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So we come to a second and last piece of our journey to Zanzibar, the tranquil, amazing and beautiful archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. If you read my first series you would know I covered the great locations of this amazing island like its white sands beach of Paje and an amazing hotel we stayed at, the Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge.

We covered Jozani Forest, the historic capital Stone Town, Prison Island and Spice Markets and every single destination was nothing but a spectacularly fun-filled to explore this embracing island, and in next few paras I wish to complete the great journey with House of Wonders, Dolphin Tours, lastly the amazing Forodhani Gardens for all the lovely street food.

House of Wonders

When people hear Zanzibar, they think glorious white sand beach with amazing resorts, in fact, its identity as a relaxing paradise is so renowned that it overshadows the cultural history surrounding the island – and I too was of the same opinion until I visited House of Wonders!
Built in 1883, House of Wonders, (Beit al Ajaib in Arabic) was a palace where the second sultan of Zanzibar, Barghash bin said and his harem stayed. It was one of the most modern buildings at the time with the only location in Entire Island with electricity and an elevator.

The palace features various different things including interiors covered by a courtyard with open galleries, pillared balconies circling the outside of the building, and a tall clock tower.
The brilliantly architected 3-storey building still remains the tallest building in Stone Town, and its balconies offer spectacular views to the tourists.

Dolphin Tours

The Kizimkazi village on the island of Zanzibar is renowned for its cute dolphin tours and swimming with these friendly mammals. It is a definite plus to visit this tour and see the dolphins within the proximity of 10 meters from the boat and perhaps also take a swim, which by the way I did not as I was too scared!

But the tour itself was a big reward as I was extremely happy and excited to watch these beautiful aquatic mammals. I feel that these dolphin tours for Zanzibar demonstrate natural and marine resource management promoting sustainable ecotourism in the island.

Forodhani Gardens

This is right on the coastline whereby every evening local vendors set up their stalls for serving fresh seafood, samosas, meat kebabs, various kinds of fresh juices and much more. It’s a lively place with lots of people around tourist as well as locals alike.
There are dozens of stalls and most serving similar items and dishes thus giving plenty of choices of vendors to choose from. I would always recommend going where the locals are eating as they know who serves better food, or where there’s a bit of queue to ensure there is some quality in the food, as some of the stalls I saw were serving what did not look much like fresh food!

Wrap-up

Whilst there was much more detail to each of the above and my first series of Zanzibar trip, I went to only outline the snapshots of each itinerary. And oh, the best part – do not take the Flight to Zanzibar if you’re at all adventurous! From Dar-es-Salaam to Zanzibar and vice-versa there are speedy ferries operating with a just runtime of 2 hours and giving that special feeling of Indian Ocean waves, splashes of water from the front and back decks, and once in a lifetime experience.
I hope this has served all the reader a nice guideline on this mesmerizing island of Zanzibar and I shall try to share some more experiences from my other travels around the world soon!

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Whether you are going home or traveling to other country/city for holidays vacation; some pretty interesting questions about packing comes to your mind like what to take with, what to leave behind, where to place it… Etc. I have taken oodles of trips and every time I came back, I thought, I could be gone even lighter. Hence I have collected the most pin-worthy packing hacks which can save you from some trouble like – wrinkled sweaters, broken precious perfume bottle, lose your bag at the airport and more…
Let’s start with The Golden Rule: Pack only half of the garments you were wanting to bring and double the cash!

  • Don’t fold the clothes instead of Roll them: It’s really faster compare to fold the garments, and you will get wrinkle free clothes; also it saves more space in your bag!
  • Mix and Match: to avoid over-packing stick to this rule: pack 3 different tops (perhaps a blouse and a sweater) and 3 bottom (light and dark wash denim is the best option). So you will have total 9 pairs!
  • Take advantages of shower cap: use an old shower cap or shoe cap and put your shoes in a cap; so it keeps the clothes clean in the suitcase. Plus, roll your socks and keep them in the shoes.
  • Pack your light colored clothes inside out to prevent stains and also it will make your clothes wrinkle-free. To keep the collar in place, roll your belt around it.
  • Avoid leaks: cut squares of plastic wrap and then place them in between the bottle and cap for your all toiletries. Keep your toiletries and makeup in a transparent bag so you will get everything in one place without messing the whole suitcase.
  • Don’t be Diva! Don’t pack your own hair dryer and straightener or curling iron; use hotel’s products…
  • To stay away from messy tangles with your different wires, roll them up firmly and toss them in a spectacles’ case. You can use the same idea for protecting your jewelry.
  • Put your breakables bottles like a glass perfume bottle in socks. This will keep it from scratching or catching on anything!
  • Pack an empty carry-bags for laundry. Capitalize the empty space of these bags by filling your First-Aid Kits.
  • Pack the heaviest items at the bottom of your suitcase: this is one of the most important thumb rule when you are dealing with rolling luggage.
  • Tag your luggage: Losing your luggage is a bad feeling. When your suitcase blends in with thousands of others and you are enabled to finding it out is even worse. To avoid this situation opt any unique style like paint or mark your suitcase with a bright color or attach colored bow or scarf to your suitcase and use unique name tags etc..

