Warning: the following words and images will allow you to vicariously see the world with the eyes of Sultan. Read at your own risk. The name Sultan has many meanings, but derives from the peak Sultan Mountain in Silverton, CO!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Zanzibar Island

While traveling to Tanzania for a safari/Kilimanjaro I decided to visit the island of Zanzibar. This island has rich Arabic and Islamic culture. Much of the Swahili language is Arabic based. I found that by adding the letter "i" to many Arabic words you get Swahili words. Safari for example is the Swahili word for travel. Safar is the Arabic equivalent. Other words Sabooni (soap), Samaki (fish), Haraki (lets go, or move), and names as well Mohammedi, and Abdullahi were some I learned. So I added the letter "i" to many Arabic words I knew and was able to communicate very well with locals.

We flew in on a 10 seater commuter plan that was very wibbly wobbley. It was movie like view up in the plane. We hovered at 1500 feet, flew in and out of the clouds, and could see the entire island as we approached. The visible green lush was evident and the slanted beach palm trees still are vivid in my mind. January is summer time in Tanzania, and hence it was warm with temperatures reaching 100 degrees fahrenheit.

The airport was tiny, as expected. I took a cab from the airport to Stonetown and stayed in the Karibu Inn. The is an inexpensive way to lodge, but a great way to experience Zanzibar. When visiting in January definitely pay the extra fee for an air conditioned room.I visited the local markets, and tried octopus for the first time. It tasted like rubbery lobster, but surprisingly tasted better than I thought. The spices used in the grilling of octopus is key. Zanzibar is known for its spices. Taking a spice tour is a must while your on the island.

This is a fruit off a tree that produces the spice of nutmeg (brown seed) and mace (red around brown seed).

I also visited the north western beach's of the island and visited the old slave chambers where slaves were bought and sold.

My visit to Zanzibar was short, and I will definitely return.

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