I first visited Stone Town, Zanzibar last year, when I took my lil back packing trip through East Africa. I liked it, I really did, I thought it was beautiful, but I was never very comfortable there. I was scared of getting lost in the crazy maze of tiny side streets and alleyways, I did not understand a lick of Swahili, and just traveling alone as a woman made me anxious in general.
Luckily for me, I had to travel there again for work a week a go! Coming back, a year later, understanding enough Swahili to get around, remembering where things were, I felt so confident! I was able to let my guard down and really enjoy the beauty and mix of African and Arabic culture that is Stone Town. I really love Zanzibar, sana.
Getting to Stone Town from Dar es Salaam was a damn headache though. First, the ferries that travel the two hours to Zanzibar have a resident price and a foreigner price. Wells the foreigner price is a joke and basically for the Europeans who have money to pay $50 for a 2 hour boat ride. So of course I get into the line for the residents. The lady at the counter looked at me like “girl bye”, how are you trying to get a resident rate and you are clearly a foreigner and don’t speak Swahili? I told her I work here and I deserve the resident rate, we argued for a bit and then she basically kicked me out of line. Ha!
So I went to a sketchy boat company with a sketchy boat and they let me pay the resident rate of course. Moral of the story is, never give up on spending less money on something lol.