Zanzibar updates


Paradise Beach Bungalows, Paje. $55 double. A quirky kind of place run by Soara. Our banda was situated right on the beach front with table and chairs to sit on under the palms looking over the reef. Furniture rather heavy and black. Hot due to no electricity (as in all Zanzibar). View from restaurant spectacular. Pleasant low key.

There was only ever one other chalet occupied whilst we were there and the dogs kept their distance and were not a nuisance.

The beach is hopeless for swimming even at high tide and had little blue stinging jellyfish. We spent a day at Paje by night and used their lovely small dip/swimming pool for the day (free if you eat there). There are 2 outlets at Paje who have specialised in Kite surfing and a group from La Rochelle had arrived to do just that.

Bike hire at $5 a day meant we could peddle on the beach to the Door (just beyond the pier, good food with Italian influence, tourist prices—slightly oily seafood pasta 8.000Tsh), hire snorkels and swim in Blue Lagoon. We were denied entry to the pier as we were not residents of mega Italian resort.

Transfer by taxi Stone town Paje 45,000

Clove Hotel, Stone Town, $65 double with very pleasant roof top restaurant for breakfast and to rest in during the heat of the day with cool breeze off the sea. Good value for central location.

Moonsoon restaurant good food but not quite as good as four years ago when it was outstanding.

Livingstones seems a popular place and good for a spot to watch the sun go down

with a glass of wine. Have heard reports of all night discos, which would be somewhat irritating for the guests of Tembo Hotel (120,000 double) right next door

|Dhow Palace seems good value at $100 double since it has small pool, not now open to outsiders (or maybe only during high season, such as at Sauti )

Sauti za Busara, 4 days of great music was a memorable experience. Second week of February every year, four days of varied excellent music in the old fort. 50,000 for ‘VIP’ pass (resident rate) for 4 days- come and go- when you want and a seat to sit on if you want a rest was very good value. Music varied from drums and tribal dance to Taarab to Hiphop to Kenyan/Japanese rock to South African to Senegalese and even a Laplander with her amazing ‘singing’.

The film festival in ?August is also said to be good value.

One thing that is not mentioned in all the guidebooks about Princess Salme is that when she went to Aden in August her first child was born about December but he died 2 months later in France on the way to Germany. Subsequently she had three other children but the first one is never mentioned. Thus she must have been 20 weeks pregnant when she eloped. No wonder she had to leave and no wonder she was not reconciled with her brother. This information is contained on the boards in the House of Wonders though it does not actually state she was pregnant when she left but it would appear to be the case from working out the dates.

Rupert Gude


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