Wonderful beach village – Feb 2011

Jambiani – Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Jambiani is a village two hour’s drive from old town. The fun began in the public transport, which I don’t know whether to refer to as buses, Lorries or vans. They are more close to small Lorries that are open on the sides. You have to bend when going in otherwise you lose your head. Once moving they loaded and loaded the lorry-bus until we couldn’t move a single inch and our legs become numb. The mistake we made was going on a market day.  Most of the passengers were a complete family which had gone shopping. They were carrying chicken, food and all food stuff and the driver squeezed all of us like cabbages.

After two hours, we were in Jambiani we went to Oasis Hotel where we got a bungalow right in front of the beach. Tired and hungry, we first grabbed lunch and then came back changed and headed into the water. We called it a day at that. Night came along with strong waves and strong waves came along with soothing sounds.  With the soothing sound I slept like a child because it is like an assurance that someone is watching over you to make sure you are safe.

The beach

The following day at six we were awake camera in hand, waiting for the sunrise. At around 10:00am people started gathering one by one going inside the ocean. Funny enough it was only women and children carrying small sacks. Later, we decided to go and see what they were doing. They were planting and harvesting one type of algae they called “mwani”. What was funny though, was that every person had their own portion of land in the ocean. The question I asked myself is, how do they know whose land is whose? They used to go when the tide was low; plant and harvest and leave when the tide started rising. It was a job for women and children as the men went fishing.

The mwani plantation

There are plenty of places to eat but there is one that captured my heart. It was called Okala Restaurant. When we saw the sign post that was close to the beach we thought that that this restaurant was one of the places that are good for the pocket. We went and to our surprise, it was a simple room made from reed and inside it was full of shell chains hanging from the ceiling but there were other people that were there sitting down taking beer and enjoying food that was mouth watering. The room was full of aroma but we told we had to order the food in advance. After one hour we headed for Okala again. The service is first class and the food is delicious and the owner (Okala) is very jovial and welcoming man.

The best ever

At the end of my stay I decided to get henna drawing from the women, who used to pass in the beach every time saying,

“henna, henna” and I always turned down their offer which I should not have accepted because I turned out to be allergic to the henna and I ended up going to the hospital to get a cream because it was swollen and itchy.

I fell in love with the place; the people were so welcoming and friendly. On the fourth day we were on the same vans again but this time it was different, it was not a market day.

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