Zanzibar: The West Coast
Part 2: The West Coast & Stone Town
After an amazing first few days by Paje on the east coast of the island we made our way back over to the west coast of the island, just 25 minutes north of Stone Town to a place called Zanzi Resort.
The drive took about an hour (to give you an idea as to the size of Zanzibar it takes roughly 90 minutes to get from the north to the south of the island) and when we got there were again greeted with extremely warm and friendly welcomes.
After a quick tour of the beautiful resort we were shown to our amazing villa with a seaside view and a private pool…what more could anyone ask for!? The resort also has a very cool jungle gym fully equipped with useful wooden apparatus and also a jungle themed spa.
There is no beach in the typical sense of a broad space of white sand but there is a pier from which you can do boat trips and go out snorkeling, and there is a kind of mini beach with a plot of sand from which you can take out a kayak or two.
One of the best things about Zanzi resort is the food. Booking rates generally come with Half Board as standard and although the options are limited (it’s basically a set menu with generally 3 options max), the food is of excellent quality and beautifully cooked and certainly won’t leave you hungry by the end of the meal.
Zanzi resort is a quiet place and is mostly suited to romantic getaways and honeymoons, with it being an absolutely stunning setting. One really great gesture that Zanzi also provides is the ability to book your dinner as a completely private meal on either the beach or the pier (depending on what you prefer) at no additional cost.
It makes for a truly private and romantic evening and is great for those special moments (birthdays, anniversary’s, proposals etc.). It was actually Claire’s birthday whilst we were there and so we booked a private beach dinner complete with full seafood selection. With candles lit all around us, the sun setting over the horizon and a delicious birthday cake brought out to Claire by the tune of ‘Jambo Bwana’ and ‘Happy Birthday’ it really was an amazing night and absolutely perfect for the occasion.
In addition to the available activities at the resort there are also tours on offer including a nearby spice tour as well as Changuu (Prison Island) and Stone Town. We decided to take a tour of Stone Town (only 25 minutes south of Zanzi Resort) as well as a boat trip to Changuu island to see the Giant Tortoises.
Changuu Island, or Prison Island as it’s better known, is actually a beautiful little island with a gorgeous stretch of white beach as you approach. As it’s very small, only 50 metres from where the boats dock sits the amazing Giant Tortoise sanctuary. You have to see these guys to believe their size, and with them living up to 160 years old their lifespan isn’t exactly short either!
Stone Town is quite a small but enchanting town full of history and differing architecture. It’s narrow alleyways and large artistic doors are somewhat to be admired but we were glad we got a tour guide as it’s a maze of a little town and the very similar alleys can lead you to getting lost very easily. The old prison ruins which used to be host to the slave trade are a must see and are enlightening as well as saddening to hear about as you bear witness to the torturous treatment and cells that they had to endure and survive.