We left our camp by the Selous park, for the short drive to an airstrip just inside the Park. Our plane was early!
Here, our jeep drove right up along a small 13 seater plane, and we joined the other 8 people already on board. No passport or security checks, just clamber on board. One spare seat was the co-pilots seat, and Robert was only too pleased to take that one.
He did a very good job of keeping us safe, and we took off from the grass airstrip (making sure there were no wildlife on there first) and enjoyed the views over Tanzania and Dar es Salaam and the coast as we flew over.
We then had a taxi ride to our first hotel, the Zanzibari, at Nungwi, near the northern tip of Zanzibar. The surrounding area was quite poor and untidy, so it felt a bit odd to go through the gate with security guards into the hotel and be met by beautiful grounds next to a white beach .
The dining room bar was a full sized dhow, including sails, and the grounds were full of flowers, our room was in the Bougainvillea wing.
After a wander around the grounds, we had a lovely 5 course meal, accompanied by a local drum and dance band.
The next day we were scheduled to have a walking tour of the fishing village and see them making the dhows, but we saw a leaflet for a trip to Zanzibar’s Jozani Nature Reserve and a butterfly center, and the hotel were happy for us to change.
We set off in the same taxi with Robert, Ann and Amanda opted for the village trip, for a 90 minute trip down Zanzibar. One noticeable difference from the mainland is that Zanzibar has banned the use of thin plastic bags, and so there is far less litter around.
The butterfly centre was set up by a Scottish man, who arranged for farmers in Zanzibar to farm butterflies, and send the chrysalises to the centre, where they are used to hatch for the centre, or sent to Butterfly houses around the world, giving the farmers a good source of income.
We were shown various life stages of the butterflies, then visited a large mesh arena full of them flying around.
Next we travelled on to the reserve, where we hoped to see some endangered monkeys.
Once we had listened to our guide explain about the reserve, we walked across the car-park, and met some Sykes monkeys climbing above us, then saw the rare red colobus monkeys.
One even sat at eye level for some amazing photographs.
The red colobus monkey is endemic to Zanzibar, and has a population of around 1000, so it was rather special to get such a good look at them in the wild.
We had a walk around the rain forest and then a short drive to the mangrove swamps, with the guide explaining about the environment and wildlife.
After the drive back to our hotel, we enjoyed a swim and relax before another delicious meal.
Our last day took us in the taxi back to Zanzibar city, and our last hotel, the Dhow Palace, in the Stone Town area. Stone town was a medieval town, and many old building remain, including a fort. We had a walking tour and also visited the food market where we bought some spices.
Stone town is also famous for its carved doors, though a lot are fairly modern now.
Our guide took us the the Anglican church that stands where the slave market used to be, and has a very good museum showing the history of slavery in Zanzibar.
We had a chance to explore the hotel after the tour – its a very interesting building with wonderful features.
Sadly, this was the end of our trip, as our plane to Nairobi left at 02:00 the next morning.
I hope you have enjoyed the blogs and photos as much as we enjoyed the trip.