguja.
Darajani fish shop
Vendors grouped in the fish sector of the old Darajani market, at the entrance to Cidade de Pedra.
Business (very) registered
A passerby passes in front of a famous store in Cidade de Pedra, full of license plates.
Expressions of Islam
Women from different Islamist factions - one more radical than the other - pass in a square in the Stone City of Zanzibar City.
Rest in shades of blue
There, a resident of Stone City by the Persian baths of Hamamni.
opposite destinations
Dhows intersect on the north coast of the island of Anguja, with the sun setting at high speed.
just for men
Residents of Cidade de Pedra play and socialize in a lively square in the citadel.
end of day, middle of shift
Hotel security at your workstation by the sea with the sun almost setting over the Indian Ocean.
Vasco da Gama opened the Indian Ocean to the Portuguese empire. In the XNUMXth century, the Zanzibar archipelago became the largest producer of cloves and the available spices diversified, as did the people who disputed them.

At a certain point in the conversation, Othamn Masoud opens a lesson for gentiles in Swahili: “English we say Kiingereza, French is Kifaransa.

Portugal?? Portugal is Ureno and Portuguese is Kireno! I can't explain why” the teenager confesses to us as we try to understand the phonetic discrepancy of the term.

The mystery intrigues us.

However, past vast parched rice paddies that awaited the monsoons, we arrived in the lush green forest of Jozani. Hassan welcome us.

Zanzibar, African Islands, Spices, Tanzania, Jozani Mangrove

Hassam, Jozani's guide, installed on the strong roots of the mangrove at the edge of the rainforest.

He presents himself dressed according to his religion and office.

The Eccentric Fauna of the Jozani Forest

He's wearing a kofia – a South-East African-style Islamist cap – and rubber boots.

On the narrow trails, he reveals a rare jumping shrew before we head to the haven of the less timid species and, therefore, most threatened with extinction in that tiny ecosystem: the colobus monkey.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, colobus monkeys

The more sociable inhabitants of the Jozani Forest investigate the arrival of new human visitors.

In three times, dozens of fluffy and striped specimens, white and black, descend from the treetops to the proximity of the vast mangrove and grant us a curious investigative interaction.

As the day was still halfway through, we took the opportunity to go through one of the several farms of spices that coexist on Anguja, the largest island of Zanzibar.

He led us, on this occasion, Abdallah Rasih, an experienced native guide with a loud voice and bearing to match.

From what we can see, a very unique style of presenting these farms and plants to visitors has developed over time.

An Incursion into Zanzibar's Abundant Spices

Its main ingredient was the total lack of facial expression and suspense. “Have you seen these leaves, asks Ysuf, a host on the farm? This texture, do you know?

And this smell? Maybe, because of the smell, they're already there? What if I crush the leaves like that?

So do you already know what it is? Very well, it's citronella!" confirms us.

After having gone through more or less exhausting rituals for cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and so on.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, nutmeg

Host of a small spice farm shows a freshly opened nutmeg.

The Small Portuguese Fort and the Reason for Being of the Term Ureno

The explanation for its presence so far from its geographical origin was associated with the mystery of “Urenus”. We didn't take long to unravel it.

“Well, since we've seen one of your heritages and we're so close, let's take a look at the place where it is believed that Portuguese navigators first anchored”.

We went by car to Fukuchani. There, Abdallah shows us the ruins of a building that was believed for a long time to have served as a fortification for the first discoverers to disembark in those parts.

Zanzibar, African Islands, Spices, Tanzania,

The ruins of the fort the Portuguese built in Fukuchani

A pthe influence of Vasco da Gama in the archipelago it dictated its incorporation in the province of Arabia and Ethiopia of the kingdom of Portugal, which then expanded at a strong pace into an empire.

According to what we found on the Internet and it seemed to make perfect sense to us, Ureno, the so-called Gentile Swahili came from the Portuguese having been connoted as the people of the Kingdom.

They were also responsible for the spread of spices across East Africa.

Aboard the Dala Dal (bus) 117, Towards the City of Stone

On a new day, sunny like everyone else, we leave the cozy Mapenzi, head towards the road that runs along the east coast of the island and wait for the first dala dala (locally-styled bus) to pass towards the city of Zanzibar, the island's capital.

We didn't wait five minutes when the 117 appeared, coming from Kiwenga and the pine cone. The driver intuits additional profit. It makes us follow at your side instead of in the overcrowded cabin. Charge us double.

On the one hand, it deprives us of any interaction with other passengers, but on the other, we enjoy the journey better.

O dala dala stops at all times and everywhere instructed by natives who come out of nowhere or by passengers in frequent verbal disputes.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, bao

Natives play a game of bao, a traditional African strategy game.

It passes by scooters, bicycles, ox carts and pedestrians, which gathers at the entrance to the villages, lost among dense colonies of coconut trees and banana groves.