  • Ultimately, your luggage is an icon/symbol of yourself hence, make it stylish, practical, lightweight, and most durable!

    About Author:

    “Hiral is a Digital Marketer by day and reader by night. Love to travel a lot, foodie, addicted to social media and games. Hiral writes frequently on matters across hospitality, travel, and Digital Marketing. Recommends to stay at Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge while visiting Zanzibar. :)”

    Zanzibar is home to some of the most beautiful, idyllic destinations on the continent. With turquoise waters, soft white sands on the beaches and the mouth-watering local food can serve as a simple reason to be attracted to this serene archipelago.

    Location

    Located off the coast of Tanzania, the top most attractions are magnificent beaches like Paje, Kiwengwa, and Nungwi, which provide the best tourist experiences with its stunning palm trees, the tropical blue sea, and best accommodation facilities; it highly enchants and provides the relaxation that families are looking for.

    With family traveling together, the emphasis on safe, comfortable and affordable accommodation becomes of prime importance. As mentioned Zanzibar hosts millions of travelers every year and new and upcoming beach lodges are making way to the top charts for excellent customer service, and one such family lodge is Hakuna Majiwe Beach Lodge.
    The island can also provide the best value for money when toured completely including visits to the historical Stone Town, Jozani Forests, and Spice Islands.

    Jozani Forest

    Situated at 35km southeast of Zanzibar, this dense coastal rainforest covers an area of 50 square kilometers, and the only national park in the archipelago is home to thousands of Red Colubus Monkeys. These beautiful and rare primate are only to be seen on this island and as you tour the park, the delight of watching these creatures jumping from one tree to other, groom and care for its young is a truly an experience not to be seen elsewhere.

    Over the years, they are used to photography and humans being around them, and thus carrying your DSLR is definitely a plus. The creatures once endangered to extinction, now with the support of right conservation groups and initiatives, now habituate over 2,500 monkeys in the forest.

    Closest beach to the forest is Paje beach and thus easily accessible from there. However, many taxis are directly available to ride to the park with a nominal fee. Speak your local agent or hotel staff for arranging a tour.

    Stone Town

    We bet if you were to go unguarded in these maze type alleys of the town, you are certainly bound to get lost! If you carry multiple days on your holidays then it is worth staying in Stone Town for a night and explore the local culture, markets, mosques, tiny shops and sultan’s palaces! The touring is sure to get you to admire the history of Arabian influences on this bustling town! It is recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Place.

    The famous Darajani Market is bustling with vibrant locals, who sell everything you would expect to buy in East African market be it food, clothing or a whole lot of many other things. Mornings are preferably the best time pay visit as you also get to see the fish auction! It’s a Kodak moment, but before putting out your cameras, always seek permission as some may be fine with photography, some may not be and some may ask money for it – but ideally it will avoid upsetting anyone!

    Prison Island

    As the name implies, this was a sub-island a little off the port of Zanzibar island and different versions of stories depict that it was meant to be home to the criminals and offenders of the islands, and some say it was used during colonial times to keep the slaves over there. While there may be some realities to these stories, the interesting fact is that it is a home to some of the most beautiful species of giant tortoises!

    Spice Markets

    Taking a break from the beach for a day or two is certainly a great idea. Along with Stone Town and Prison Island, this Zanzibari archipelago is sometimes called as ‘The Spice Island’! Enjoy the tour of the spice marker of Zanzibar with different spices that are grown on this fertile land and you can savour the fresh aroma of saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cumin (sometimes known as Gold of Zanzibar) are just a few samples of the spices that spread that particular region of the island with intriguing smells.


