Stone Town and the Park Hyatt Zanzibar

I booked our last two nights in Zanzibar at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, a beautiful and historic former mansion set on the water and in the middle of Stone Town (also known as “Mji Mkongwe” which means “old town” in Swahili). Stone Town is the old part of Zanzibar City, the main city of Zanzibar, which sits on the west coast of the island facing the direction of mainland Tanzania.

The architecture and layout of Stone Town reflects the island’s historic ties to Oman as well as a complex fusion of the many cultures that have influenced it over the centuries. Stone Town was the seat of the Sultans of Oman and Zanzibar. Zanzibar became a part of the holdings of the Sultan of Oman in 1698. Around 1840, a later sultan moved his capital from Muscat to Stone Town. In 1856, a struggle over succession divided territories into the Sultanate of Oman and Muscat and a separate Sultanate of Zanzibar which existed until 1964 when the sultan was overthrown in the Zanzibar Revolution. read more

A Zanzibar Spice Farm en route from Uroa to Nungwi

After four nights at a boutique hotel on Uroa Beach on the east coast of Zanzibar, it was time to move to a resort hotel on Zanzibar’s popular north coast. The drive looked to be over an hour, but that still left us with some time to kill between check-out in Uroa and check-in in Nungwi. I knew I wanted to visit a Zanzibar spice farm and lots of spice farm tours are offered out of Stone Town, but with only two nights planned in Stone Town, I didn’t want to spend our one full day there on a tour. This moving day between two hotels seemed like the perfect opportunity to fit in a spice farm tour and lunch en route. When I asked Zanzitaxi to add the stop to our transfer, they suggested Jambo Spice Farm and we made plans. (“Jambo jambo!” is a familiar greeting in Swahili meaning hello.) read more

Uroa, Zanzibar

View from our porch at F-Zeen Boutique Hotel in Uroa, Zanzibar

After some weeks of gray and cold Paris, I was ready for sunshine and warmth. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean is still too cold for me this time of year so I started looking further afield. I eyed Cape Verde (Cap Vert) but found flights less-than-convient. A couple of stunning photos of Zanzibar beaches caught my eye, further research piqued my easily-piqued curiosity, and when I discovered I could book us reasonably-priced award flights in Qatar Airways business class with an overnight layover in Doha, I was all in. read more