Pamela MacNaughtan

Dock along the Zanzibar Channel in Dar es Salaam

After being robbed at the night market in Zanzibar, I was in a fairly quiet mood when we left Stone Town the following morning and headed to the Sunset Bungalows on a beach about an hour away. The drive was nice enough, but my mind was still on the events from the night before.

As the van, we were in pulled into the driveway at Sunset Bungalows my eyes felt heavy. I stepped off the van, walked into reception and waited for my room assignment. Zanzibar is one of the few places on my Intrepid trip from Kenya to Cape Town where I’ll be sleeping in an actual tent, rather than in a tent. Happy days!

I walked down the path to the stone steps and down to the beach where my room was located. The white sandy beach was beautiful and from the stone steps to the bar, the sand was littered with short palm-like trees. Our room was in a hut with wood walls and a thatched banana leaf roof. The four poster beds were made of a dark wood and mosquito nets hung around all four side of the bed. Our bathroom was minimal, but more than what we are used to.

Within about 10-15 mins of arriving, I had set my bags down, climbed onto the bed and fallen asleep. It was just after 2:00 p.m. and the sun was shining. The next time I woke up it was 7:00 p.m. and dark outside. Sarah had come back to our room to wake me for dinner. I was groggy and really wanted to sleep more, but I relented and followed her to join the rest of our group.

Dinner was okay. The menu had quite a bit of variety, but I wasn’t really hungry. Our table was set-up on the sand with a view of the Indian Ocean and as we ate, we could hear the water in the distance. As dinner progressed, we were entertained by dancers and acrobats. Once the entertainment was over, I decided to head back to bed and get more rest -I guess after 8 days of camping and waking up early wore me out more than I thought.

As it turns out I missed the night to end all nights. While I was in bed (hopefully not snoring) the majority of our group was getting drunk, dancing, skinny-dipping and Eloise disappeared with a Maasai (I shall just leave it at that). In other words, I missed an epic night of debauchery.

The following day everyone was trying to recover, while I was finally feeling awake. The day was a little cloudy and there was rain from time to time, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the view. Sure, I could go swimming or try my hand at snorkelling, but I was more interested in relaxing and enjoying a free day where I didn’t have to set-up or tear-down a tent, wake up early or do chores. My ideal free day was to be lazy.

I loved walking along the white sand beach and feeling the sand between my toes, looking at the Indian Ocean and sitting at a beachside bar eating wood-fired pizza and drinking heaps of cold water and orange Fanta.

Zanzibar is one the few places I would love to return to. I’d love to come back and try something adventurous, sleep in a hammock on the beach and try the local nightlife.

Sometimes (when travelling with a group) it’s good to have lazy quiet days, where the most important task is me.

Traveling in Africa, solo can be a scary thought -especially for solo female travellers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with joining a group tour.

For 45 days I travelled from Kenya (Nairobi) to Cape Town with Intrepid Travel. This was my very first group travel experience. At first, I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but as time progressed, I began to relax and fall in love with this type of travel. In fact, I would definitely travel with Intrepid again. 


  • August 24, 2011

    Oh to be able to say, “I was lazy in Zanzibar…”  Love it!


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