Sometimes you dream of being in the most magical place, surrounded by an endless array of beauty to ignite your senses. Then suddenly one day you wake up and you are on the island of Zanzibar. Your dream is now your reality.
Ten years ago I was privileged enough to spend many months in Zanzibar, diving every day and enjoying the postcard life. Since that time, Zanzibar has always been in my dreams. I knew I had to return one day; I didn’t know when that would be. Then recently I woke up and there I was.
Well, maybe after a few plane rides across the world, then a small plane ride across the Country of Tanzania and a good sleep from all the travel, I woke up and there I was. Back in the place that left an unwavering imprint on my mind.
It is always surreal to return to a place after so long. So many things change, and so much new infrastructure goes up. With infrastructure also comes more people, and life seems so much busier than I once knew there. It took me a day to absorb it all.
One thing that has not changed is the beauty. It is still there like the most amazing buffet you have ever feasted your eyes on.
Zanzibar is known for its diving, and for its spices. Its nickname is spice island. Diving and spice tours are popular activities when visiting the island. I did none of this, this time around.
This time was for relaxing, being present in the moment, and taking in every second.
One thing I should add is there are no ATM’s in Nungwi, so you must bring enough cash to fund your whole trip. There are a few places that accept credit card, not many, so I would not rely on that. The closest place to withdraw money is in Stonetown.
That being said, here are my top 5 activities that were simple and brought me a great deal of pleasure, while I enjoyed life in and around Nungwi, Zanzibar. Simple yet strong enough reason’s for me to recommend that you take a getaway to this incredible destination right now.
- Enjoy the beaches, grounding with the earth, and swimming
I think this goes without saying; I am saying it anyway. Zanzibar has some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever set your eyes on and dip your toes in.
The water is such a crystal clear blue, so warm and refreshing, it will not only cleanse your body but also your soul. Some of the best grounding/earthing is done when you are barefoot on the wet beach. You get the ultimate recharge from the earth. Mother nature has it on offer and she is so generous with her giving, that it is hard not to embrace it to the fullest. It was my daily rejuvenation.
2. Walk to Kendwa
Four Kilometres from Nungwi is my favourite beach on the North coast – Kendwa beach.
When the tide is out, the walk from Nungwi to Kendwa is absolutely amazing. It takes about 30 – 35 minutes to walk, yet it is pure bliss every step of the way. Not only is the view incredible at every angle it is a great way to get a bit of extra exercise. Especially when you are relaxing and enjoying the chill life. I did this walk almost daily. The beach in Kendwa is so vast and with a lot fewer people than Nungwi beach. The swimming is pristine, and extra inviting. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy an afternoon.
3. Enjoy all the amazing food
From the seafood to the street food your tastebuds are in for a treat. This is the time to enjoy every morsel. Take the word ‘diet’ out of your vocabulary and just indulge. If you eat seafood you are about to be in seafood heaven. Every day the fresh catches are prepared for your delight. My favourite in Zanzibar is the Octopus. It is the most tender you will ever have in your life.
The street food and local restaurants are equally delicious and a fraction of the price you will pay in the touristy restaurants. Be prepared to eat though, the local restaurants are not shy with their portions.
Let’s not forget about the fresh fruit. You can go anywhere in the village and buy fresh, beautiful, sweet tropical fruit in abundance. I could not get enough fresh passionfruit juice. It was a splurge on the daily.
4. Swim with turtles
I never knew that swimming with turtles was on my bucket list until I did it. At the Nungwi Natural Aquarium, you can swim with rescued turtles. These turtles were caught in fishermen’s nets and injured. The aquarium will actually give money to the fishermen for the turtles, they will rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild.
They live the good life in the aquarium, getting loads of love and food all day long. They are such gentle creatures.
Although, move out of the way when seaweed gets tossed in as they will push their way past you to get a mouthful. I even got a turtle bite on my arm. It did not break the skin, just nipped me with a hard pinch. Not his fault, there was a piece of seaweed right next to my arm. I was actually proud of my turtle bite. Hands down one of the coolest things I have ever done.
5. Take in all the sunsets
The sunsets are stunning. It is the refreshing cool down from a hot day. The finishing of another beautiful day of being alive and the welcoming of the evening ambiance.
I love a stroll on the beach in the evening. The stars light up the sky, and when the moon is fuller, it lights up the earth in such a magical way. As you watch the sun disappear over the horizon, you can not help but reflect and bask in the beauty of life.
This trip to Zanzibar was about filling my soul, being present and overflowing with high vibe energy. The more you have, the more you have to share. Not every activity has to be extravagant when you travel. It is the simple things that when appreciated will bring the most pleasure.