Hello from Zanzibar!
Joseph and I (Megan) are currently on an island off the coast of Tanzania called Zanzibar. Each time Joe and I cross the ocean and travel across the world to be with our kids in Kenya we try and find an awesome place to visit on this side of the globe.
Joseph and I write a travel blog where we document our adventures together. We were sponsored by three hotels on this trip to come, take photos, and write reviews on each of the places. Each place we are staying just gets better and better and better!
We spent two days in the main town part of the Island, Stone Town, exploring the Ancient Arab town and eating dinner at the Emerson Hotel on Hurumzi Street at their rooftop Tea House Restaurant. The experience, the food, the staff, the service, and the atmosphere were absolutely splendid. It wasn’t just a meal – it was a cultural experience that included food that was just delicious. Emerson is one of the highest buildings in Stone Town so you can see the entire city with 360 degree views of the Indian Ocean just beyond the town. The whole roof top restaurant is floor seating with gorgeous Arab rugs and pillows lining the floor. Hand carved small tables are set in front of you to eat off of. The meal was three delicious courses and started out with a ceremonial hand washing with rose water. UM YES PLEASE. The whole time there was a 5 person band that played and sang traditional music while doing traditional dances.
We started out next day with a spice tour. Zanzibar is well known as the spice island because they grow and import a large variety of high quality spices here. We went to a spice plantation with a guide who showed us lemongrass, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, ginger root, curry leaves, and a ton of fruit including pineapple, guava, coconuts, limes, lemons, starfruit, and soursop. It was SO cool to see the farmers digging up the roots of plants, cutting off the bark of trees, and climbing to pick fruit. We loved the experience! After the tour we went to a nearby restaurant and had a lunch prepared with the spices from the farm.
After our time in Stone Town, we headed to the north part of the island to stay on one of the prettiest beaches on the island, Matemwe. We stayed at a boutique hotel called Zanzibar Bahari Villas. I’m telling you, we fell in love with this hotel. Traditional Zanzibarian-Arab architecture, rooms equipped with an outdoor shower, a delicious seafood restaurant, and a stunning beach front infinity pool. There were so many beautiful details that left us looking forward to coming back!
We only spent one day in the North before we headed South to The Residence Zanzibar. The Residence is a luxury hotel that sits on 32 acres of beach front property full of lush gardens and 65 private villas, each equipped with their own private swimming pool. If perfection is a place, then it is The Residence Zanzibar. We have another day here and we do not want our time here to end!
We fly back to Kenya for a couple hours before our overnight flight to Belgium, Brussels (where we are heading out on our layover for some Belgian waffles and chocolate! HOLLA!), then another 9 hour flight to Chi-town before our final short flight home. We’re soaking up our last moments in Africa and loving every minute.