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.
Ashura
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

Seen from the air, Malé, the capital of the Maldives, looks little more than a sample of a crammed island. Those who visit it will not find lying coconut trees, dream beaches, spas or infinite pools. Be dazzled by the genuine Maldivian everyday life that tourist brochures omit.
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.
Mauritius

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.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Safari
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
by the shadow
Architecture & Design
Miami, USA

A Masterpiece of Urban Rehabilitation

At the turn of the 25st century, the Wynwood neighbourhood remained filled with abandoned factories and warehouses and graffiti. Tony Goldman, a shrewd real estate investor, bought more than XNUMX properties and founded a mural park. Much more than honoring graffiti there, Goldman founded the Wynwood Arts District, the great bastion of creativity in Miami.
Adventure
Volcanoes

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Nahuatl celebration
Cities

Mexico City, Mexico

mexican soul

With more than 20 million inhabitants in a vast metropolitan area, this megalopolis marks, from its heart of zócalo, the spiritual pulse of a nation that has always been vulnerable and dramatic.

Beverage Machines, Japan
Meal
Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
Correspondence verification
Culture
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Sport
Competitions

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
travel western australia, surfspotting
Traveling
Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

Few people worship evasion like the aussies. With southern summer in full swing and the weekend just around the corner, Perthians are taking refuge from the urban routine in the nation's southwest corner. For our part, without compromise, we explore endless Western Australia to its southern limit.
Fort São Filipe, Cidade Velha, Santiago Island, Cape Verde
Ethnic
Cidade Velha, Cape Verde

Cidade Velha: the Ancient of the Tropico-Colonial Cities

It was the first settlement founded by Europeans below the Tropic of Cancer. In crucial times for Portuguese expansion to Africa and South America and for the slave trade that accompanied it, Cidade Velha became a poignant but unavoidable legacy of Cape Verdean origins.

sunlight photography, sun, lights
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 2)

One Sun, So Many Lights

Most travel photos are taken in sunlight. Sunlight and weather form a capricious interaction. Learn how to predict, detect and use at its best.
Boat on the Yellow River, Gansu, China
History
Bingling Yes, China

The Canyon of a Thousand Buddhas

For more than a millennium and at least seven dynasties, Chinese devotees have extolled their religious belief with the legacy of sculpture in a remote strait of the Yellow River. If you disembark in the Canyon of Thousand Buddhas, you may not find all the sculptures, but you will find a stunning Buddhist shrine.
Cathedral, Funchal, Madeira
Islands
Funchal, Madeira

Portal to a Nearly Tropical Portugal

Madeira is located less than 1000km north of the Tropic of Cancer. And the luxuriant exuberance that earned it the nickname of the garden island of the Atlantic can be seen in every corner of its steep capital.
Sampo Icebreaker, Kemi, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
Kukenam reward
Literature
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

At the top of Mount Roraima, there are extraterrestrial scenarios that have resisted millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never got to step on it.
Armenian Church, Sevanavank Peninsula, Lake Sevan, Armenia
Nature
lake sevan, Armenia

The Bittersweet Caucasus Lake

Enclosed between mountains at 1900 meters high, considered a natural and historical treasure of Armenia, Lake Sevan has never been treated as such. The level and quality of its water has deteriorated for decades and a recent invasion of algae drains the life that subsists in it.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Autumn
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.
Miniature houses, Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Volcano, Cape Verde
Natural Parks
Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo Island Cape Verde

A "French" Clan at the Mercy of Fogo

In 1870, a Count born in Grenoble on his way to Brazilian exile, made a stopover in Cape Verde where native beauties tied him to the island of Fogo. Two of his children settled in the middle of the volcano's crater and continued to raise offspring there. Not even the destruction caused by the recent eruptions deters the prolific Montrond from the “county” they founded in Chã das Caldeiras.    
Museum of Petroleum, Stavanger, Norway
UNESCO World Heritage
Stavanger, Norway

The Motor City of Norway

The abundance of offshore oil and natural gas and the headquarters of the companies in charge of exploiting them have promoted Stavanger from the Norwegian energy capital preserve. Even so, this city didn't conform. With a prolific historical legacy, at the gates of a majestic fjord, cosmopolitan Stavanger has long propelled the Land of the Midnight Sun.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Characters
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Martinique island, French Antilles, Caribbean Monument Cap 110
Beaches
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Burning prayers, Ohitaki Festival, fushimi temple, kyoto, japan
Religion
Kyoto, Japan

A Combustible Faith

During the Shinto celebration of Ohitaki, prayers inscribed on tablets by the Japanese faithful are gathered at the Fushimi temple. There, while being consumed by huge bonfires, her belief is renewed.
Train Kuranda train, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
On Rails
Cairns-Kuranda, Australia

Train to the Middle of the Jungle

Built out of Cairns to save miners isolated in the rainforest from starvation by flooding, the Kuranda Railway eventually became the livelihood of hundreds of alternative Aussies.
full cabin
Society
Saariselka, Finland

The Delightful Arctic Heat

It is said that the Finns created SMS so they don't have to talk. The imagination of cold Nordics is lost in the mist of their beloved saunas, real physical and social therapy sessions.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Daily life
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Wildlife
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.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.