This is the last post I have about Zanzibar (insert sad face here). I spent my last day on the island enjoying the warm water of the Indian Ocean and the sandy beach of Prison Island. I had a boat and guide all to myself.
I loved the boat ride over to Prison Island and would have been happy to sail around all day.
We even got close to a traditional boat, a dhow. I really wanted to sail on one of these but it was a little out of my price range.
My guide decided that we should snorkel before heading to Prison Island. I was hesitant but then he said he was coming in with me. I’m a good swimmer but the Indian Ocean is a lot rougher than I’m used to.
The dark spots are the coral reef. We spent about 45 minutes snorkeling around looking at all the pretty fish. I cut our session short because there were jellyfish EVERYWHERE. No joke. I spent more time pushing jellyfish away from me than I did looking at the fish. I wasn’t about to have some stranger pee on me. I know you’ve all seen that episode of Friends where Chandler has to pee on Monica. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.
I have to say, the reef I visited wasn’t that great. The colors weren’t lively at all and I felt like the coral was more dead than alive. That being said, there were a lot of interesting and colorful fish. A better variety than what I observed in Australia a few years back. I did hear that the reefs a little further from the main island are really lovely and well protected.
Yes, Prison Island was once a place they put prisoners. After being a jail, it was used as a quarantine area visitors. Now Prison Island is a refuge for giant tortoises which were a gift from Seychelles.
These guys were at least 2-3 feet tall and probably weighed a few tons. You can just walk right up to them and feed them spinach. It’s like hanging out with dinosaurs. Their skin even feels like what I’d imagine dinosaur skin to feel like.
They paint the age of the tortoise on their shell. This guy is the oldest resident of the island at 185 years old.
They separate the residents by age. The 10+ year olds get to roam free, the 2-10 year olds hang out in a large fenced off area (above) and the babies, 2 and under, and a large cage to live in (below).
After an hour of tortoise watching (it’s more exciting than you think), I finally headed to the beach!
I would have been happy the lay here all day. I swam a bit but then those pesky jellyfish started to arrive and I headed back to the beach.
This isn’t so bad though – sandy beaches, blue water, nice breeze.
So that’s it. OK, maybe not. The ride back to the main island was BUMPY. I thought I might be sick a few times but managed to make it back. Check out the dark, rough waves.
OK, they don’t look as rough as I’m making them out to be, but they were.
All in all, I enjoyed Zanzibar. The Spice tour was awesome and was the highlight. I would have liked to have some company, but what can you do? I also could have done with out the constant harassment from the Rastas on the island. Thank goodness little old ladies of the world always seem to have my back. Let’s just say there was an incident with an aggressive Rasta, me and an ass-kicking little old lady who was enjoying some sugarcane.
I hope I make it back to Tanzania and Zanzibar again, and that next time Micah will get to join me. And maybe it won’t be as hot and humid next time. And next time I’m going on safari!
So, would you add Tanzania and Zanzibar to your must visit list?