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

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.

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.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Thorong La, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, photo for posterity
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 13th - High camp a Thorong La to Muktinath, Nepal

At the height of the Annapurnas Circuit

At 5416m of altitude, the Thorong La Gorge is the great challenge and the main cause of anxiety on the itinerary. After having killed 2014 climbers in October 29, crossing it safely generates a relief worthy of double celebration.
Music Theater and Exhibition Hall, Tbilisi, Georgia
Architecture & Design
Tbilisi, Georgia

Georgia still Perfumed by the Rose Revolution

In 2003, a popular political uprising made the sphere of power in Georgia tilt from East to West. Since then, the capital Tbilisi has not renounced its centuries of Soviet history, nor the revolutionary assumption of integrating into Europe. When we visit, we are dazzled by the fascinating mix of their past lives.
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
on Stage, Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua (Antilles), Guatemala

Hispanic Guatemala, the Antigua Fashion

In 1743, several earthquakes razed one of the most charming pioneer colonial cities in the Americas. Antigua has regenerated but preserves the religiosity and drama of its epic-tragic past.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Eternal Spring Shrine

Taroko George

Deep in Taiwan

In 1956, skeptical Taiwanese doubted that the initial 20km of Central Cross-Island Hwy was possible. The marble canyon that challenged it is today the most remarkable natural setting in Formosa.

São Nicolau, Cape Verde

Photography of Nha Terra São Nicolau

The voice of the late Cesária Verde crystallized the feeling of Cape Verdeans who were forced to leave their island. who visits São Nicolau or, wherever it may be, admires images that illustrate it well, understands why its people proudly and forever call it their land.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Museum of Petroleum, Stavanger, Norway
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.
Mahé Ilhas das Seychelles, friends of the beach
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Winter White
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Kogi, PN Tayrona, Guardians of the World, Colombia
PN Tayrona, Colombia

Who Protects the Guardians of the World?

The natives of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta believe that their mission is to save the Cosmos from the “Younger Brothers”, which are us. But the real question seems to be, "Who protects them?"
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Argentinean flag on the Perito Moreno-Argentina lake-glacier
Natural Parks
Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

The Resisting Glacier

Warming is supposedly global, but not everywhere. In Patagonia, some rivers of ice resist. From time to time, the advance of the Perito Moreno causes landslides that bring Argentina to a halt.
Forested Peaks, Huang Shan, China, Anhui, Yellow Mountain Floating Peaks
UNESCO World Heritage
Huang Shan, China

Huang Shan: The Yellow Mountains of the Floating Peaks

The granitic peaks of the floating yellow mountains of Huang Shan, from which acrobat pines sprout, appear in artistic illustrations from China without count. The real scenery, in addition to being remote, remains hidden above the clouds for over 200 days.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Back to Danny Boyle's The Beach

It's been 15 years since the debut of the backpacker classic based on the novel by Alex Garland. The film popularized the places where it was shot. Shortly thereafter, the XNUMX tsunami literally washed some away off the map. Today, their controversial fame remains intact.
Holy Sepulcher, Jerusalem, Christian churches, priest with insensate
Holy Sepulcher Basilica, Jerusalem, Israel

The Supreme Temple of the Old Christian Churches

It was built by Emperor Constantine, on the site of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection and an ancient temple of Venus. In its genesis, a Byzantine work, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is, today, shared and disputed by various Christian denominations as the great unifying building of Christianity.
white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, streymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Masai Mara Reservation, Masai Land Travel, Kenya, Masai Convivial
Masai Mara, Kenya

A Journey Through the Masai Lands

The Mara savannah became famous for the confrontation between millions of herbivores and their predators. But, in a reckless communion with wildlife, it is the Masai humans who stand out there.
The Sounds, Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Fiordland, New Zealand

The Fjords of the Antipodes

A geological quirk made the Fiordland region the rawest and most imposing in New Zealand. Year after year, many thousands of visitors worship the sub-domain slashed between Te Anau and Milford Sound.