Islands and ferry-rides

Many of you may recall that I went along with Huz to Tanzania in March and wrote about parts of the trip here, here, here, here and here.

I just realized that I did not follow up on that series with some of the other expeditions I went on while there. Therefore, I shall immediately proceed to write another bunch of photo-rich posts (since y’all like those so much) and fill you in on all the other stuff….

Here goes.

April, 2011.

It was a hot, humid day in Dar es salam, Tanzania. Huz and Willem were to be off to work as usual, and Tina and I had decided to go to Zanzibar with Lulu ben for a day trip. Tina had heard so much about Zanzibar and how lovely it was that there was no way she was going back to Ghana without having seen the famous beaches there.

I wasn’t too sure about this trip. The ferry left the dock at 9 in the morning and it took 2 hours to get to Zanzibar. The return ferry left at 4 in the afternoon, so we would only get 4 hours or so to explore whatever we could, and it seemed there was no way we could go to Nungwi, where the lovely beaches were, and back in time for the ferry.

The only thing we could realistically manage to do was explore Stone Town, and judging by Huz’s stories (from previous trips he’d made alone) there was nothing very interesting to see there, except some very old, decrepit buildings.

But there was nothing better to do, so we decided to go ahead. Tickets were haggled over and bought by our Swahili-speaking hostess, Lulu ben, and soon we were on a ferry and on our way.

We sat on the carpeted floor of the uppermost deck, since all the seats were taken. It was really nice to get such a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean, blue and vast, as the mainland receded from view.

sky, sea
budding island...?
Tina and Kenyan kiddo
kiddo peruses magazine
my favourite picture πŸ™‚

Tina played with a little Kenyan boy, whose parents watched smilingly as we entertained him. Lulu ben and I talked about her life in Tanzania, first in Zanzibar and then in Dar es salam, so far away from her parents in Karachi and all her sisters, and how her five daughters and one son became her entire world. She regaled me with interesting stories, and it felt to me as if she hadn’t had a conversation like this in a long long time…talking to someone from Karachi was refreshing for her, and I, of course, was delighted to listen πŸ™‚

There was a friendly Canadian lady on the ferry who had been backpacking all over Africa and was now going to see Zanzibar. That’s her in the green blouse.

Somewhere along the way, the ferry made a perpendicularish turn from the Tanzanian coastline and made a beeline eastwards towards Zanzibar. Soon, another coastline appeared on the horizon, and I headed over towards the other side of the ferry to take some pictures.

more coastline

getting closer..
the water is very clean and blue as we approach the ferry dock....

Next post: Making our way to Stone Town…


  1. satsumaart says:

    Oh my goodness, how blue-ly beautiful! Love the photos of all the people too.

    1. Munira says:

      Blue-ly beautiful sounds so much more fun than beautifully blue πŸ™‚ Thanks Lisa!

  2. photokunstler says:

    That’s a lovely colour for the ocean! And you’re right, the shot of the little one is perfect!

    Canadians tend to love to walk and camp and backpack, so it was fun to see the woman on the ferry with you. Even my husband did that after his time in the Canadian version of the US’s Peace Corps.

    I look forward to your next post!

    1. Munira says:

      Thank you Patty! (i’ve been spelling your name with an ‘i’ all this while…my apologies!)
      The Canadian woman on the ferry was amazing. Loved her spirit of adventure! She looks pensive in the picture, but from the way she spoke I could tell she was having the time of her life and was enchanted by her African experience.
      Does Rudi have a blog? πŸ™‚

      1. photokunstler says:

        No worries with the spelling of the name – I just always figured “i” was for cuter people and “y” for good old me!

        Rudi does have a blog. Updates it very rarely, and it is his search for truth. He’s started with the Bible, and has worked through the original Ahramaic, Biblical Hebrew and Greek to do his research.

        1. Munira says:

          But you’re very cute too!
          And Rudi’s blog sounds heavy……dare I check it out?? πŸ˜‰

  3. Hooray–your Zanzibar post!

    Oh, Munira, the color of the water is amazing! Can’t wait for more details. How large is the island? Did you ever get to see any of the beautiful beaches? The ones you photograph from the ferry are stunning, so I can’t imagine what the “good” ones must look like!

    Lovely, lovely photos!

    How are you holding up this weekend? Have you ever done or would you consider doing a post that is an introduction to Ramadan? So many Americans, myself included, are really ignorant. I at least would like to learn more.


    1. Munira says:

      Hahah, love your enthusiasm Kathy! I shall try and answer your questions in the subsequent posts πŸ˜‰
      As for a Ramadan post, it would be tricky for me to ‘educate’ seeing as I’m so..umm…wayward and irreverent πŸ˜› Would probably turn it into a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the rituals that constitute ‘faith’. Additionally, there are so many sects and sub-sects in Islam, hence so many variations in how this month is celebrated (though the basics remain the same) that it would be confusing to present a unified picture. I’m sure I could attempt answering any questions you may have, the whys and the wherefores…..perhaps by email? πŸ™‚

      1. How funny! Sounds like my relationship to Christianity! But what you say makes lots of sense, actually. I may take you up on the email offer once I’m able to articulate a specific question. Thanks so much! Hope you Sunday went well!

        1. Munira says:

          Hahah! I think most of us have a love-hate relationship with our respective faiths! And that is all I shall say here πŸ˜‰

  4. Can’t wait for the Stone town πŸ™‚ Picture postcard approach has whetted my curiosity! The boy is a total munchkin πŸ˜€

  5. fatema says:

    eye candy!!!:D

  6. Munira says:

    Thanks Harsha and Fatu! Stone Town coming right up! πŸ˜€

  7. Being a committed “I gotta get out this place” sort-a-guy, I love and am envious of your travel posts. πŸ™‚

    1. Munira says:

      Thanks Al. I hope you can get out again soon. I love and envy you your ‘art-y’ trips and the beauty of the place you live so I guess we’re even πŸ˜‰

  8. “Islands and ferry-rides”, what an attractive title for someone living in the mountains of Central Europe ! I was not disappointed, great writing, beautiful pictures of this so blue Indian ocean and of your fellows travellers. You brought back memories of the years I spent with my husband in Madagascar. Zanzibar was on my list of places to visit while in this part of the world but somehow we never managed it. So, thank you for sharing your own journey.

    1. Munira says:

      You were in Madagascar? I have an uncle who was born and brought up there. He speaks fluent French and has the most delightful East African accent when he speaks Gujarati πŸ™‚
      Would love to go there some day…

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