    This tale gets finished here, and we have not even made a mention of House of Wonders, Dolphin Tours, Old Fort, Dispensary of Zanzibar – but that can follow in next series of Zanzibar tour! For more information, stay tuned to this space for details about other holiday destinations!

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    Traveling has many loop holes – your single wrong step can ruin your vacation. Hence here I have collected best travelling tips from seasoned travelers (me and my friendsJ). I hope it inspires you to make travel a priority in your life.

    1.Have a smiling face

    Don’t take yourself too seriously while travelling to new places. Don’t be afraid to screw up, Sometimes you have to make fun of yourself. So keep calm and just smile.

    2.Hive up some cash

    Cash is king in this Globe. In case of any emergency or any other tough situations like – you lose your wallet, card stops working, or ATMs run out of money; at that time leverage on that extra cash, stash & save yourself. We recommend to store it at socks, a toiletry bag, and hidden backpack frame.

    3.Meet Local People

    Nowadays basic English is spoken in all over the world, so it’s very easy to communicate with locals with handy gestures and body language. Be dynamic and say yes when someone invites you to meet their family, try a new activity, or explore a place you didn’t know existed. That will add spice to your trip.

    4.Observe Daily Life

    Just sit in park or at busy street corner, let slow down your thoughts and pay close attention to the details around you – the smells, the colors, human interactions, and sounds. And these all will make you feel for the pulse of a place!

    5.Keep Backup

    Keep digital and physical copies of your important documents like passport, visas, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, & emergency phone numbers. Take backup your files & photos on an external hard drive as well as online.

    6.Take Lots Of Photos

    Many of the places you will visit once in life time, so remember those places and people with plenty of photos. Don’t worry about your every cool look. No one cares! Great photos are the finest memento.

    7.Eat Local Food

    If you think that you know what Swahili food is, and how it tastes! You’re probably wrong! Taste a bit of everything when you travel or ask local people for recommendations. We recommend to experience Swahili-Zanzibari Cuisine while travelling to Zanzibar.

    8.Slow Down and Keep good Notes

    Please don’t try to visit 7 countries in 7 weeks. Spend more time in fewer places for maximum enjoyment. You can learn many other activities or visit interior places which are not mentioned in the guidebook. If you explore some time, then all the good stuff happens! Keep good travel journal regarding your experiences, the information about people, whom you met, your activities, feeling about particular city or situation and lots more…

    9.Pack Less Stuff

    I have traveled many countries so far and gradually I have improved my packing list and travel strategy. Recommend to Travel with comfortable resilience. It’s also possible to buy most things at your destination country if you discover you need them.

    10.Treat Your Body Well

    It’s difficult to maintain a workout routine or proper healthy diet, when you are travelling. Travel can throw your body out of whack. But don’t feel guiltier about not maintaining your daily routine, just remember to be nice to your body by having enough sleep, stay hydrated and do some exercise when you get time!

    11.Stay In Touch

    Don’t forget to call your family & friends at regular intervals. You can also surprise them by sending letters, pics or old memories. Even don’t forget social networks like Facebook and Twitter to update your status.

    12.Read Traveler Reviews

    Nowadays, most of people check user-review sites for evaluating hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and lots more. And based on that review they plan their trips – as it’s really very helpful but not foolproof so keep your mind open: check how recent the post was, numbers of positive and negative reviews, look at photos posted by users.

    13.Choose a Right Hotel

    With the enormous number of promotions, deals and programs, it’s really difficult to choose best hotel. Before booking ask yourself what type of accommodations you want and what your budget permits you! Check amenities, loyalty programs, eco-friendliness, location, ambience and local flavor and much more. The smallest details can make a big difference. Hakuna Majiwe Beach lodge Zanzibar gave us home feeling with their friendly staff, value for amenities and a great living experience.

    14.Patience is the Key

    Life is too short to worry about anything and to be angry. Did you miss bus or train? No worries, there will be another one. ATMs are running out of money? Who cares! Take an unplanned road trip to the next station. There is no reason to sweat on small stuff… remember it’s just a small stuff! J

    15.Be An Open Minded

    Don’t judge anyone’s lifestyle though it’s different from yours. Be ready to listen to opinions of others though you do not agree with them. Don’t be arrogant, show some empathy and adopt different possibilities, opportunities, suggestions and interests.
    Feel free to share your own best travel tips!