Zanzibar Island: Spiced Place To Say Yes!

Returned from the Magical Island of Zanzibar recently is Christelle Du Plessis; fashion and beauty model from South Africa and Brand ambassador to the Bloss Magazine. While on Island, Don Cobra who is a Lead Vocalist, Guitarist and Songwriter of L.A. COBRA, South African Brand went down on one knee! So now they are engaged!

“On the coolest little kayak in the Middle of Sea, he made me the happiest woman when he went on one knee” said Christelle. Now below this is what the newly couple have to say about their experiences on Zanzibar Island.

So we recently returned from our trip to Zanzibar where we stayed at Zanzest Beach Resort in Jambiani. I thought it would be helpful to other tourists who want to visit Zanzibar, if I share our experience.

We flew from South Africa to Kenya and had to get our Yellow Fever injections before hand in South Africa. We took a connected flight to Zanzibar through Kenya Air (operated by Precision Air).

Note; From June 28th 2019 the Tanzanian flag carrier Air Tanzania will open again the direct flights between Johannesburg and Daressalaam. This will be cheapest option and best way to connect from any country transit Johannesburg to reach Tanzania especially if you are coming for the Safari, Beach or Business!

We arrived on the 18th April at Zanzibar Airport (in low season as they call it) and were picked up by the resort’s driver. It was HOT, very HOT. The airport is very small and basic, somewhat neglected and a little stuffy and there really isn’t much to do or buy (eat enough on the plane) but we made it.

Note; the Government of the Zanzibar has relaunched the project of building a state of Art terminal on the Airport. It’s now on final stages of completion. Stay tuned, we will write about it once opened.

We bought a Sim Card there as well as Data which was quick and painless. Upon exiting the airport, a few people approached us to help us carry our bags or to give us a ride to our destination, all very friendly, we felt safe (coming from South Africa, we were pretty paranoid) and they did not make a nuisance of themselves when we said we could not pay them a little something or that we don’t need their service.

The trip from the airport to Jambiani was about an hour and the route there was beautiful. The lush fruit trees and the people next to the road all doing their thing. It was just extremely humid, we did not stop sweating. The people drive a little crazy there, hooting at everything but in their own way, it works for them. When we eventually arrived at Zanzest after passing through the little town of Jambiani to drop off 2 very cool Russians who split the fair with us, we were amazed at how beautiful the place was and the water, exactly what you see on Google; Picture perfect!.

We were welcomed by the friendly people and showed to our room after sorting out the formalities. The room was really pretty with an amazing view on to the beach and the coolest bath. We unpacked and so it started.

So a few important points to take in to consideration when visitng Zanzibar, or well, Jambiani, is the following:

Basics: Pack ONLY 1 jacket, and this is really still too much. It is very humid and very warm so no winter clothes is needed unless you get cold easily. Flops, 2 or 3 pairs. You walk A LOT and there is no need to pack in designer sandals, you will probably end up wearing one pair the whole holiday.

Sunblock, LOADS of it. Although the overcast makes it seem safe to walk around without it, you WILL burn. Don’t over pack, don’t pack your evening gown for “in case” … it’s an island and you won’t see that anywhere.

Food: We went in low season so there really only was so much to eat. Our resort had a very small menu which was a little disappointing but we ate nonetheless. We made our way down the beach to have meals at some of the other places around the area. Best place for us was Kupaga Resort, such amazing food and Martin, the waiter, what a gem 🙂 A lot of the people kept telling us that they don’t have the seafood on the menus because it is low season so it is not profitable for them to catch fresh seafood when the island is so quiet. Octopus Curry, a MUST try. We had ours at Kupaga right on the beachfront and it was AMAZING.

People: The people there are so friendly and helpful. We never felt unsafe or threatened. The kids there LOVE sweets so take some with you, they will be so grateful.

If I may add something: please don’t give candy to children. If you want to give them something, go visit a school and ask the head teacher what they need. In this case you don’t ‘teach’ children that it’s oke to ask candy or money from tourists.

Shops: The closest shops are about 15 – 20 minutes away into Jambiani, not on the Island itself during low season. Im sure in high season there should be some shops and stalls. We took a Taxi into Jambiani and were able to buy some liquor and some snacks.

Beach: The beach was clean and not a single piece of paper or plastic. Zanzibar is known for their Zero Plastic Policy. No plastic bags are sold etc and this is such a great initiative. White sandy beaches and crystal clear water all around. When the tide lowers, the water pulls away for hundreds of metres and you are able to go walk quite deeply into the “sea”

Activities: We did the “Blue Safari” trip out to the islands to snorkel and all. They charge anything from 80$ – 150$ per couple which includes a lovely seafood meal on the last Island. It was breathtakingly beautiful. We also went out on a Kayak into the crystal clear ocean and had our captain take us out into where we could get off the Kayak and into the lukewarm, perfect water. This is also where my fiance and I got engaged and let me tell you, men, this is how you want to do it.

There are spice tours available, and also trips to the rock restaurant, deep sea fishing etc. Even in low season there was still enough for us to do and we loved it.

It really was a beautiful and fun-filled experience and we will definitely be returning VERY soon!

Story And Pictures By Christelle Du Plessis. Link: https://www.facebook.com/christelleModelSA/

Edited By Augustine Rutasingwa!