Schools abound, easy to identify at that time of the morning by the countless groups of young people in uniforms, even more so when we saw long processions of girls all covered in jilbabs or combinations of hijabs with tunics.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, Muslim students

Young students from Zanzibar walk down an alley in Stone City in their traditional Islamist uniforms.

The road sides are tight, but the population seems to have gotten used to living their lives in sync and even depending on the traffic.

dala dala  number 117 passes through a house that we found to have been the domicile of the Scottish explorer David Livingstone.

Beside, several masai work in construction.

Drifting through the streets and alleys of Cidade de Pedra, Capital of Zanzibar

Then, it penetrates the edge of the city of Zanzibar and the station of dalla dalas from the Darajani market.

This part of the city is overflowing with people. We are flooded with the senses of movements, colors, smells and sounds of the myriad of products and transactions that take place there.

Zanzibar, African Islands, Spices, Tanzania, Fishmonger

Vendors grouped in the fish sector of the old Darajani market, at the entrance to Cidade de Pedra.

We explore it with the fascination that any genuine market in a secular African city awakens in us.

Lost in that overcrowded labyrinth, we turn to a map and make ourselves what we think is a viable entrance to Cidade de Pedra, the old town with predominant XNUMXth century architecture that the UNESCO classified, in 2000, of World Heritage.

Above all, due to the incredible mix of influences from Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements, fifty mosques, six Hindu temples and two Catholic churches underlying the aggregating Swahili culture.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, jilaba resident

There, a resident of Stone City by the Persian baths of Hamamni.

We walk with the unique orientation of the sea through the streets that are sometimes dark and sometimes sunny, rarely deserted. Most of the buildings that delimit them are degraded or in ruins.

They preserve a decadent charm.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, license plate street

A passerby passes in front of a famous store in Cidade de Pedra, full of license plates.

This is the case of the Arab Fort, which was erected as a defense by the occupants of Oman, in 1780, where there was a Portuguese chapel.

In February, it hosts the Sauti za Busara, Zanzibar Music Festival, one of the largest ethnic music events in the world.

The Zanzibarite Origin of Farouk Bulsara, Best Known by Freddy Mercury

Cidade da Pedra has another fascinating relationship with music.

It was on Kenyatta Street that we also traveled through that, in 1946, Farrokh Bulsara was born, the son of Parsi and Zoroastrian Indian parents.

Former family home of Farou Boulsara, famous as Freddy Mercury.

Farouk lived in Zanzibar until he was nine years old until the family moved to Zanzibar. India. In 1970, he arrived in London. In the English capital, under the pseudonym of Freddie Mercury, he led a band that few readers will be unaware of, called Queen.

We go back in time and to the seafront of Cidade de Pedra.

Right next to the Arab Fort, the Beit-el-Ajaib or the House of Wonders stands out for its supreme dimension. A sultan had it built in 1883.

Zanzibar, African Islands, Spices, Tanzania, Fort and House of Wonders

The Casa das Maravilhas – the largest building in Zanzibar – stands behind the Arab Fort that was erected on the site of a Portuguese chapel.

It won the title for being the first building on the island to have electric lighting and the first in East Africa to be equipped with an elevator powered by electricity.

These days, access to the interior is prohibited. The large stationary clock tower gives false hours.

Nearby, the former home of the Zanzibarite Tippu Tip is considered one of the most majestic ruins in Africa.

tippu tip, got its name from the sound that the many weapons at its disposal made in the slave raids it led into the interior of Africa in order to capture slaves for its clove plantations and for those of other owners.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, Slave Market memorial

Detail of the memorial to slavery outside the Anglican church, in the heart of Cidade da Pedra.

So, the boats he was using started from the seafront where we sat and enjoyed the dhow (Arab triangular sailing boats) and others in their tourist or fishing hustle.

To the dhow in particular, we would again and again see them pass from the talcum sands off the northern tip of Anguja, the main island of Zanzibar.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, beach women

Traditionally dressed workers pick up rocks on a Nungwi beach on the northern edge of Unguja, the main island of the Zanzibar archipelago.

During the day, fast boats plowed through the turquoise waters of the warm ocean in which we bathed.

With the sun setting, they transformed into geometric silhouettes that we followed until nightfall.

Zanzibar, African islands, spices, Tanzania, dhow at sunset

A dhow motors along with the sun falling over the horizon in front of Nungwi, on the northern end of the island of Anguja.

