More from Africa…

Its day 4 today in this stunning land of Africa, and before I give you what is in schedule for me for the rest of the day, let me just quickly update you all with how my day went yesterday. Also sharing a visual of the visit to the famous Artisan Village.
One thing I must say is that, from the time I’ve been in Africa, all the days have been beginning really early – and so was yesterday, with quite an early morning breakfast at the hotel as I had to catch the 6.00 am flight for my next destination, Zanzibar.
To give you all an insight on this city – one of the largest producers of cloves in the world, this African city boasts of its paradise beaches lined with coconut palms in plenty. From the entire fruit, nothing goes waste – the edible nut, along with the coconut palm that yields a variety of  materials for weaving and  building. . One of the interesting ways of constructing the roofs of many houses in Zanzibar is done with makuti palm thatching, made from palm leaves. As I explored this city, I also got the feel of the native language that the Zanzibaris spoke – Kiswahili, commonly known internationally as Swahili.
Next up was my visit to the Stone Town markets and see the slave prisons there. One of the largest and lively open-air markets,   the Stone Town market    has several varieties of bananas, the unique “elephant garlic” and the largest avocados. The prices are also extremely reasonable, so what more can you ask for! This place is a worth visit for its spectacle alone, even if you have no intentions of purchasing food. Then the Darajani Market in Stone Town, also known as the Estella Market is a traditional food market  where selling of  vegetables, meat, seafood, spices and fabric is carried out by the the Zanzibaris in separate sections under a gable roofed structure. .
After Stone Town, had a quick lunch as next in line was the visit to Spice Farm. Zanzibar is also known as the ‘Island of Spices’ with its romantic past preserved in the aroma of cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and lemon grass. The making of essential oils in a locally run distillery factory can also be experienced in the Aromatic and Spices Discovery tour. Go on board at the green walking tracks of the local Spice Farm  by seeing, smelling and tasting the variety of spices and herbs and also the delicious tropical seasonal fruits like  jackfruit, pineapple, green coconut, etc.
Just after Spice Farm, was the visit to Forodhani Night Food Market at the waterfront location of Forodhani Gardens. I had to make sure that I arrive here before dusk to witness the space fill up precisely with white dressed chefs with tall hats setting up rows and rows of stands and grills of fish, squid, prawn, lobster, crab claw and seafood kababs. The smells from these grills surely tickles the hunger pangs and all you want to do is to try them! Freshly pressed juices like sugarcane juice and cassava, fried potatoes, chapattis, salads, beef skewers, Falafel and Zanzibar ‘pizzas’ are other added features that excite the palates. While at Forodhani, I came to know about the different thoughts that are prevalent – one with the belief that the food isn’t prepared freshly, but is simply re-heated, thus making it somewhat tricky for the tourist who is wary of such things, and the other which says it’s the tastiest and most inexpensive street food you can ever  enjoy!
So, this was all for day 3 and now its time for day 4, which is today. Morning began with a super quick breakfast as just after that we had to catch a dhow for a fish catching experience and enjoy the glimpse of some spectacular fishing activities on the Zanzibari beaches. Later, will be the visit to the Prison Island and see the turtles there at their most natural habitats. This will be followed by cooking a fish meal on the Island and a lunch after that. The Prison Island is also known as the Changuu Island, and the legend states that it never housed prisoners! This island was used to dump the slaves that were bought by an Arab slave trader from the African mainland in order to prevent their escape before shipping to the Arabian purchasers or for auctioning in Zanzibar’s slave market.
After the Prison Island, I will be at the northernmost peninsula of Zanzibar Island, the Ras Nungwi Beach. This Beach overlooks   the expanse of the glistening Indian Ocean where you can find groups of whitewashed and palm thatched cottages in rich tropical gardens. The beach houses countless paths that are shaded by lush green palms that create those perfect walkways and areas to relax. The day shall get over with this being my last visit and I will be retiring for the day after a scrumptious dinner at the hotel.
More to come as I travel to Arusha/Manyara on Friday and reveal my experience…

Till I write again.
Sanjeev Kapoor 

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