Return to Index Page:

Stone Town the main town on Zanzibar Island.

After four nights in Nungwi we were taken by our faithful Shah Tours driver to the Zenji Hotel in Stone Town.   The Zenji was right in the old Stone Town and five stories high with a restaurant on the roof.  We got breakfast there each day but lunch and dinner elsewhere, which was fine as we wanted to be out and about.

On our first afternoon in Stone Town we visited the Anglican Cathedral built on the site of the old slave market.  In the grounds is this moving monument.

We toured the Sultan's Palace and saw the somewhat grand but rundown rooms and furniture.  The Sultan was deposed in 1963 in a bloody coup.  I was told one of his descendents still lives in England.

We did not arrive by ferry but if we had or if we had taken the ferry from Stone Town to Dar es Salaam this is the view we would have seen.

This photo was taken after our return from Prison Island.  More on that below.


For those who don't know Swahili, Karibu Zanzibar means Welcome to Zanzibar.

It did not take us long to find a little waterfront bar/cafe  "Mercury's" near the Zenji and where we ate and drank several times.

Here is a bottle of our most frequently consumed beverage.

I was not able to visit Zanzibar when we lived in Dar due to political/security issues between the mainland and the island. 

However my son, Paul Shawcross, had visited a few years ago and said he enjoyed a trip to Prison Island.

So we decided to do that.

We got into a boat that had already been rented by a German snorkeler.  So that meant we would float around for half an hour while he snorkeled.  I decided even though I had no swim suit to go into the water in my clothes.  Took off my watch, glasses, wallet, hanky etc.  Forgot my money belt.  So ended up with some laundered bills.

Great view of Prison Island on our way out.

Getting closer to Prison Island you can see the facilities.

One of the big attractions is the colony of giant tortoises which were originally a gift from the Seychelles.

The original gift was four tortoises and there are now several hundred.

George in background along with the Italian tour party that was on the island at the time of our visit. 

Again you can see they are modestly dressed in line with local Muslim preferences!

Here we are back at Mercury's in Stone Town; me somewhat bedraggled from swimming in my clothes.
This gives some sense of the busy tight streets of Stone Town.  We found it impossible to walk very far in the Stone Town without getting lost unless we kept to the main streets.

The restaurant on the roof with the lights is Emerson Spice that had been recommended to us.  However, the photo is from another restaurant due to a misunderstanding with the nice guy who offered to guide us to the restaurant.  Apparently the restaurants split a while back and we were in the old original place.

It was pricey and George had some tummy problems, so we decided to have the main course only.  About half way through they came and told us that as there was to be a music group that evening we would be charged another $5 each.  I felt this was a little unfair so told them I would not be listening to the music.  This was accepted.

After our meal we came across this lively open air market with cooked food stalls on the waterfront and thought we might have done better eating here.

Please click on the title of photo below to move to another page.

First, Kilimanjaro and Moshi
The Game Parks
Arusha and Nungwi Zanzibar

Stone Town, Zanzibar

This page

Lastly, Dar es Salaam.