Morondava, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar

The Malagasy Way to Dazzle

Out of nowhere, a colony of baobab trees 30 meters high and 800 years old flanks a section of the clayey and ocher road parallel to the Mozambique Channel and the fishing coast of Morondava. The natives consider these colossal trees the mothers of their forest. Travelers venerate them as a kind of initiatory corridor.
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
Male Maldives

The Maldives For Real

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Bazaruto, Mozambique

The Inverted Mirage of Mozambique

Just 30km off the East African coast, an unlikely but imposing erg rises out of the translucent sea. Bazaruto it houses landscapes and people who have lived apart for a long time. Whoever lands on this lush, sandy island soon finds himself in a storm of awe.
Ilha de Mozambique, Mozambique  

The Island of Ali Musa Bin Bique. Pardon... of Mozambique

With the arrival of Vasco da Gama in the extreme south-east of Africa, the Portuguese took over an island that had previously been ruled by an Arab emir, who ended up misrepresenting the name. The emir lost his territory and office. Mozambique - the molded name - remains on the resplendent island where it all began and also baptized the nation that Portuguese colonization ended up forming.
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Ibo Island, Mozambique

Island of a Gone Mozambique

It was fortified in 1791 by the Portuguese who expelled the Arabs from the Quirimbas and seized their trade routes. It became the 2nd Portuguese outpost on the east coast of Africa and later the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. With the end of the slave trade at the turn of the XNUMXth century and the passage from the capital to Porto Amélia, Ibo Island found itself in the fascinating backwater in which it is located.

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
Enxame Mozambique

Mozambican Fashion Service Area

It is repeated at almost all stops in towns of Mozambique worthy of appearing on maps. The machimbombo (bus) stops and is surrounded by a crowd of eager "businessmen". The products offered can be universal such as water or biscuits or typical of the area. In this region, a few kilometers from Nampula, fruit sales suceeded, in each and every case, quite intense.
Ibo Island a Quirimba IslandMozambique

Ibo to Quirimba with the Tide

For centuries, the natives have traveled in and out of the mangrove between the island of Ibo and Quirimba, in the time that the overwhelming return trip from the Indian Ocean grants them. Discovering the region, intrigued by the eccentricity of the route, we follow its amphibious steps.
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

Hemingway's Favorite Africa

Situated on the western edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest but charming and richest in Europe. wild life of Tanzania. In 1933, between hunting and literary discussions, Ernest Hemingway dedicated a month of his troubled life to him. He narrated those adventurous safari days in “The Green Hills of Africa".
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

On the world map, south of the famous brazilian wetland, a little-known flooded region appears, but almost as vast and rich in biodiversity. the Guarani expression Y bera defines it as “shining waters”. The adjective fits more than its strong luminance.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

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Visitors in Jameos del Água, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Architecture & Design
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To César Manrique what is César Manrique's

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Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

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Native Americans Parade, Pow Pow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
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Albuquerque, USA

When the Drums Sound, the Indians Resist

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Casario de Ushuaia, last of the cities, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Ushuaia, Argentina

The Last of the Southern Cities

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Margilan, Uzbekistan

An Uzbekistan's Breadwinner

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Casa Menezes Braganca, Chandor, Goa, India
Chandor, Goa, India

A True Goan-Portuguese House

A mansion with Portuguese architectural influence, Casa Menezes Bragança, stands out from the houses of Chandor, in Goa. It forms a legacy of one of the most powerful families in the former province. Both from its rise in a strategic alliance with the Portuguese administration and from the later Goan nationalism.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

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Herd in Manang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 8th Manang, Nepal

Manang: the Last Acclimatization in Civilization

Six days after leaving Besisahar we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). Located at the foot of the Annapurna III and Gangapurna Mountains, Manang is the civilization that pampers and prepares hikers for the ever-dreaded crossing of Thorong La Gorge (5416 m).
Conversation between photocopies, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Lapland Nation, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

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Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
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Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

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El Cofete beach from the top of El Islote, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

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Maksim, Sami people, Inari, Finland-2
Winter White
Inari, Finland

The Guardians of Boreal Europe

Long discriminated against by Scandinavian, Finnish and Russian settlers, the Sami people regain their autonomy and pride themselves on their nationality.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

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Manatee Creek, Florida, United States of America
Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

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Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
The Gran Sabana
Natural Parks

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A Real Jurassic Park

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khinalik, Azerbaijan Caucasus village, Khinalig
UNESCO World Heritage
Chinalig, Azerbaijan

The Village at the Top of Azerbaijan

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aggie gray, Samoa, South Pacific, Marlon Brando Fale
Apia, Western Samoa

The Host of the South Pacific

She sold burguês to GI's in World War II and opened a hotel that hosted Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Aggie Gray passed away in 2. Her legacy lives on in the South Pacific.
Moorea aerial view
Moorea, French Polynesia

The Polynesian Sister Any Island Would Like to Have

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Ice cream, Moriones Festival, Marinduque, Philippines
Marinduque, Philippines

When the Romans Invade the Philippines

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white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

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Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

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Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

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Transpantaneira pantanal of Mato Grosso, capybara
Mato Grosso Pantanal, Brazil

Transpantaneira, Pantanal and the Ends of Mato Grosso

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Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

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